Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning-and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.
|Children of the Gods #1
Oppression by Jessica Therrien
As a huge fan of Greek mythology, I was excited at the opportunity of reviewing Oppression by Jessica Therrien. I will admit, however, that the synopsis had me worried. I thought it would be a bit too “Mary Jane” and just too saccharine. Thankfully, that was not the case! I think I actually read the entire thing in two sittings (only because I needed to attend class between the start and the end). The mythology aspect was great and fun and seemed pretty sound and correct. The characters were fun, and though some folks may think them too flat, you have to remember, they’re based off Greek myths. Of course love at first sight, or first touch is a possibility!
As a protagonist, Elyse can easily rub readers the wrong way. She seems too perfect almost. Yet, I loved it and found it endearing. Though, there was one part that seemed to really get to me, but I’ll talk about that later. She is sweet even though she has had a fairly foul hand dealt with her parents dying and never being able to fall in love or really make friends since she will outlive them all. Yet, for as much as Elyse tries to keep people away, she still cares — too much so — which is what makes her such a great healer. That’s right, that’s her god descended power. It’s part of the reason she’s at the center of such turmoil once she’s revealed. But, the thing I didn’t like about it, though I understand it from her point of view, is that she is willing to give it all up, her entire life and love, just to prolong a human’s life. Yes, her best friend, but still. Why? I wouldn’t. You know Anna is going to die. She is human. If she doesn’t die now, she’ll die eventually. Why waste your life on that? It seems like something she should have learned early on but hasn’t. This frustrates me, and yet, it’s what makes Elyse a great characters because she fits her role of healer perfectly. A healer, a doctor, can’t just sit back and let someone die if they can stop it.
William, her love interest, is so much fun. He’s cocky and understanding and completely in love with Elyse. I think, without the additional chapter this version (2nd edition) has at the end, I wouldn’t have understood why he loves her so much. The additional chapter shows him when he first meets Elyse and saves her life and shows just how he falls in love. But, being a descendant of Aphrodite, while Elyse’s father was a descendant of Hephaestus, it automatically made sense for me to have them fall in love. I thought it was fantastic too how Therrien sets up the later events with William knowing Elyse will do something stupid and need a back-up escape plan. The fact that she took the time to put that in the middle of the book totally justifies the ending. Without it, I would’ve been disappointed at the use of a deus ex machina escape.
The pacing of the story was fun and steady. It never got too slow, nor did it get overwhelming. I want to know more about the Council and hope in book 2 we’ll get to see more of them and the upcoming fight that will happen. Overall, I absolutely loved Oppression by Jessica Therrien and would definitely re-read it. Well, after I finish the other two (which I will review soon!) If you like the Percy Jackson series, but want a bit more grown up version, definitely pick this up!