It’s been years since Selene DiSilva claimed the name Artemis as her own. The former Olympian lost her power when her worshippers disappeared and now resides in Manhattan, punishing men who harm women even as her remaining strength drains away. But a murdered woman who makes a plea to the goddess Artemis in her final moments spurs Selene into an investigation that takes her across Manhattan and sends what she knows about the Olympians into a headspin.
When I first read the summary for The Immortals, I knew it would be a perfect book for Girls in Capes readers. An adult fantasy adventure featuring the hunting goddess Artemis in Manhattan? Definitely. And she’s more or less a six-foot Amazon? Double yes.
As it turns out, The Immortals didn’t disappoint in delivering exactly what I was hoping to find. The story is filled with action, opening on a scene of Selene/Artemis beating the living tar out of a man who’s been abusing his girlfriend. It’s perfectly fitting for a goddess who was known as the protector of women — and it serves as the perfect window into how weak Selene’s Olympian powers have truly become.
Early on in the story, Selene is joined in her quest (of sorts) by Theo, a classics professor who knew the murder victim, Helen, in the biblical sense. With the assistance of other former Olympians, as well as Theo’s connections in New York’s classics and museum fields, the investigation into Helen’s murder slowly builds, entwining with Selene’s own journey in both the past and the present.
One thing I really didn’t like very much about The Immortals is its focus on Selene/Artemis’s romances with men. One of the main factors behind her separation from her brother Paul/Apollo relates to how he ended Artemis’ blossoming love affair with a demigod hero, and there’s also the inevitable romance between Selene and Theo. Artemis (the virgin goddess) isn’t exactly a romantic figure in my mind, and my idea of the type of romance Artemis actually might have has always been romances with other women, so the romantic subplots did take me out of the story more than I’d like.
However, despite not actually enjoying the romantic subplots, I would definitely call them integral to the plot. It’s incredibly important, for example, that Selene is avoiding Paul to the best of her ability; the reason she’s so drawn to Theo is also well-explained and an actual plot point, which forces her to consider whether or not her attraction to the mortal professor is genuine. The book is a great action-packed read filled with New York history, bits of uncovered Greek myth, and exactly the right amount of darkness to make its heroine shine.
Although I didn’t like the romantic subplots, they wouldn’t deter me from recommending The Immortals to readers of the Percy Jackson series ready to read a more mature version or to fantasy readers in love with Greek mythology or the island of Manhattan.
The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky will be available in the U.S. in hardcover edition February 16 from Orbit Books US.
4 out of 5 stars
Feliza Casano edits and writes for all sections of the site. In her approximate 2.3 hours of free time each month, she loves watching anime, reading science fiction, and working on her novels-in-progress. Keep up with her antics at felizacasano.com and follow her on Twitter @FelizaCasano.
Looking for more Greek mythology? Read Fantasy Reviewer Gabby Taub’s review of The Song of Achilles, a retelling of the hero’s legend from the point of view of his companion Patroclus. You can also find Gabby’s interpretation of Star Wars as mythology of Greek Epic proportion.