Are You Part Mythical God?

Many of you may have read any of the recent series about human children who are actually half god or goddess. The series I first read was Rick Riordan’s books about the progeny of Greek or Romans Gods. Since the two versions of these gods are always trying to prove their supremacy over the one another, they, of course, sic their human children on one another.

But there are other versions of gods who had affairs with humans. Books I’ve read recently are about Mayan gods and one about a Hercules/Herakles’s desire to marry a mortal. What I wonder is why cultures are so vehement about keeping their ethnicity so pure, except, of course, when they don’t. And why are the offspring always the ones bearing the brunt of the shame for adulterous behavior.

In a romantic sense, I suppose it should make you feel special to say you have Supernatural blood in your veins. On the other hand, just about every culture on this planet adheres to the belief that we all were created by a supernatural entity. Whether we call it God or Great Spirit or Creator, there seems to be pretty good evidence that SOMETHING had a hand in making out world and that’s on it, plus whatever is on other planets in ours or other solar systems in the Universe. Or why else is that birds and trees can’t mate or even different kinds of birds can’t mate and produce hybrids. In some cases, different varieties of the same species do quite successfully procreate even though they show genetic differences. But in others, like horses and donkeys, the offspring is sterile.

The study of myths has always been an interest of mine, so I relish reading stories that have a mythological bent to them.

Here are some recent examples.

The Shadow Crosser

J. C. Cervantes

The next adventure in the “Storm Runner” series following the quest of Zane Obispo whose father, Hurakan, is the Mayan god of wind, storm, and fire. When the story starts, Zane is hunting for other kids who are part god and part human. Each possesses a unique power inherited from the godly parent which makes them “Godborns.” Imagine the shock to be told that you possess godly blood and that you have special gifts. The readers of this series who don’t speak Spanish or Aztec or Maya should read the glossary at the end of the book so as not to stumble over the many non-English names. Presumably the god mythology part is true to the culture which is always interesting and fodder for teachers when they teach mythology or ancient history. Of course for modern teens that means anything from the twentieth century. Zane and his friends must save the gods who have been captured by evil gods planning to take over the world. There are many puzzles to solve and many adventures to be had before Zane and his crew can save their parents. Still there is time in the novel for budding romances to emerge and for the new godborns to learn how to use their powers. History teachers and social science teachers can have a field day with this material. Anybody who is fan of the Rick Riordan stories about children born to Greek and Roman gods will enjoy this series. It’s probably best to start at the beginning of the series, though there are enough references to earlier actions for the reader understand the back story.

BIBLIO: 2020, Disney/Hyperion/Buena Vista Books, Ages 13 +, $16.99.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Young Adult, Fantasy

ISBN: 9781368052771

ISBN: 9781368055482

Outrun the Wind

Elizabeth Tammi

Atalanta is the fastest person anyone knows of and she’s a whiz with a bow and arrow, so when Prince Meleager persuades all his huntsmen that she should join them on their quest to kill the giant boar plaguing Calydonia, she happily joins the group. But things go awry during the hunt and Atalanta ends up fleeing for her life. Good thing she’s the fastest human around. Based on mythology, this is roaring good tale about love and loss and finding one’s true self. But the author really good use a good lesson on proper grammar. For those who like to read mythologically-based stories, the mention of various gods and historical places is an extra appeal and teachers can find many topics to discuss. The obvious ones are about mythology and historical events, but also the roles of women in earlier times. Should a princess be married off just to save or better the kingdom? This is a fast paced, enjoyable read.

BIBLIO: 2018, Flux/North Star Editions, Inc., Ages 14 +, $11.99.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Mythology/Young Adult

ISBN: 978-1-63583-026-2

Go the Distance: A Twisted Tale

Jen Calonita

Talk about trial by fire, orphaned Megara ends up falling in love with Hercules only to discover she can’t be with him once he takes his godly place beside his parents, Zeus and Hera. She is, after all, a mere mortal. Zeus is adamant that she should never step foot on Mount Olympus, but Hera observes that Megara, a.k.a. Meg, is Hercules’s heart’s desire. She sets up a task for the girl to fulfill. If she does so in the required time, Meg may become a goddess and marry Hercules. All Meg has to do is find Athena’s special flute that has been stolen. Easy peasy, you might think, but no, along the way Meg must come to peace with her own self and those she thinks have wronged her. The story is well crafted and full of many twists and turns. Meg becomes friends with her two unwilling helpers, Phil the Satyr buddy of Hercules, and Pegasus. Together they complete the task, but not without much danger and many complications. The moral of the story is that life is full of dangers and self-learning, but is worth it in the end. Teachers will find much material to use in class discussions of mythology, the self-awareness journeys, and European history.

BIBLIO: 2021, Disney Enterprises/Hyperion/Buena Vista Books, Inc., Ages 14 +, $17.99

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Young Adult Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1-368-66380-7

So, believe in the god-like qualities you have and fulfill your dreams to the best of your ability. See you next time. I have to do my next Herculean task, which is finish the book I’m writing.

I love to hear what you’re up to and what you think your godly power might be. Sarah

So, believe in the god-like qualities you have and fulfill your dreams to the best of your ability. See you next time. I have to do my next Herculean task, which is finish the book I’m writing.

I love to hear what you’re up to and what you think your godly power might be. Sarah