The first couple of reviews of The Age Of Zeus have emerged, and here are the links: The Hub (you’ll need to scroll about two thirds of the way down) and Total Sci-Fi. Both are cockle-warmingly positive. In Total Sci-Fi, Den Patrick describes the book as “a good, enjoyable romp with plenty of bang for its buck” and “a fun read that doesn’t get bogged down with technology or lengthy paragraphs of exposition”. Which is pretty much what I intended.
In The Hub, meanwhile, Martin Willoughby praises the book’s humour, saying, “There were some points where I giggled out loud. Humour isn’t the main selling point of this book, but there is enough of it, not always of the gallows variety, to give the story the occasional lift and add a touch more human-like reality to the characters.” And he concludes, “This is one of those books that I have no regrets about reading […] a fine book, a thumping good read and well worth the money”. Although, oddly, and rather aggravatingly, this comment appears only in the pdf version of the magazine, not in the online edition where the last three paragraphs of the review, the ones that carry most of the thumbs-up stuff, seem to have been left out. Harrumph!
Mr Willoughby does raise an issue which I feel duty-bound to address here. “There is also one thing that troubles me,” he says. “About halfway into the book, there is a reference to the World Trade Centre and the twin towers. Given that this book was written at some point in the last 18 months and it is not set in the past, why was that left in? It’s a small point, but I wonder how many readers will come to that point and flinch.”
The reason the Twin Towers are still standing is simple. The Olympians have been in charge of things for a decade. In that time they’ve stopped all wars and eradicated all known terrorists. And who was responsible for the September 11th attacks? Terrorists. I didn’t feel the need to spell this out in the novel. In fact, I thought the World Trade Center reference was a rather splendid way of doing it by stealth. The chapter set in the Middle East also makes the point when it details how hard a time Islamist extremists have been having since the Olympians took over.
Hey-ho. It’s still a stonking review, though.