Olympian Challenger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I picked up this book because it reminded me a lot of Percy Jackson, which is a series that I hold near and dear to my heart. I was not disappointed by this book. It really was a fresh take on Greek mythology, demigods, and Mount Olympus. Hope was an interesting main character, with an even more interesting love life. This book wasn't ridiculously predictable, and I enjoyed it a lot. Some of the characters were a bit cliche, but it wasn't something that really bothered me.
Was this review helpful?
I love this book because I am a fan of Greek mythology. The plot of the story looks interesting and the writing is very good. The cover of this book is beautiful. The story reminds me of Percy Jackson series. I can't wait to read the next story. You should read this book if you love Greek mythology stories.
Was this review helpful?
I went to bed thinking about this book and woke up thinking about it. I’m still thinking about it throughout the day. It has captivated my mind. Probably my favorite fantasy read of the year so far. I’m in love with everything about this.

This was fast paced to me. I never got bored. I put this book down a couple of times but was trying to rush to get back to it. I was so intrigued with this world. The details the author gave made my imagination picture everything perfectly. From the places to the challenges to the way the characters looked. Mount Olympus was a world I want to go back and visit. This is my first experience reading about Greek mythology. I’ve never read Percy Jackson. Shame on me. The author gave the backstories for so many of the gods and heroes that I just want to keep learning more.

The best part to me were the characters. I did not have a problem connecting with them. It was quite easy to become attached to many of them. Hope, the protagonist, was one of the most selfless characters ever. Honestly, she has a heart of gold. She took the heroic route every time.

But my favorite was KIERON. OH MY GOSH ANOTHER BOY THAT HAS TOOK MY HEART. He is simply amazing, everything. Bad boy with a tormented heart with a hint of goodness in him. May I add that he is Hades son. I mean come on. Just my type of fictional guy. Really no words can describe my love for him or how amazing his character is.

I need the second book ASAP because I am dying. I want more Kieron please.
Was this review helpful?
I started reading this book believing that it would be a nice retelling of Greek mythology and for that I was super excited, being Greek myself.

Still, I didn't manage to connect with the characters, nor with the general writing style of the author. Yes, the premise seemed quite interesting but it was due to the writing that I didn't manage to get into it. Also, the fact that ideas like that have been introduced many years ago in different books make the plot twists and the unfolding of the plot in general quite expected and predictable, which ultimately makes the book to seem boring the least.

Overall, this book felt like one of the many books that have been published before, with nothing really unique or special to show.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Was this review helpful?
*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I loved this book! I'm a big fan of Greek Mythology and love stories that incorporate and of the gods or myths in their stories. The way the gods and Olympus is incorporated in this series is very unique and creative and I enjoyed it very much. This story felt like a mix of Hunger Games and Percy Jackson, so if you are a fan of either, I would definitely recommend this series. 

The main character, Hope, is a very interesting character and although some of her reactions kinda made me roll my eyes, I felt she stayed true to herself and had very good growth. I also loved Kieron, although he sort of seemed the dark brooding type that is typical, but his powers and backstory was interesting enough to make me fall in love with him. 

The action and description in this series was done very well. There was always something gin on which made the book hard to put down. I read it in only two days and almost couldn't go to sleep until I learned what happened next. The only problem I had with the book is how Hades was portrayed. That is a personal opinion and not something I would ever base my rating on, but I just wanted to point out that darkness and death doesn't mean evil... A lot of people believe that and it gets old very quick. The author made the gods her own, and I really enjoyed that and hope that my followers check out the book and read it too!
Was this review helpful?
I ended up aging to DNF this book. I love Greek Mythology and have read all of Rick Riordan’s mythology based books, so I really thought that I would enjoy this. Unfortunately, I just could not get into the story. It did not seem I trusting once I got into it and I didn’t really care about any of the characters. The synopsis sounded very intriguing, but despite that and the beautiful cover, it was not for me.
Was this review helpful?
Olympian Challenger
New favorite book! This book was so much better than I expected. I can't put it to words. Hope, a teenage girl struggling with helping her mentally-ill mother, gets transported to Mount Olympus to compete against 13 other teenagers in a daring competition. Winner becomes a hero and gets their wish granted. Hope is not your typical aggressive fighter, but don't let that fool you. She will make your eyes pop every once in a while. As for the book itself... Wow! Greek Gods. Minotaur. Furies. Sirens. Magic. Unexpected romance. This is not your typical book. This is definitely a must read. I highly recommend it. I promise you'll love it.
Was this review helpful?
*I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.*
Books centered around mythology, Greek Mythology mostly, are some of my favorites. Mythology has always been one of my favorite things to learn about, so finding new fiction books based on it always draws me in. 
I liked the new idea behind this book. The competition to become a new human hero is something that I don't think I've seen in mythological fiction. 
The plot was pretty strong. I liked the character development as well. It wasn't very noticeable and I think the main character still needs to work on herself a little bit, but there was enough development to show how the competition and her new friendships had helped her grow. The relationship added in there wasn't very surprising at all. It was one of those things that I could tell, from the moment she spotted him in the beginning (don't want to give too much away), I knew that some sort of relationship would happen between them.
The twist at the end though, not expected. And that cliffhanger....I think I lost part of my soul for a second. 
I for sure can't wait to read the next book!
Was this review helpful?
Reminiscent of Percy Jackson and the Hunger Games, this book is sure to be a hit! Written in the style of current YA best-sellers, it is an easy and fun read that is likely to be popular. As a fan of Greek Mythology I can say that it is very fun and, with the crazy plot in the background, who wouldn't love it?!
Was this review helpful?
“If your heart is true, And your soul heroic, Dare to face your fears, And your most precious wish will be granted.”  

The Olympian Challenger is an action packed coming of age tale in which the main character Hope Diaz and a group of high school seniors find themselves in an impossible situation. Descended from the Olympian gods and transported to Mt. Olympus where they now must battle to survive the ultimate test. As she fights to stay alive and complete her quests, Hope must wade through the gods secrets to uncover the truth about herself and her past, defy all the odds and attempt to save both those she cares about and those she is not so fond of. The pages feature a story filled with a fantastical blend of the modern world, ancient mythology, heroism & courage and a forbidden romance – Think a modern-day Homeric epic with a female lead. 

For a long time, I have been searching for a Greek Mythology themed book to fill the hole that the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan has left in my life and this is it! While I found the story started off a little slow in the beginning it really gained pace towards the end. I did feel the world-building could have been fleshed out a little more. But ultimately, I loved the characters and I found I was unable to put the book down. I ended up reading it in one sitting and now find myself desperately awaiting the second installment in the trilogy.
Was this review helpful?
This book should have been a perfect fit for me. It’s basically Percy Jackson meets the Hunger Games, with a female protagonist to boot. But it ended up seeming mostly silly to be honest.

I went into this obviously knowing I was going to have to suspend my disbelief for this story, seeing as it’s about a 17 year old girl who goes to Mount Olympus to compete in a contest for the Greek Olympians gods. On the one hand, when it came time for the contest, the challenges themselves seemed actually easy to figure out and win. Like literally anyone off the street could figure out what to do for these tasks, what makes these “Challengers” so special? They barely needed to prepare for them. The author seemed to force these tasks to be harder by making some random character suddenly relevant and then have them consequently throw a huge wrench in Hope’s plan.

But on the other hand, while the big challenges themselves were very underwhelming, everything else about this book was grander than it needed to be. The insta-love story was just nauseating and WAY too forced. One of the worst insta-love cases I’ve ever read, yikes. Hope’s friendship with Gabriel also happened way too fast and easily. They would actually die for each other after knowing each other for like a day and a half… smh. The god Hades was like a caricature of the Hades most people envision: brooding, evil, dark, plotting, blah blah blah. To the point where he tell his son that he will “fuck whoever I tell you to fuck.” ...wtf? There has been basically no cursing in the rest of this book, so this is SUPER out of place. I’m pretty sure Hades only delivers this line to make him seem more mean.

And the writing itself was unfortunately cringe-worthy. The characters did not talk like 17 year olds; the words they used, like “nor” and “shall” were way too and out of place. It’s like the author was trying to make the book better by sing more “formal” words than necessary.

He characters basically had one major trait, and then that was it. Hope’s roommate Amy for example is standoffish and a snarky tomboy. She doesn’t do anything but be a snarky tomboy. Kiernon is dark and mysterious, and all he does is talk about how bad he is for Hope and how he can’t tell her things about himself because then she’ll see how wrong he is for her. And Hope herself doesn’t have much personality either. She just does good because she wants everyone to know that doing the right thing is… right.

Also for being the heroine in this book, to the point of being a savior for Mount Olympus, Hope’s major heroic acts are honestly kind of lackluster. For example she calls on another minor god to help a drowning ship, but she’s seen as the hero who saved them… what?

I mean, I finished the book though, so I can’t give it one star. I save one star ratings for books I DNF. So I’m giving it no more than 2 stars. That one extra star is for having references to Greek mythology. And for the fact that Gabriel exists.
Was this review helpful?
I stepped out of my fantasy comfort zone for this one! I haven't read a lot of greek mythology books, but after reading this synopsis, I was sucked in. However, it took me a while to get through this book. I didn't feel a deep connection to the characters, and the love story sort of fell flat for me. This is a first of a trilogy I believe, but I'm not sure if I will read on with this one. Thank you for NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
Was this review helpful?
Greek mythology stories have the potential to be my absolute favourites, IF they are done right.

Unfortunately, this book just didn’t meet my expectations. There was no chemistry between characters, the story felt lacking and I found my mind wondering throughout readying this book.
Was this review helpful?
Title:   Olympian Challenger
Author:   Astrid Arditi
Genre:   YA, fantasy
Rating:   3.5 out of 5

Hope Diaz lives in New York City. She spends her time swimming, studying, and caring for her mother, who has dementia. She doesn’t have time for parties, so when she receives a mysterious invitation to one, she doesn’t really care. It seems like every other senior in the city got one, so it can’t be all that special. Until she realizes that everyone else can only see a single sentence on the invitation...and she sees more.

Soon, Hope finds herself on Mount Olympus, a guest of the gods, as she and other challengers prepare for a competition that will grant them their greatest wish. Hope doesn’t want immortality. She just wants to go home and take care of her mother.

But leaving Olympus isn’t an option and Hope soon finds out that not everything—or everyone—is as it seems.
Olympian Challenger isn’t a completely unique concept. I’ve seen lots of comparisons to Percy Jackson and Hunger Games. Sure, there are similarities. It’s difficult to write anything that has nothing in common with any other book ever written. But Olympian Challenger is its own story.

Hope is an interesting character, and the friendships she forges on Olympus are intriguing and inspiring. I enjoyed seeing the gods and the heroes through her less-than-impressed eyes. While the plot lags in places and does skimp on details at times, the writing is solid, and I’m interested in reading the second book.

Astrid Arditi lives and writes in Brooklyn. Olympian Challenger is her newest novel.

(Galley provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Was this review helpful?
This book was very addicting, I just had to find out what happened next! Easily one of the best stories I've read in a long time. I loved all of the characters except for Heath and Jessica, and I don't think you are supposed to like them either. Some of my favorite characters included Hope, Gabriel, Amy, and Lily. Lily wasn't in the book beyond the first chapter or so, but she had so much potential. I hope we get to learn more about her in the second book. (Yes, there is a second book which I will definitely read once it comes out!) The main romantic relationship of the book was between Hope and Kieron. I still am trying to figure out if he really does care for her or if he is just using her to get back at his father and the other Olympian Gods. He claims to not like any of them, but if so why not use his secret power sooner? The book did end on a small cliffhanger and Olympian Heritage (book two) doesn't come out until September 29th, 2018. I will be eagerly waiting until then.
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge nerd for mythology, especially if it is Greek mythology. And this sounded very intriguing as well. And I did enjoy it. I basically read until my eyes refused to stay open for another second. I really liked how the writing style worked with the fast-paced, action filled plot. On the other hand, the speed of which the story pushed forward, made it hard to get deeper into anything.
While the reader gets to see a lot of Greek gods and heroes and the challenges they have in store for the contestants, we don’t get to see much of the contestants. Yeah, there is Hope with her friends Amy and Gabriel. But apart from them, minor characters appear and disappear and you just think „wait? who was this? What did they do?“ There is definitely not enough time to explore the characters. And there is also not much time for character growth. As far as I could see, none of the characters changed much. Some probably became meaner, but Hope stays the way she is. And to be honest, she is kind of a Mary Sue, which annoyed me at some parts. Because she never looses and if she does, it’s because she has done something brave and selfless and everyone loves her anyways. And while she tries to escape in the beginning, only thinking baout how to safe her mother from illness, Hope never really thinks about how she could actually help her. Though if she wins, she has a free wish from the gods.

Anyways. I think the characters really had potential, but the outcome could have been better. As well as the lovestory. While it wasn’t insta-love exactly, everything went pretty fast. Like, way too fast. The story’s time span are only a few days and in those days, Hope gets to know him and as soon as they kiss they both go „I love you“ and… no. Please. I know that there are people you bond with immediately, but you can’t just fall in love right after declaring you’ve never loved before in all of your hundreds and hundreds years of living. The whole thing felt off somehow, and I wish it would have been slower, like, over the course of several books maybe.

Those were my main issues with the book. I enjoyed it nevertheless. The whole concept was really keeping my interest and even though I did not get attached to the characters, I still wanted to know what was going to happen next. And now that I’ve finished, I still want to know how the story continues. So I guess I’ll be reading book 2 as well.

And what I haven’t said yet… I love the cover! It’s gorgeous!
Was this review helpful?
About the Book: A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.
Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers – the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…
As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer – the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach… but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

# of Pages: 350

Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult

Age Range: 14+ (Some violence, not much detail though)

Favorite Quote(s)
“Mortal values such as love, respect and generosity are a hero’s most precious weapon.”

“Forget about the fall and focus on the ride. When you believe in yourself, you can do anything.”

“If I ever needed to pick a place to hide, I would seek refuge inside a book.”

“We as humans are the sum of our love, our fears, and our memories.”


Okay, I know that’s a lot of favorite quotes, but I honestly couldn’t pick just one. This book was so good, guys! I had pretty high hopes for this one since it’s Greek mythology in the modern world (and if you didn’t already know, I’m a huge Percy Jackson fan) and this book definitely did not disappoint! I would honestly love for this book to become a movie or tv show. It’s written in a way that I actually felt like I was watching it instead of just reading it and I love when that happens!

I really liked how they addressed dementia in this book. My grandmother has Alzheimer’s and I’ve never found a book that addressed anything like this before. As someone who knows what it’s like to have to watch someone they’re close to go through something like this, I believe the effect that it has on the people themselves as well as their loved ones was very well portrayed.

It was a lot of fun kind of comparing how a book that I love describes and portrays the Greek myths with how this one does, and even though there were differences, I enjoyed this portrayal just as much as any others that I’ve read! One of the things that I really liked about this book was that the author made sure to use the name Heracles instead of Hercules. Even though he’s almost always known as Hercules, that’s actually his Roman name and Heracles was first, which I think is a really interesting little fact. (Yes, I’m a major mythology nerd. 😂) I also feel like if I were ever in the challengers’ position, I would at least have an advantage in the knowledge part of it and wouldn’t have to do much research… Fighting on the other hand… I can shoot a bow? I can hit a target at least? 😂 (Also, speaking of bows, can I have Hope’s, please? It sounds gorgeous! 😍)

I absolutely love when characters have a love for books! Ariadne was great in this book because of that, and I loved Hope’s reaction to the library when she sees it for the first time! Honestly, that would be my exact thought process if that had been me. 😂

Honestly, there wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t like… Though, if Heath counts, I feel like he was the Cato (as in Hunger Games) of the competition… An absolute jerk until the very end of his story. He was still a great character with an important role in the story, though!

One thing that I will say I had a hard time getting into was the romance… I really like both of the characters, but I had a hard time with the idea of them being together. Yes, they’re sweet, but I don’t think I would have minded whether they ended up together or not. I would have felt sorry for Hope, but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken myself if their story had gone differently. This book actually could have gone without romance between this couple entirely and I think it would have been just as amazing! I loved the friendships that were made in this book so much! Hope’s relationship with each of the heroes as well as with Amy and Gabriel were great and I love the support (and teasing) that went on between them all! Also, I absolutely love the Pythia. 😂 She’s a sassy little old lady and I love it so much. 😂

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next one to come out! If you enjoy mythology or just fantasy in general, I highly recommend checking this one out!
Was this review helpful?
I had high hopes for this book and I still give it a solid 3 stars, but as far as it going into greek mythology and that kind of fantasy world aspect, it was not what I was expecting. It was more of an adventure quest novel than developing this fantasy world with the Greek mythology. There was a romance added to the mix which happened quickly and severely that it threw me off a bit. I do love a good romance, but again there was little substance to it. Depending on where the next in series takes this quest there is outlines of good lgbtq representation, but needs to be explored a bit more and handled carefully. Overall it was an enjoyable read just not exactly what I was expecting from the synopsis.
Was this review helpful?
I can't wait to see this series develop. There are many comparisons to Hunger Games, and I would agree, to an extent. It certainly wasn't as dark or ruthlessly cutthroat, but full of intrigue. Mythological deities were fleshed out and enthralling. I did feel that the romance element was appropriately teased out and developed gradually, until the end of the book where it suddenly fell into hard and fast territory. However, the friendships, alliances and assembly of ancestral powers made this interesting and binge-worthy. This is fitting for fans of fantasy and Greek mythology.
Was this review helpful?
Such a fun book! This did remind me of The Hunger Games though.  I really loved reading Greek mythology as a child and this story takes place on Mount Olympus.  Teens in New York City receive mysterious invitations.  Some become able to read the writing on the invitation while others cannot see it at all.  Those who can read it are forbidden to disclose what the invitation says.  Hope Diaz is one of the few who are transported to Mount Olympus and involved in a challenge of quests for a hero put on by the Greek Gods themselves - the myths are real!  A fun adventure as you follow the teens' quests for a winner.

Thanks to Astrid Arditia through Netgalley for an advance copy.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next book in this trilogy.
Was this review helpful?