Summary: 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.
Olympian Challenger is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.
Review: 3 stars
Honestly, I was a little weary starting this one out, because I just read The Goddess Test and he sounded very similar. I didn’t want to do nothing but compare the two in my mind the whole time I read this one. But the more I heard friends of mine enjoying it, the more I thought that I should give this one a shot. Some of the similarities were possibly impossible to ignore them. Both books are about Greek mythology, both involve some sort of test , both main characters participate because they’re trying to say there’s like mothers and both main characters jump into rivers trying to save someone. But after hope is brought to Mount Olympus for the challenges, the similarities between the two books end.
Both the plot and pacing of this novel are really good, the book kept moving forward with all the challenges while Hope battle through. I really enjoyed all the Greek gods included throughout the book and how the challenges related to some of the major stories of heroes in mythology.
The characters were kind of immature at times. There was something about the writing that failed to convey the intensity of the super dramatic moments. The writing failed to capture my emotions, so some of these moments fell flat and felt anti-climactic. I didn’t feel the romance at all. The buildup just didn’t work for me and at one point Kieron started to act completely differently from the character that he was developed to be. It was insta-love and it did not feel authentic at all.
The plot and ideas were all really good, but the execution wasn’t great. Without invoking any feelings for the characters some of the points that were supposed to feel like big moments didn’t. It was a cool story and full of mythology that made this a good retelling, but something just felt like it was lacking. I did thoroughly enjoy following the story though, so I would pick up a sequel or continue with Astrid Arditi’s writing.