Newly released Storm of the Gods by Canadian author A.R.Braun! I’m happy to have been given an advanced review copy from Xpresso Book Tours and here is my opinion on this new urban fantasy set in a California filled with newly awakened Greek gods, human scions, and mythological creatures.

Storm of the Gods
Amy Braun
(An Areios Brothers Novel)
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Welcome to modern day California! Only, this isn’t the California you know. Thirty years ago the Greek Gods reawakened from their two thousand year hibernation after battling the Titans… and they didn’t like that the humans had all but forgotten them, turning them into stories for children. So they each seized control a region of California, their own districts to govern as they saw fit.

Derek Aerios and his blood-bonded brother Liam are scions of Ares, the God of War. They have never known a world where the gods didn’t exist. Their magic, the ability to generate and control fire, is a small fraction of that of their patron god, but it has made them formidable War Scions. Their job is to do Ares bidding and, although they don’t like the violent, immoral god, they serve him well…until they’re attacked by the scions of four other gods while on a routine mission; scions who are looking for something called The Heart of the Devourer. Suddenly Derek and Liam’s lives are turned inside out as they’re pulled into a struggle for the fate of all humanity. They must stop the rebirth of the Titans, even if it means challenging the gods themselves.

Storm of the Gods is an entertaining story of what it might be like to have gods living among us. Not the friendly gods of our childhood stories, mind you, but the actual Greek Gods with all their immoral power games and lack of concern for human existence. The story has magical humans, violent action, romance, overpowered Gods, and a mystery that could spell the end of humanity.

Seeing such a world fleshed out was incredibly entertaining, as we are treated to the districts of Athena, Apollo, and Aphrodite. Strangely, we saw little of Ares district, except from the inside of what seemed like the central headquarters of a police state that would make the Nazi Gestapo blush. The gods themselves, the few we meet, act in very believable manners as overpowered avatars of the natural aspect or trait(s) they represent. And, of course, they have little patience for the interests of humans.

The human scions, heirs and embodiments of the gods they serve, are also interesting. Although several weren’t fleshed out well, the ones we met the most were well-developed characters. Most notable among these were the main characters Derek and Liam Aerios and Selena, scion of Athena, who comes with her own mystery of who she is and what happened to her memory (I suspect you should be able to guess the truth by the end, although you’ll have to wait for future books to find out for sure). I would have liked to have seen Cory, scion of Hermes (possesser of superspeed!) developed a bit more, as well as Gage, the scion of Hades. It might have been nice to have seen some of the story from his viewpoint, to add more sympathy to a tragic character and develop the mystery a bit more.

As for the story itself, the mystery of the hidden items and who was planning to do what with them was the most interesting part for me, but it often took a distant back seat to the action and romance…

My feeling was that the romance was underdeveloped for this story, although it was ongoing. In my opinion, this comes from the current trend of not wanting the female lead to seem weak if she falls too easily for the male protagonist. Unfortunately, the effect is an unsatisfying story arc that feels almost unnecessary and burdensome, as it doesn’t lead anywhere. What I’d like to see the author do in future books to overcome this would be to give strong story arcs and viewpoint scenes to both the male and female leads and then interweave them into the overall plot (instead of the single viewpoint we have in Storm of the Gods). This would allow readers to observe both characters as strong heroes in their own rights, and allow for a much more fulfilling romantic plotline with romance among true equals.

My other issue with Storm of the Gods was the combat sequences. While I didn’t find anything inherently wrong in the details, they often seemed to go on forever. It got to the point where I was skimming the sequence just to get to the end of it so I could continue on with the plot. This book has to have some of the longest combat sequences I’ve ever read, with the final climax being worthy of a martial arts anime series.

Overall, Storm of the Gods by A.R.Braun is an entertaining story in a well-developed world. I do, however, believe that it with a small change in approach, the author could make this series truly amazing.

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