Saturday, April 8, 2017
The Gatekeeper's Sons by Eva Pohler
One day, I swear, I will find one of these stories that doesn't kill me. But this is not that day! Greek mythology is something that I've been into since I was a kid. I used to love reading books on the subject and learning about the ancient heroes and stories. Therefore, when I see Greek mythology represented poorly, I get just a little miffed. When I see tripe like this, I get REALLY miffed. Let's just start already.
Therese Mills is a rich girl in Colorado. When her parents are suddenly killed brutally, Therese has a chance encounter with Thanatos, the Greek god of Death. Thanatos is instantly infatuated with Therese and so he takes a break from his duties and spends time on earth to woo her and make her his queen. Therese soon falls for him too and together they find a way for Therese to become a god by finding her parents' killer. But this stirs up tons of trouble and Therese soon finds herself at the center of a great conflict between the Olympians.
Let me just start off with this main character, shall I? Or rather this bland, irritating, perfectly perfect MARY-SUE of a character. She has no flaws, none! She has no personality outside of "I love nature, I love animals, I love everyone and everything so very, very much". ARRGH! This broad is engineered to be the most perfect human being who ever lived so that she can appeal to all the Olympians so that they all just love her to pieces and go out of their way to help her. Nothing ever, EVER phases her. Even the traumatic death of her parents she treats like a bad day or a broken nail or something. The climax of the book has her in a fight where this nature-loving, merciful girl knows how to fight and thinks up these brilliant traps and schemes all on her own without any former knowledge on the subject of any kind. There is nothing human about her. She's too perfect and that's just the problem!
Also, the writing in this book is just asinine. The same person is described more than once, it can't stay on track for more than five seconds, and the language and phrases are just so contrived it's laughable. It uses phrases like "He looks like a god" and "splendid good looks" and "His smile could kill". This isn't clever, it's contrived and it's painful to read. It often loses track of time on itself, as in one minute Therese is about to go to bed and her aunt suddenly decides that its dinnertime. I also had a hard time knowing exactly when in time the story is meant to take place, since people still use dial phones with no caller ID and dance the waltz (in a club mind you), yet they listen to Lady Gaga and have cell phones they never use. It also does this thing where they bring up things that are totally out of left field that and kind of uncomfortable, like comparing her parents' death to Colombine and this really random and tasteless suicide that comes straight out of nowhere and impacts nothing. It's like a little kid who doesn't know what they're talking about trying to sound smart and it's just painful.
Here's the part where the Greek mythology lover in me just feels ill. In short, the Olympians are just there to make Therese's already pretty easy life even easier! Automatically, since she already possesses all the traits necessary to please each and every one of them, they all give her lavish gifts like making her annoying dog immortal and, by the end, each and everyone of them is giving her stuff and pampering the crap out of her. I'm serious, this is such pandering that it's almost hilariously bad. They're all like, "you can have my pillow", "you can have my blanket", "you can have my sleeping mask", and I was half expecting Gimli to show up offering her his axe! The worst offender, naturally, is Thanatos...oh, I'm sorry, Than (*insert Sideshow Bob groan of misery*). Now, I don't mind that they made him handsome or young, as he can sometimes be portrayed. That's fine. What's not fine is that he exists, like all the others, to spoil the crap out of Therese. She can summon him on demand, he bends over backwards for her, takes her on this ridiculous trip around the world where everyone speaks English (yeah, try and figure that one out) and has this attitude of a lovesick puppy who would do anything for her. You're the GOD of DEATH! Have a little dignity! Oh and he gets heartbroken, devastated, absolutely traumatized because...a horse gets put down. A HORSE!
So when it's not being pandering or uncomfortable, this book is so BORING! Long, long, stretches of absolute nothing happen for the longest time and when things finally do happen, our main character treats them all so lightheartedly that it leaves no impact. We go into every tiny detail of her pampered, monotonous life, day after day, and it just puts you to sleep! I don't need to hear her and her BFF talk about boobs! I don't need to hear, over and over again, the process of brushing a horse! Every little thing that happens in every day just goes on and on and it took way too much effort to try and stay awake and focused on this endless, brainless twitter. And the "exciting" bits are just so easy for this girl and she puts so little thought into any of it that you can't get sucked in either. When faced with death, she's all "oh, that'll be okay. I don't really mind. That's fine." Then, when it seems like she's lost her boyfriend forever she's like "I'm so glad I'm back in my bed with my pets. I've missed them. I just know everything's going to be okay. I'm so glad my aunt's getting married." FEEL SOMETHING! I beg of you!
You know this is coming. I'm sure if you're the kind of person who just wants to read and unchallenging story where you can self-insert yourself into the life of a perfect, pampered person, you'll like this...maybe. But as for me, this thing can go straight into the Waste Bin of Despair!
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Also find me at goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer and on Twitter @Michelle_Beer88
Next Time: I'm in the mood for some violence. Let's see what Adarlan's Assassin is up to....