Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"The Immortals" by Jordanna Max Brodsky

I don't often read mysteries, but found the description of this one irresistible. Greek Gods live in New York among the mortals. Over the centuries, they have been slowly losing their powers as people stopped believing in and worshiping them. Without worshippers, they have begun to grow old and are beginning to die. Many have taken jobs as they pretend to be human, utilizing what remains of their abilities and powers as best they can.

Selene DiSilva, for example, is currently a private investigator who helps women in need. She is a Protector of the Innocent who was once the goddess known as Artemis. It has been a very long time since she has used that name, but she is still a huntress. When her dog Hippolyta discovers the body of a woman dressed as a virgin priestess of the gods, she knows that she can't just leave this one for the police to solve.

The murdered woman was a professor working on a book about ancient Greek mysteries/religious rituals. Soon her ex-boyfriend, Theo, becomes the main suspect in her murder as he was one of the few around who could speak as well as read Ancient Greek. He also knew a great deal about the various religious rituals associated with the Greek Gods.

Knowing the police believe he is guilty but are unable to prove it, and realizing that there will be more murders to come as the ritual being followed lasts 10 days and requires sacrificial killings on each day, Theo finds himself working with Selene to help find the real murderer. Neither completely trusts each other, but they both need the help that only the other seems able to provide.

I was really fascinated by the appearances of the various gods hiding among the mortals and the aspects of their myths that they still retained. Some were able to remain younger and more powerful than others due to "worshippers" that didn't always realize were providing any sort of prayers for the ancient gods. Apollo, for example, as the god of thieves and music was still "worshipped" by the fans of his current persona... a rock singer in a well known band. In this persona he receives a great deal of worship and energy. So while the gods were all losing their powers, some were able to hold on longer than others.

It soon becomes clear to Selene that the ritual sacrifices were making her stronger and restoring some of the abilities she thought lost to her long ago. But who could be responsible? And why were they helping her and not all of the gods? And most importantly, can Selene & Theo find and stop the murderer responsible before he or she completes all of the rituals and becomes too powerful to stop?

This book includes a number of the ancient Greek Gods and their myths interwoven into the modern world in such a fascinating way that you could almost imagine it as truly possible. It was very well written, well edited, and it completely enthralled me. The story was so well crafted that it often surprised me with unexpected twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

I absolutely loved this book and will be keeping my eyes out for the sequel. It was well worth the time I spent reading it. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries and/or tales of the Greek Gods. The author did an amazing job describing what they might be like if they were to exist in the modern world.

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