Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Brotherhood of Olympus and the Deadliest Game (Book 1) by Guy T. Simpson Jr.

The Brotherhood of Olympus and the Deadliest Game, is the first of a series of young adult horror/fantasy novels that tells the story of Drake Frasier, a painfully shy, intellectually gifted 13 year old boy growing up in Aberdeen, Washington.
On a cold, gray Friday the thirteenth, his favorite uncle is killed in a horrible car collision with a logging truck. Drake's life takes a sudden twist after the accident when his family begins to encounter haunting spirits that bring terror and doom upon them. He soon finds that he has unique gifts and abilities that allow him to fight the apparitions, and that there may be a greater sinister plot afoot. But as Drake develops his skills to combat the ghastly specters, his oldest brother continues to use a Spirit board game that invites the evil into their lives. Drake must bring his brothers back together to fight the nefarious forces to save his family, and quite possibly the world.

Description and picture are from Goodreads.com

My Review

 I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was amazingly good. I feel like this book could turn in to a very epic and sweeping series if the author chooses to continue with this story. The story line is very intricate but not overwhelmingly so and the characters are so well written that you are drawn in to the story in a way where you feel the ups and downs that they all experience.
This book is a true good versus evil story. The five Frasier boys have heard whisperings about the ‘gifts’ that run in the family but the never pay them much heed. After the strange death of a beloved uncle strange things start to happen and the boys are pulled in to a struggle between those deities that want humanity to continue without their interference and those deities that have turned power hungry and wish to decimate and enslave humanity. There are even some immortals that you could not imagine being on the ‘good’ side that are trying to help the Frasier boys to be successful in their quest. The boys also learn that the family gifts are real and that they must embrace them if they are to be successful in saving the world.
One thing I really loved about this book is that the author incorporated myths from several cultures in to this story. The Pacific Northwest is rife with legends that have been around for hundreds of years and come from numerous Native American tribes. The author did a great job at using those legends to influence the story while at the same time tying the Mt. Olympus in Washington State to the Mt. Olympus in Greece. There were also pieces of Norse and Roman mythology as well as numerous Gods and Goddesses from almost all cultures imaginable, including some I have never heard of. The author was even kind enough to place a guide at the back of the book to give a brief explanation of all of these different components.
This story is written in a very descriptive way and most of the time this is a very good thing. The characters are explained in such a thorough way that you feel as if you really know them and understand why they do what they do. You almost feel like you are a member of the family and have known these boys their whole lives. The descriptive writing also goes beyond the characters and extends even to descriptions of the scenery and layouts of the city and surrounding areas. There were a few times that this descriptive writing seemed a bit much and in each instance it was during those times when the author was describing the scenery that the family was seeing while out camping. I am not saying that the description of those scenes was badly done; I just do not enjoy reading about what all the nature looks like. I just need the basic idea of the surroundings and then want to get on with the story. My imagination will fill in the rest.
There was really only one part of the book that bothered me and that was Rachael’s relationship with Drake. She is only 14 years old and she is so in love with Drake that she decides that she will do whatever is in her power to keep Drake safe throughout his life. It is so sweet and all but she seemed very young to be making that sort of huge decision. I suppose it could happen but I remember when I was 14 and had a crush on a boy I was definitely not thinking of a future more than a year or two from then, let alone for the rest of my life. While this did bother me a little it was not a huge thing and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Overall this book was a fantastic read. If you are anything like me you will fall in love with the characters and feel drawn in to their story. The things that these boys deal with are so strange and sometimes upsetting and scary, especially to the younger boys who are still children. The plot kept me guessing with all of its twists and turns and I can’t wait to read the next book to find out what happens.
Drake is not your typical teen age boy. He does play sports and like to hang out with his brothers but he is different because of how in to learning he is. He devours any book he can get his hands on no matter what the topic. He has even read through two entire sets of encyclopedias. This thirst for learning and large volume of knowledge comes in handy once crazy, paranormal things begin to affect him and his family. 

Parent's Guide: There is a small amount of swearing in the book, but nothing too horrible.  The one thing I did not think was appropriate you a book targeted to young people was the use of a Ouija board (they call it a Spirit board in the book) and the kids using it to contact spirits.  Please be warned that the kids do communicate with evil entities through the board and one of the kids gets these spirits to show him how to have powers (i.e. telekinesis, psychic abilities, etc.).

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