Havoc Rising by Brian S. Leon
The Greek pantheon is still around, working from the shadows, and trying to serve and protect humanity.
Publisher’s Description: Eternal life. Eternal battle.
Steve—Diomedes Tydides to his Trojan War buddies—just had a bad day on his charter fishing boat in San Diego, but when the goddess Athena calls on her faithful warrior for another secret mission, he’s ready. The bomb that exploded inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art isn’t the crime American authorities think it is. Someone also stole the Cup of Jamshid, and Diomedes knows its fortune-telling abilities won’t be used for anything benign.
Though Diomedes recovers the Cup from a determined shaman holed up beneath Central Park, when he finds his allies slain and the Cup taken once more, he knows he’s up against a truly powerful enemy. Over a millennium has passed since Diomedes last contended with Medea of Colchis, deranged wife of Jason the Argonaut, but neither her madness nor her devotion to Hecate, goddess of witchcraft, has waned, and she intends to use the Cup of Jamshid to release across the world a dark brand of chaos unseen in human history.
Immortal since the Trojan War, Diomedes must once again fight for mortals he understands less and less, against a divine evil he may never truly defeat.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Invested Ivana says…
Havoc Rising is a pretty damn good book for what appears to be a freshman effort by Brian S. Leon. I’ve been a big fan of Greek mythology since I was a kid, and I love it when the mythic characters show up in my fiction. Leon went a bit further than the Greek pantheon, however, taking his protagonist from the pages of The Iliad and adding a dash of Celtic fae.
I really enjoyed all the characters: the humans, Sarah, Geek, and Frigate; and the immortals, Athena, Abraxos, Duma, and Ned. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Metis foundation, a charitable and world-influencing foundation run by Athena for the protection and betterment of humanity.
My one issue was that the battle at the end of the book seemed to go on a while. It felt as if Diomedes could have struck immediately, but instead he waited around for Medea’s guards to gather and the opposing forces to grow. Now, I believe Diomedes was under some mental spell at the time which could have affected his actions, and I admit I was reading late into the night (I didn’t want to put the book down in the middle of the big battle!), so my recollection could be colored by tiredness. I’ll have to give it a second read to be sure. 🙂
Overall, Havoc Rising is a really good book. I certainly recommend it to fans of urban fantasy and Greek mythology. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Guardian Chronicles.
Percy Procrastinator says…
Things I didn’t like: It took me a while to get into the author’s style. I thought there was a lot of telling instead of showing in the book. For being about ancient beings, and an ancient protagonist, there was a lot of details about modern firearms in the book. The book is talking about people getting weapons and then it’s like we dropped into a gun catalog, as the author goes into a lot of detail about each of the guns that someone picked to use. The problem is that while different guns do serve for different functions, except for some silenced .22s, those distinctions don’t come into play, so the details were jarring. I also think that in the final fight, there were some strange details. The author goes into length about how they need to set up relays, so they can all communicate. A few are mentioned that are put into place but then they stop mentioning placing them. Did they not need as many or were they still doing them? Further, since communication was never disrupted, spending that much time on these kinds of details seems like a waste.
I’m also not sure why Diomedes had a day job when he is supposed to be on call at all times for Athena. Was this a rebellion? Or did he need it? Is that he got his wealth? Or was he only needed so infrequently that he had to do something to fill his time? It wasn’t clear to me.
Things I liked: After getting used to the author’s style, I enjoyed the book. I like the unique take on mythology and am curious about the take on the other pantheon members. I liked the adventure overall and the bad guy, including the main character trying to figure out who it was. I didn’t mind the military planning or some of the details but as I mentioned above they got long in a few places even with an interest in them. I also liked that the bad girl’s plan had several parts to it, it did get disrupted and had to react to the good guys, who then had to react to the new plan.
By the end of the book, I was wanting more, I want to see what he does with the mythology, both for heroes and villains. A solid three and I look forward to more of Diomedes’ adventures!
Kat Mandu says…
Wow, what wonderful story-telling! Leon takes you on a journey that’s part history, part myth, and yet all modern.
The thing I’m most impressed with about this story is the writing. Blending bits of real history intermingled with fiction is sometimes hard to do. It requires a lot of research and the ability to make readers believe that even though they’re reading something that’s not real, it feels real. The writing itself is also damn near perfect, full of vivid details and imaginable characters. The action scenes could have used a bit of work but they were understandable and that’s what is important. Writing action scenes is HARD. The author has to convey multiple points of view while sticking to one character if it’s first-person narration. And that’s tough when you have an epic battle on the forecast.
I love that the author can also take a very serious situation (terrorist attacks and lots of manipulative evil beings) and throw in some humor to take the edge off, then rush right back into the thick of things. I even had an interesting conversation with the author on how he pictured Hobs. I kinda think of them as the actual Hobbes in Fable. Squat little things that tend to be kinda ugly. Also, some of the conversations are pretty humorous, especially when you consider that “Steve” is a thousand or so years old and now in modern times, he’s saying things like “squid’s dick” to his friend Ned. That and he’s a guy, so he tends to have pervy thoughts. A lot 😉
Anyway, I thought this was great! There were a few slow parts for me but overall, definitely worth a four!
If you like this book…
…you might try Amy Braun’s Path of the Horseman or the Menagerie series by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sneigoski. This book will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, and Pier’s Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series.