Olympian Challenger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

It's a bit of quick read but not one I found all that enjoyable. It's a bit of a predictable plot with characters I didn't much care for.
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First off - I really enjoyed the story overall. It was a fun quick read for in between.
I really liked the premise of the book: A big group of teenagers is transported to Mount Olymp from New York (apparently they could only open the window for transport on a small area). All teenagers are decendants from the gods and are thrown into a competition to become the new Challenger for the gods. The winner will have a wish granted.
We are following our heroine, who is living and taking care of her sick Mom and who doesn`t want anything but spend as much time with her as possible - or cure her. She at first does not want to stay on Mount Olymp and participate in the challenge because she wants to be with her Mom - until she realises that she can cure her Mom through that wish if she wins.

For my taste, there were just a few plotholes or tropes that I felt were not written well or unnecessary and are the cause for my rating not being higher.
1 - The love interest - really? Why did that need to be in the story? It felt forced and unnecessary and it did not bring anything to develop either the characters or the plot. It wasn*t touched on enough to make me swoon and I was just annoyed.
[Spoiler] What really annoyed me was that in the beginning, our heroine (human) asked her love interest (god) what the biggest differences between humans and gods is and his answer pretty much is that humans can love. So how does he pretty quickly turn into this loving mushball? This *could* have worked if the author would have explored him starting to develop these feelings more and how these strange feelings started to develop. But no, it just happened without explanation. Thats a no for me.  [/Spoiler]
2 - The sheer amount of characters that were not explored really but all just were defined through one single trait. Most of the characters had no depth or real development. You just follow this one trait (which usually correlates to the god who picked them to come to Mount Olymp
3 - Why just New York? The reasoning behind it felt forced and from a story perspective there was no reason to limit the teenagers all coming from one City.
4 - The heroine annoyed me SO MUCH. She is too goody-good. She is always the morally white person who makes these *perfect* decisions, always caring about others .... not saying these are bad traits but this was too much, it simply was not believable anymore. Especially in the end 
[spoiler] as she gave up her main motivation to actually go through this challenge because somebody else was sad because the lost somebody. Her wanting to cure or spend time with her Mom was held up as such a humongous thing in the beginning of the book and we see NO character development that shows her values change. So why do you give that up? Just because somebody you have literally NO connection with is sad to have lost somebody. No,[/spoiler]

Disclaimer: Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The characters were great. The descriptions of Olympus were beautiful and detailed without being obnoxious. I loved the story and the mythology tie-ins with the challenges. It didn't feel anything was skimped on for this book. I enjoyed it all.  It was a quick enjoyable read and I can't wait for the sequel! This book is worth more than their charging so if you're wondering if you should take the leap. You definitely should, you're getting a deal!
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You will like this book if you like:
- Greek Mythology
- Hate-love relationship
- "Obstacles"
- "Competition

I really appreciate the Olympian Challenger's accuracy regarding Greek Mythology, and the adventures are actually really fun, action-packed, and entertaining to read. 

The romance is also one of the redeeming factors, because this book had a decent enough hate-love relationship (between a god I might add), and it was definitely enjoyable and shippable. However, (I  have never say this in a book review before by the way), this book really need to work on the kiss scenes. Which is SUCH  a shame because I actually really like the Kerion and Hope's ship. But I found the kiss scene not...just not that good  (How do I say this)? It's an instinctive feeling, and it's just that I've definitely seen (a lot) better, so I would really advise the author to improve in this area.

However, I myself have a hate-love relationship with Hope and her narrative. I understand that that is who she is, it's her character, but her "saint nature" is just increasingly getting on my nerves as the book progressed. It's only because that she is actually a really capable character that compensated this problem enough for it to not completely drive me away from reading this book. If you get annoyed by characters that are a "saint" because they are just SO kind, selfless, and always saving the characters even when you really just wish that she let those characters die because all they bring is trouble, you will really, really hate Hope. 

I enjoyed this book as an ARC, and if you're looking for just an okay-enjoyable-pretty good read, this book would be appropriate for you.
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"When he's near, I'm a moth circling a flame--trapped and forgetful of the danger ahead."

As a HUGE sucker for anything related to mythology... this was a such a treat to read. It's reminiscent of The Goddess Test trilogy, which I really enjoyed too. Olympian Challenger is a mix of romance, fierce battle scenes, humor and diversity.

It all started with a strange invitation:

"You’re cordially invited…
To embark on a singular journey.
If your heart is true,
And your soul heroic,
Dare to face your fears,
And your most precious wish will be granted.

If these words you can read,
Don’t breathe them to a soul,
The punishment would be severe,
That confidant may disappear.

You have until midnight."

Essentially, you're following a teenage girl and her struggle in dealing with her mother's debilitating illness, trying to keep up her grades up to get into MED school and, somehow, manage to take care of herself (just barely). One day, everyone at school receives a very strange invitation, but only Hope (our MC) is able to decipher the full message. And to win a wish? Hmm... this invitation seems very tempting. So what happens when our MC is thrown into a world she never thought could possibly still exist? Ha, not what you're thinking. Our MC here doesn't give a crap about the prize and the outrageous tests that she must go through in order to get it - she just wants to get back home, back to her mother and spend whatever time left she has with her before she's gone. I mean, that was until she met Kieron, Hades and Persephone's (smoldering) son. It was then, that maybe, just maybe, she could win this wish to save someone who she really cares about with the encouragement of someone she's gaining feelings towards. But are they reciprocated? 

Olympian Challenger did not disappoint! This was a such a fun page-turner and I am excited to see what happens in the next installment to this trilogy.
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Very good book!! I enjoyed reading this book a lot, the characters were strong and had relatable personalities, the plot was straightforward and gripping, and the romance - while not particularly memorable - did not take away from the story. Overall I would rate this book well and recommend it to others not as an all time favorite but definitely a good read!
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The Greek Mythology aspects were well done but the character development could use some work. Hopefully sequels will create more rounded characters. It will be a good suggestion for certain readers in our store and I have already talked to one customer about it who sounded interesting and would look into the book.
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It is a good book for those who are fans of Percy Jackson. This is like but it darker. Hope Diaz is a good character who is strong but suffers bouts of self-doubt. The story had a great rhythm and is good ya book.
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It took me a few days of off and on reading to get into this book, but then "BAM", I was hooked and couldn't stop reading. I have unintentionally been reading quite a few books that center around mythology this year. 

This book is well written and the story just pulls you in. All the major characters are well developed and you continuously learn more about them through their actions. I will definitely be reading the next book!

This book is about Hope who receives a mysterious invitation. While she is curious about the invitation, she is more concerned about her mom who had dementia. The night she receives the invite, she does something that lands her smack dab in the middle of Mt. Olympus. She really does not want to be in the competition that she unwittingly qualified for, but when she hears that the reward is one wish, she knows exactly what she will ask for. 

This book is about being true to yourself, bonds that are forged under unusual circumstances, a little romance, and becoming a true hero.
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The cover is very beautiful and I like it very much. The blue colors are really appealling and i like the magical thunders around it. Also the blue moon is perfectly fitting, as it even has a meaning in the story.

The writing style was fluent and easy to read. The book is written from the first-person perspective of Hope, so it was really easy for me to empathize with her feelings. The length of the chapters was appropriate. I liked the short time jumps between the chapters.

Hope is a very strong and brave main character. When someone needs help, she is always there, without even reconsidering that it might cost her her life. She has a really good heart and never looses it. Her interaction with Kieron was really fascinating. I liked the slow development of passion between the two. Kieron is also a really fascinating character. I am really fond of him, although in this first installment not so much details of him were provided. His belief in Hope was really strong and made him really sympathetic. The variety of the other challengers was really admirable. Some of them I hated to the bone, other I really liked - Gabriel, with his wish to be loved as he is and Amy with her lonliness for example. Also the portrayal of the gods and divinities was really satisfying - I think Astrid added some of her own ideas, but a lot of the characteristics matched the known stories and legends.

The story itself was really interesting. The main idea - a challenge to find a new olympian hero or heroine -was quite refreshing. The basement of the challenges on greek myths was interesting, although a lot of them were quite brutal and murderous. Especially also some challenges were not only physically brutal but on a emotional level, which can be even worse. The apathy from the gods to this things was really disgusting, but written magnificently. The dialogs between the characters were also written very compelling - it was really easy for me to empathize with the speakers.

The end of this book really fills like a end in some way - but it feels like a end to the first step of a even greater challenge, which will probably await Hope in her near future.

Refreshing main idea, nice variety of characters, unsparing brutality, empathizable emotions - I give the book 5 out of 5 stars :)
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This book was very well written with great story line and interesting and unforgettable  characters, I am sure Astride got as much enjoyment in writing this story as I did reading it. It was a another book I could not put down until I finished  it. Will certainly want to be reading the second book in this series.
I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review another great book.
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Well written book with interest twist and turns. Most of the idea seems very cliche and predictable at the beginning but the ending was very new and surprised me a tad.  Story about kids who align with certain greek get suck into an alternative universe where they must face trials to be name the hero. The main heroine at first seems very strong but as the story progresses she acts childish, so character consistence doesn't show growth. The romance in this book is cute if not cliche. Seems like there will be another book. Good read for someone who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series.
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It's hard to read this book and not get immediate comparisons to the superior "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief." Obviously it's different enough to not be exactly the same, but you don't want your readers reading your story and constantly comparing it to another, much more famous work. 

I had several issues with this book--among them the heroine's early and easy acceptance of being transported to Olympus ("Oh, I guess I'm in Olympus now with gods. Cool."), the framing of the world and death (the beginning makes it sound as if the gods/heroes will protect the competitors if anything happens to them, giving them ambrosia to heal severe and serious wounds; then later competitors start dying left and right. For real, gone forever type dying. Despite the fact that humans can be easily resurrected and the afterworld is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from where they are), a made up god to be the romantic love interest (when your reader is super familiar with Greek mythology, this kind of thing is very disconcerting), etc.

I also don't understand why if the importance of this competition is to find a true hero why the gods would allow murderous a-holes to compete. Greek heroes were HEROIC. They didn't sacrifice their friends to save their own skins. If they messed up, they paid for it. Kids in this competition are serious sociopaths, and you'd think that would concern the gods just a little. It doesn't. 

And obviously something bad is going on--the gods need a hero to open the portals between the human world and Olympus. And this never raises a red flag for the heroine, despite her constantly telling us how selfish and vain and malicious the gods are. 

The absolute worst thing though, and what knocked the rating of this book down from a four to a two (and had me seriously considering a one) was that the prize in this competition was one wish. One wish and the gods would grant you anything you desire. The heroine wants to heal her mother who is suffering from dementia. It's all she talks about the entire book. Then when she gets the chance to make the wish (sorry if that's a spoiler, but I think it's fairly obvious from the get-go that the heroine is going to win), she makes the absolute stupidest wish in the history of time. She doesn't save her mother. And even if she wasn't going to do that would you, I don't know, wish for world peace? An end to human suffering? No more hunger? Something that would make the world a better place given that she's now the hero of mankind? I literally groaned out loud and if this had been a paperback, I would have thrown it. And she saves one friend with her wish and I was like, "What about her other friends?" Including the one who she paid tribute to in her fashion choices? Why was his life so much more important than anyone else's? And couldn't she have wished, "I want all the competitors in this competition brought back to life and sent back to earth?" Saved everyone with one fell swoop? Or how about her sensing that the gods are up to no good and saying, "I wish that no resident of Olympus could hurt any human in any way ever again?" Thus ensuring that she could protect her mother from the god who keeps threatening to harm her? Bad, bad, bad ending. Stupidest choice ever.

This book is also obviously intended to be part of a series, so while one part ends it's left very open-ended for the series to continue. I won't be reading any of the other books as I can't get over the stupidity of the heroine's final wish.
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Olympian Challenger has a beautiful cover that will entice younger teens who love mythology and the Rick Riordan books. The story and characters felt not fully fleshed out though, and the plot was jumpy and ill-paced. The (many, many) Greek gods and heroes are introduced in a roll-call fashion; some are not described at all and others thrown suddenly into the plot, so it is difficult to keep track of who they are. This book will find a niche of readers, I think, but it won't really live up to the Percy Jackson fans' expectations.
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This book a gave me serious Percy Jackson vibes, and I honestly couldn’t be happier about it. I mean, I am a huge Percy Jackson and Greek mythology nerd, so it started off with everything in its favor. Sadly though, it didn’t quite land in the favorites bin.
So, Olympian Challenger tells the story of a girl who ends up as a contender to be the next Olympic hero, the only thing is, she ends up there by accident. As she tries to figure out a way home to her ailing mother, she is put through trials and tribulations following the stories of her mentors, the great Olympic heroes that came before her. This lot includes as Heracles, Jason, Adrienne and a handful of others. Throughout the story she struggles with her inner turmoil; to return home or to continue on.
The Pluses:
+ The Greek mythology, duh. I love all things related to Greek myths and stories. I just find them so fascinating. This book managed to blend the two worlds, ancient and modern, together relatively seamlessly, with only a few unexplained hiccups along the way.
+ The characters are wonderful. They’re so sweet and lovable and yet, they still have their realistic faults. But they’re also all so different from each other. They are completely their own people, with unique quirks and flaws.
The Minuses: 
- The beginning is very stilted and strange. The author leaves you hanging for far too long before explaining what’s happening with the main character. I had to set it down a couple time because I just couldn’t get into it.
- The flow of time in this book is very off. When I was reading it felt like weeks had gone by for the characters, when in reality it only been days. This make the whole book feel a bit unbalanced, which took away from the enjoyment of the story.
Overall, I look forward to re-reading this book when the sequel drops next year. The challengers are relatable and the gods, detestable. I enjoyed how the story was interwoven with stories/myths of the path, instead of just plunked into current-day Olympus.
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I found this book on Netgalley and thought it sounded like a good read so I grabbed it up. I haven't read a book on mythology in a very long time and I really did like the sound of this one.  It was a good story, clever, adventurous. It had a lot in it and I thought it was well written. I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped but I think it was more my mind wasn't in the right mood. I was having issues with so many books at this time. I was in a bit of a slump. So I think I would have enjoyed it more another time but even with my mind somewhere else, I still thought the book was really good and I do want to read more. 

Hope is a teenager with a lot going on in her life. Trying to get through school and taking care of her sick mother. Her days are busy and her life is full. She just wants to get through the day she is in. Everything changes when she receives a mysterious invitation. She planned on ignoring this invitation but an accident happened and she ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She now finds herself among the gods. She is told she is a descendant and they are looking for the next hero. There is a series of tests, and lessons to learn, and new friends and enemies. The only thing Hope wants to do is get back home to her sick mother. What she gets is a new outlook on her world. 

There were many things I did like about this book. I liked the main character, I liked the plot, I really enjoyed the tests. It was written well and it was really different than anything I have read in YA in quite a while. It wasn't completely unique, there are many similar stories out there, but I haven't read one in a while and it does have it's own set of differences that set it apart from the others. 

The main character was a breath of fresh air. She did have her issues and a couple of times she was a bit irritating. She was a very loyal daughter and friends. She has a very honest and innocent and caring heart. She wanted what was best for others, never herself. Sometimes her selflessness got in the way of the bigger picture. I never thought I would say this, but it's so true. Her biggest fault was she couldn't see past the obvious. She had a one track mind and it was hard for anyone to get her to take off her blinders. Other than that I really liked her. She was just good. Sometimes I need to read a book where the main character is just good. 

There were other really fun characters too. The book was full of good and bad and in between. There were so many fighting to be that last standing hero so they can get their prize. They weren't all good either. It seemed the gods didn't know what to look for in future heroes. It was fun to see though how each one ended up on Mt. Olympus and which god brought them in. 

The story was full of relationships, family, and friendship. Relationships was definitely a focal point of the story and watching the relationships form and the characters bond, well I just love this kind of thing. 

The tests were really fun too. Sometimes I felt they did get a little confusing, but again focus issues. They were interesting though and a fun way to work through the story. They were creative and they were very relative to the story. I really enjoyed this part of the story. 

I think the main issue I had with the book was the pacing. I think this wouldn't have been such a thing if my mind wasn't having issues focusing at the time, but it was. 

Really good read with a good story and great characters.
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Good start to the series.  I love mythology, especially Greek mythology so I was excited to start this read. Hope receives a cryptic invitation and by accident ends up in Mount Olympus. Once there she enters a competition to become a champion and win the prize of a single wish. Although Hope rather be at home with her mother, she realizes winning is the only thing that can help heal her mother and make her life whole again. I really enjoyed watching Hope grow and the friendships she made. I can't wait to see what is next for her and if her love story works out.
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I loved this book. I was first I was drawn in by the cover and then the description. I was a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books, so I was definitely intrigued on another story based off of Greek mythology. This was a winner! I couldn’t put it down once I started reading. I am anxiously waiting for the next one!
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I loved this book. It is well written with a great plot and characters. I was engrossed from start to finish. I can't wait to read more books by this author. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley.
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Astrid Arditi's, Olympian Challenger, is her first push into YA fiction. Olympian Challenger is the start of a forthcoming urban/mythology YA series, which was released February 2018. NetGalley provided me an ARC copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now that that's all out there, I'm going to put it bluntly, I would've read this in one day if I didn't have to work.

[meme image]
Me and this book. For real.

Olympian Challenger is the story of Hope Diaz in the middle of a potentially fatal competition to determine the next Hero of Mt. Olympus. The book starts out with every senior in NYC receiving mysterious invitations, but only a few can read the full message. Hope reads hers, but doesn't care, she's got bigger concerns. However, in a situation of wrong place wrong time, she ends up fulfilling the requirements of the invite and following another teen to Mt. Olympus. There she makes friends and enemies and as per the rules of YA falls in love.

Arditi's main character, Hope Diaz, deviates from many of YA protagonists I've read recently. She's neither too perfect nor too imperfect. As much as I love a YA series, a MarySue lead is a always a bummer. Hope Diaz is no MarySue. She's a sympathetic character, who makes a lot of efforts to put things into reasonable perspective. At times it seems like she might be a little bit too mature, but given the backstory, it still feels fitting. She also manages to grow and change based on the moments faced in the book, rather than being static.

The rest of the characters aren't as strong, everyone is pretty two dimensional, but in the same way that a lot of characters in Hunger Games also never really evolved. That's not necessarily a bad thing. The author uses generalized action moments to teach you about a character rather than long exposition, so you get the same feeling of only knowing those characters as much as Hope herself does. One things that stands out, however, is the consistency of the gods themselves. Without spoiling too much:

[Gif: Hunger Games: Greed]

Final Verdict: I love this one. It was quick paced, well structured, and had interesting points and surprises you weren't fully expecting. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series, which is coming out Fall 2018. Hoping to see this one get picked up more mainstream.
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