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Debut YA fantasy à la Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.

The Land Above All Clouds is the homeland of the Celtic and Norse gods of old. Although they’ve outlived their worshippers, the gods of these pantheons and other long-gone civilizations still exist. Eris, the Greek goddess of chaos, breaks into the prison of the Land Above All Clouds to rescue Set, the Egyptian god of mischief. She needs his help to retrieve a powerful bracelet that allows its wearer to command legions of powerful jackal-headed warriors. The bracelet belongs to Anubis, Egyptian god of death. Anubis and his friend Amergin, aka Gin, the Celtic god of magic, are hiding in an orphanage on Earth disguised as teenage boys. With Eris and Set en route to Earth, a teenager named Kitty arrives at the girls’ orphanage across the street from where Anubis and Gin are hiding. She’s assigned to the room shared by Anna, who is really Aphrodite, and Natalie, who turns out to be Medusa. When Eris and Set arrive, Kitty is drawn into the conflict as Medusa helps Anubis and Gin fight off the intruders. But then Set captures Medusa and forces her to spy for him by threatening Aphrodite’s life. Meanwhile, Eris has come up with a plan to get around the safeguards that Anubis has placed on the bracelet. Franco wasn’t shy about borrowing ideas from various popular works ranging from the Mummy movies to Thor. She’s thrown deities from cultures all over the world together and mixed in a dash of teenage hormones for spice, but the resulting stew is rather unappetizing. Not only is the storytelling heavy-handed and the characterizations thin, but the narrative’s grasp of mythology seems to be lacking; for example, Anubis is Isis’ nephew and not her brother, and Medusa was cursed by Athena, not Aphrodite.

A nifty concept that’s not well-executed; mythology fans have better options.

Pub Date: March 17th, 2015
Page count: 203pp
Publisher: French Press Bookworks
Program: Kirkus Indie
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