Review: Athena the Brain {Goddess Girls Book 1}

19 Mar

 

GoddessGirlsAthenaTheBrainCover

Athena the Brain, a 2010 chapter book, attempts to transport the immortal characters of Greek mythology into the context of modern adolescent high school culture. While such a ‘mashup’ has become commonplace in literature, the premise is done with wit and caution. Though this book ultimately fails because it relies too heavily on its ingenious gimmicks. Think of it as The Flintstones with all of the household accessories in the forms of prehistoric creatures, but without the heart and soul of its characters. The issue stems with the choice of medium as the characters often behave like those in Young Adult (ages 8-12) but the story is crammed into the confines of a chapter book (ages 4-8). This renders it an accessible and enjoyable read for middle and high schoolers reading below grade level. With Athena the Brain, the first in the Goddess Girls series, there is room to grow but since each book is from the point of view of one of Mount Olympus Academy’s students, it’s doubtful that each character will enjoy the development they deserve.

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams show promise in their ‘ideas,’ they just need to choose the right format in which to flush out their characters. Hopefully they are able to pitch this as a series, as it would work well on a network such as the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon.

This book earns *** for its ‘special effects,’ but due to a lack of relating to the inner struggles of the eponymous Athena it’s difficult to bolt through the pages with care or excitement.

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