Imagine what would happen in a mash-up of The X-Men, Percy Jackson, and Nicholas Flamel, with a dash of Homer just for the fun of it. Ken Mooney’s intelligent and action-packed adult novel starts with the destruction of Olympus, the home of the ancient gods; brings a vengeful Aphrodite, accompanied by blood-thirsty demons, into the 21st century; and then sets her against the descendants of those same gods. Aphrodite must kill all the descendants before she can reclaim her home at Olympus. The result: mass murder, “collateral damage,” utter destruction — starting with a NYC nightclub and ending just days later with a good portion of Greece. It reminded me of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters: “… a disaster of biblical proportions.”
Although I must point out that this book is not a comedy.
Humankind’s only hope is those descendants Aphrodite wants to wipe out, whose special powers include the ability to slow down or speed up time, perform mind melds, create force fields, and so on. Yet two, Megan and Karl, have only just discovered their heritage, and at first they’re repulsed by what it means. They’re also frustratingly slow in learning to control their powers. Will they come up to speed in time to stop the Goddess of The-Flip-Side-of-Love?
Mooney, who has a degree in English Studies from Trinity College in Dublin, tweaks the Greek gods’ family trees to build motivation and sprinkles Homeric references (including his own invocations of the Muse) and quotes from Stan Lee and James Whalen throughout. These are fun to spot, if you can look up from the story.
Godhead is the first of a series. The ending allows you to take a breath, but you can’t help thinking about all those demons on the loose, not to mention Aphrodite at the height of her power. The sequel promises to take readers for another break-neck ride through Greek mythology, running rampant through an unsuspecting world.
NB: This is an adult novel. There is graphic violence, a scene with explicit sexual content, and sometimes confusing plot and dialog.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for an independent, fair, and honest review.