Greek gods run amok in modern-day Hollywood in this first comic novel of a planned trilogy.
Hawthorne presents a story of mortal and immortal grown-ups behaving badly. Perhaps only in Los Angeles would Greek gods be able to mingle without mortals raising an eyebrow. There Ares has become the head of Olympic Studios, which naturally specializes in war movies; he makes sure that Violet, a former psychologist and the most beautiful woman in the world, takes a job as his assistant, and he aims to make her fall in love with him. His wife, Aphrodite, intervenes and asks her son Eros to shoot Violet with one of his arrows so she’ll fall for the dashing action-movie star Hunter Cole. Eros does so, and the usually levelheaded Violet struggles to make sense of her sudden obsession with Hunter. The plan goes awry, however, when Eros falls for Violet as well. (His cousin Hermes and studio lackey Kurt also lust after her.) Meanwhile, a beer-drinking Jesus kicks back in his Hollywood Hills home, acts as a confidante to celebrities, and occasionally helps out his buddies from the Greek Pantheon. When everyone heads to Las Vegas to film a war movie, all Hades breaks loose. Although the idea of a British narrator telling a story about ancient Greek characters in modern America may sound like a geographic mess, the result is instead a laugh-out-loud read filled with hilarious lines, such as this explanation about Jesus’ foray into online dating: “[H]is YiDate profile listed his occupation as ‘independent entertainment professional,’ a wonderfully broad description that covered everything from rodeo clowns to talking parrots. Sometimes, Jesus really loved America.” A delightful cast of characters and vivid details bring this version of Hollywood (and Olympia) to life. The book’s only real flaw is its abrupt ending, which forces readers to wait for a sequel to learn Violet’s ultimate fate.
A thoroughly entertaining novel of movie-industry titans.