Olympian Challenger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I am giving this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I went into the book not really knowing much about it to be honest. I didn't realize it had anything to do with the Greek Gods. So that was a pleasant surprise. I really loved all the different characters in this book. The relationship in this book wasn't bad. It wasn't instalove which was good. It was expected that the main character would fall in love with a God though to be honest. Just like the winner of the challenge was kinda expected as well. All in all this was a good read but nothing super special about it. I am going to give the 2nd book in the series a try and see if that one is better though.
Was this review helpful?
Do you love to dive into Greek mythology? Do you love all the scheming and betrayals and godly fights? Then be prepared to meet your next favourite book!

“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.”

Okay, what does this letter want to tell me? Where should I be at midnight? Our main character Hope does not know what to think about this strange invitation which shows up with no sender address. After all, she doesn’t have time for things like that. She has to keep her grades up and need to also take care of her mother who suffers from mental illness. There is no time for anything else.

But when Hope is trying to save a guy from drowning, she finds herself on Mount Olympus among the Gods and other kids her age and they all received the same invitation to compete in a challenge to be the next hero of the Olympian Gods.

Why have been they selected? Because they are all descendants from Greek Gods. In Hope’s case, she is descended from Asclepius, the God of Medicine.

Hope is not interested in being anyone’s hero. All she wants is to get back to earth and be with her mother. Unfortunately the only way out is to drink from the river Lethe, which means to forget everything and who you are.

"Memories are what make people who they are."

Hope decides to stay and to win, because the winner will be granted one wish by the Gods. But to be able to have a chance to win, she needs as Godly sponsor, which does not look to be an easy task for her.

"Your humanity – that is your greatest beauty."

If it would not be for Kieron, Son of Hades, who sees more in her as she does herself. Of course, he only chooses her to make a bet against his father. But quickly it turns out that he really thinks that Hope can be the hero he is waiting for, for so long.

"The world needs you more than I do."

After some time, the God of Shadows, who can use the shadows to whisper and travel through them, wins over Hope’s trust and maybe even her heart. But is it selfish of her to fall in love instead of thinking of healing her mother?

The first book in the Olympian Challenger series by Astrid Arditi takes you directly to Mount Olympus and brings Greek mythology closer to a younger audience. The book is very well written and gives you everything you can wish for. You not only get to love the characters, but you also get a little history lesson on how the Gods work. The sudden romantic interest could be a little frustrating because it seems to happen from one page to another. However, it is still a very nice read to dive into and be taken away from your day-to-day routine. And the best thing is, Hope and her adventures will return!
Was this review helpful?
I'm a huge fan of mythology, especially Greek myths. This was a different take on it and a very interesting one at that. I'm curious to see where the rest of the series takes Hope.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars. Percy Jackson meets The Hunger Games. Strong female protagonist/reluctant hero. Lots of action. Sets up for a sequel out later this fall. I was pleasantly surprised by how this hooked and kept my attention. When I set it down, I was always eager to get back to it as soon as possible. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
A book written by Ms. Arditi brought something fresh to Greek mythology and trials topic, something that gave me a read that I was captivated by!
Hope is a type of girl that should be put more often in the YA books (or maybe not - so we would cherish that kind of characters like Hope a little less). The plot was intriguing, heck... it kept me captive till the end! BOOK 2 WILL have such big expectations from me, and I hope so much it will be meet.
If you like mythology, great heroine, intriguing ideas, and TRIALS!
Was this review helpful?
This was so amazing, brilliant, fantastic. If you like Greek gods and a heroine fighting for what she believes in this is a book you HAVE to read. It was impossible to put down and if I hadn’t have to sleep I would have read it in one sitting. I liked Hope, even if she can be a little too good sometimes. She loves her mom and would do anything to save her and when she learns that the Gods will grant her one wish, when winning the tournament, she knows she has to give it her best - for her mom. The Gods.... Well, not really likeable. It was more like I hated them a little more with every chapter I read. And the grand prize in being hated, takes Hades. Unsurprisingly, he is the one I wanted to kill myself. Or maybe trap him in the hell he creates for the bad guys to repent for their sins. The only ray of hope between the gods and divinities is Kieron, son of Hades and Persephone. I can see, why Hope would be attracted to him, it’s hard not to swoon. So, there is a lot of heartache, death and emotions going on and I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun in revealing more. But I urge everyone, READ THIS BOOK! Now I have to wait for the next one and it’s going to be really hard.
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Astrid Arditi!
Was this review helpful?
As a fan of Greek mythology, I was drawn to Olympian Challenger (along with it's pretty cover art) by Astrid Arditi.  The book launches almost straight in with Hope, and every other seventeen-year old in New York, being invited to a mysterious challenge.  The challenge turns out to be a Hunger Games-style competition to see who will become the next Hero to fight on behalf of the gods.  One could enjoy this book for the retelling of many classic Greek myths, but there were also many flaws.

What I Liked:
Greek Mythology:

I enjoyed how the author wove various Greek myths into the story.  Each challenge is centered around a particular Greek myth. This gives the characters an opportunity to learn about each Greek story, and find a way to win the challenge.

What I Didn't Like:
"Missing Parent" Syndrome:

If you have read some of my other reviews, one of my most hated tropes is the "missing parent".  This book takes that trope to the extreme by making ALL the teen characters without at least one parent!  The book's explanation is that having the blood of Greek Gods makes people go insane.  I thought this was exploiting a painful situation for a teen to make it seem like some kind of badge of honor.  It's not.

Romance:

Hope is instantly drawn to a "bad boy" minor god, the son of (who else) Hades.  He "used to be bad", but he's changed and is now a great guy.  But he is haunted by his past.  This was such a cliche!

Lack of Originality:

Much of the book reminded me of The Hunger Games.  There was the competition where, after   learning about weapons, the challengers had to showcase their talents in order to attract "sponsors".  The competition, itself, seemed to be happening mostly for the entertainment of the gods, and residents of Panem, oops, I mean Olympus.  And most of the competitors die in gruesome ways.

And, until the very end of the book, Hope and the other teens don't seem very concerned or upset that other kids are getting killed as entertainment.  I found that very disturbing.

Characters:  

Most of the characters were two-dimensional, each having just one distinguishing feature.  There was the angry foster kid, the handsome, but evil, jock, and the one gay character.  All were mostly stereotypes.
Was this review helpful?
I haven't come across a book that spotlighted the Greek gods since Percy Jackson came out, and considering that I'm a huge fan of mythologies, I found this tread really entertaining. I also love competition books with a hint of romance and a lot of danger. Hope is amusing, funny even in dire times, and I liked her friends and the thing she had with one of the other characters. The hopeless romantic in me wanted something a little deeper (or at least given more time to really sink into it) but this book isn't necessary a romance read, so I won't judge it too critically. Overall, it was a lot of fun. The bigger picture is pretty dark, which I loved, and though I didn't get her initial reluctance to be a part of this world, I still thought it was a good time. It's a recommended read if you love the Greek gods, competitions and heroes who learn that not everything is black and white.
Was this review helpful?
I was provided this book for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi is a Teen/YA novel and the first book in the series.
Wow! I loved this! Hope Diaz is a hardworking teenager who is juggling schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and caring for her sick mother.  One morning she receives a strange invitation in the mail with words appearing on it that only she can see and a challenge that should she accept and win would allow her one wish. Hope doesn’t quite know if she should believe this mysterious invite but is intrigued as this one wish could be the answer to curing her mother. Unintentionally, Hope passes the first challenge presented on the invite and gets whisked away to Mount Olympus where she discovers that Greek Gods and all the myths she’s heard of are in fact real and she is now a contestant, along with a bunch of other kids her age, in a competition put on by the Gods. Hope and the other teens must face terrible trials and challenges to reveal the one winner. Full of action, twists, toooons of mythology(Love it!), and a bit of romance, I enjoyed watching Hopes growth throughout the book and her budding friendships with fellow contestants. 
I would definitely recommend this book to my fellow lovers of YA and mythology and I can’t wait for the second book to come out!!
Was this review helpful?
DNF at chapter 5. 

Honestly? This book just didn't click with me. It felt as though it was trying to be something it wasn't. Someone else could love this book and be obsessed, it has the potential. I just didn't vibe with it and I'm not going to force myself to read something I don't like.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a rather easy read. I finished it in less than 4 hours. The cover is what attracted me most, especially the title. I tend to get interested in stories that have a Greek/Roman mythology theme to it. The most interesting parts of the book were, of course, the Gods and heroes themselves and their stories as to how they all ended up where they are when the reader begins the journey of Hope Diaz. If one is familiar with Greek mythology, there should be plenty of familiarity with the actions and inactions of these Gods, demi-gods, and heroes, such as Heracles or Ariadne. 

Set in modern times, the divide between the Gods and humans have caused strife due to a barrier separating their worlds. Hope Diaz is just one of many random New Yorkers, all the age of 17, to be selected to compete for a single wish and to help get rid of the divide as the newest Olympian hero. The competitions the champions are chosen to do all relate to the Gods and heroes in some way. Hope Diaz, the main girl of the novel and unwilling contender, has a selfless love for all those she befriends and helps out throughout the story. This selflessness gets her into more trouble than it would normal people. She sacrifices much of herself for the sake of others, especially her closest friends, which is explained in detail in the novel, and it often causes more trouble for her than would be necessary should she have been more selfish. At times, however, it won her the attention of both allies and enemies alike. I found it rather hard to believe anyone could be that selfless for a stranger, even those that one must fight in the end, but it is fiction! 

The novel was rather decent (the Gods and heroes were the most interesting part to be honest) up until a little more than halfway when the romance started with Hope Diaz. I feel that the novel as a whole could have done quite well with just a platonic relationship for Hope. The romance seemed quite rushed and made Hope no longer seem as a 17 year old, but a 13 year old who is worried that the boy she likes won't like her and that she must do everything to win his heart and think about him at all times. I would have really liked a more build of their friendship to relationship. It would have transitioned more smoothly and could have been solidified in the next book of the series. 

Overall, the novel had concise language and grammar. The imagery was spot on; I could just imagine myself in the Gods' palaces and the forest where many of the trials took place, battling monsters or looking for answers. The only thing that I feel that the author could improve on is doing more to establish and have more interaction in the relationships between characters, platonic or romantic, in order to get the reader to feel a kinship of sorts with the characters themselves. I could not feel close to Hope nor any of her other friends or enemies, and I found that to be the greatest pity of my reading experience.
Was this review helpful?
What is it about?

Every high school senior in New York receives an invitation, but only a few can actually read the riddle written on it. Hope is one of these special people, and ends up dragged to Mount Olympus to compete in a tournament to become the next great Greek hero. 

Was it good?

I enjoyed the study of mythology in school, and was always fascinated by the stories. I've forgotten a lot of the information since then, so I was hoping this book would include some of the mythology behind the gods. I was disappointed that this book glossed over that goldmine of story telling. 

Also, I thought the characters seemed flat and their relationships were not believable. All the friendships and love seemed instant, and the love one did not speak to a healthy future relationship. 

Still, the book WAS interesting, and it was a quick and easy read. If you like competition, finding strength in love, Greek gods and monsters, then this might be the book for you.
Was this review helpful?
I love greek mythology that is why I requested the book.
I thought the plot was interesting and entertaining but unfortunately I didn't like any of the characters.
They all seemed flat and had no real personality. I also didn't like that Hades is portrayed as evil because that is not the case in the original mythology.
Was this review helpful?
i really liked this book. It was a great mix of urban and fantasy, and a nice touch of mythology. I really enjoyed the romance aspects, as well as the world building and strong series opener. The characters were strong and likeable, a solid read.
Was this review helpful?
”Your humanity- that is your greatest beauty.” 

Hope Diaz is living a busy and somewhat difficult life. She’s on the swim team at school, her father left, and her mother has Alzheimer’s. And then one day, she and a bunch of other students (in the US? All over the world?) receive mysterious letters to prove their bravery in order to be granted a wish. She accidentally meets the requirements and finds herself in Olympus competing in a competition in order to grant a wish, a wish that could save her mother’s life. 

Olympian Challenger had a decent set up to become a pretty good book. There was a competition, Greek mythology, a fictional (or not?) location, and an opportunity to make a point about humanity. But where it failed in becoming a great, or even a good book was with the characters and the writing. 

All of the characters were flat and not very well-rounded. The main character especially got on my nerves constantly saying how selfish she was when she LITERALLY did nothing wrong. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a character with no real flaws. But something that REALLY got to me was that one of the characters identified as LGBTQ+ and his main purpose in the book seemed to be proving how kind the main character was. Majority of the dialogue that came out of his mouth were insecure thoughts in front of the main character so she could then say “Why would you think like that? You’re PERFECT.” 8.) But did she ever mention her insecurities? No. 

Also, the writing felt very juvenile. From the way the sentences were worded, to the way the characters talked and sometimes acted. Everything felt very young. 

The quests/challenges were very interesting to read and creative. I think if there had been more challenges and less of the main character talking/thinking this would have been better. Although, there weren’t any real twists, which also kept it kind of dull. 

Do I recommend? 
This would maybe be suited better to a young young adult. Maybe someone 12-15 would enjoy this a lot more and find it cute.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this for a fair and honest review. I had a few worries when I started reading this. I was not sure how it would turn out and them getting the news that they got was not what I thought would happen, but them being sponsored by Olympian Gods or Goddesses. There are a lot of trials and challenges that they have to go through. They are given a limited time to train and try to impression the gods to help them along the way. The winner and hero will be granted a wish. They are wishing for something they believe will make their lives better. I want to see what is going to happen next. I wish the Greek Mythology for the story would have been a little more in-depth. It was a good read over all.
Was this review helpful?
— I recieved a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review —
Reminiscent of the Percy Jackson series, this is a very fun, quick read. Hope Diaz accidentally ends up on Mount Olympus, forced to compete to become the next great olympian hero. She is determined to return home to her mother with dementia, but eventually has to accept that she cannot move backwards, only forwards.
While the story has a wonderful premise, I did feel that it was rather predictable and full of clichés. I don’t think there was any moment in the book where I was truly surprised. I also felt that the characters were rather one-dimensional. But nevertheless, this was a fun read!
Was this review helpful?
The Hunger Games with a Greek myth twist. Challengers must survive trials to gain a wish from the gods and the potential to be a hero. Hope is no Katniss, but this is still a fun, enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
I’m a huge Greek Mythology fan, so the second I found this book on Netgalley, I just had to get it.
It all starts when Hope Diaz, who lives with her mother who suffers from dementia, receives a mysterious invitation, just like every other seventeen year-old in New York City. Then she’s transported to Mount Olympus with a bunch of other teenagers. They’re expected to train and compete in a tournament. The winner will be granted one wish by the gods, and will be their hero.
To be honest it was a bit slow-paced for my taste. The first 100 or so were boring and very slow. Everything was too detailed, which at first was good for the world building, but after a while it started to get really boring.
The plot and the story though, were really interesting. The plot was a bit expected, but the little things that actually lead to the plot were somehow surprising. I really enjoyed reading about the quests the competitors had to do, and I really loved how they were related to the major stories of the heroes in mythology.
The writing was easy to get and humorous, not at all complicated. But where it succeeded with the sarcastic, humorous parts, it failed to describe the intensity of the dramatic, dark parts. It failed to capture my emotions, which failed to make me feel much toward the characters. And I think the romance was rushed and flat.
The characters acted really immature most of the time. There wasn’t much character development, aside from Gabriel maybe. However, I did like how the competitors came from different backgrounds, yet they managed to form friendships and alliances. I also liked the friendships formed between some of the heroes and the competitors.
The thing that really annoyed me most was the ending. It was so sudden that it felt like something major was missing, like a chapter was missing or something.
Overall, it was an easy and fun read. The plot was really interesting, but poorly executed. And despite the ending, I’m looking forward to see what happens in the next book. I really hope there’s more character development.
Was this review helpful?
Olympian Challenger was an easy, laid-back read. It had both good and, well, not so good layers to it. As a big fan of mythology, especially Greek mythology, I have been really excited to read this. The world is well set and the descriptions are quite lovely, leaving the reader trapped in the Elysian Fields or in the mighty forest. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the challenges set for our competitors, and the emotions that came flooding with them.

However, I feel like the characters weren’t written well enough, compared to the setting and the other descriptions. They were quite bland and although there is some feel of personal growth, there wasn’t enough of it. The thing that really irritated me were the names, too - it is easy to spot the main character merely by her name - Hope - while the other characters have completely ordinary names like Amy or Joan.

I would also like to point out that while the beginning of the book is quite good, towards the end it feels a bit rushed. The first half of the book focuses mainly of the mysterious invitations, how Hope came onto the Mount Olymp and how she deals with her mothers dementia and herself disappearing, the other half consists of the challenges the contestants are forced to take so they can rule out the next hero of Olymp. The first three contests are well-written and quite thrilling, but the others take less and less descriptive routes and are merely an addition to the book and it doesn’t feel like these are the things that will determine who the winner is. I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed, too.

Overall, I think the book is perfect if you just want to relax over a nice cup of tea and observe a romance that quickly builds through the book, and a fight a selfless teenage girl takes to cure her mother.
Was this review helpful?