This review originally published on Examiner.com
I have long been a fan of Greek mythology, so it takes little to no coercion to convince me to pick up a book based on any of the myriad gods. For whatever reason I had Oppression by Jessica Therrien on my to read list for almost a full year before finally giving in late one night and cracking open my Nook.
It was not instant love, the story begins rather slowly with a bit of background on the main character, and to be honest, it never really moves past a swift walk as it progresses. A trait that I found exceedingly refreshing. I have definitely started to develop a wariness for YA books that move at such a steady clip that by the end I feel as if I have run a full marathon.
You are never bored while reading Oppression and the story has enough action to keep it moving, but where the story really shines is in allowing the reader to experience and discover the world and mythos of the descendants along with Elyse. Of course the love story is compelling, but refreshingly un-angsty for a change. Elyse doesn't fight her feelings, or cause undue drama for her love interest, after all they have bigger problems to deal with.
If there is one complaint I had while reading the book it's the inevitable comparisons you make while reading it to another famous orphan whose life is dictated by a prophecy. If you know anything of the Potter series, it is impossible not to. I would be surprised if the author sites J.K. Rowling's epic story as a source of inspiration.
The story has some violence, a bit graphic at times and is clearly not meant for younger teens but would be a great story for those with an interest in Greek mythology as it takes the well known stories and turns them on their heads. In Oppression the Greeks Gods are not the main event and this lover of all things mythology found that to be a refreshing twist.
A follow up to Oppression, Uprising will be published later this year.
Recommended for teens 15+.