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“Most teenagers just think they’re immortal. Six months ago fourteen students at Olympia Heights Senior High found out that they really are. Now summer vacation has begun and everyone has far too much free time on their hands.Hormones, tempers, and the temptation of godly power get stirred up by a suspicious new gossip blog about their little slice of the Miami Dade County. Soon this blog, called Discordia, has the members of The Pantheon pitted against each other. Impulsive teenagers with ancient abilities make for a lot of collateral damage.” (matterdeeppublishing.com)
How many times have you gone through life wondering what it would be like if you were a Greek god? Don't worry, I'll wait. I imagine there is a lot of you. Well, what if I told you that it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be? In steps Amy Leigh Strickland's Olympia Heights series. The first installment, The Pantheon, presented the story of a group of teenagers in Florida beginning to notice that they have abilities beyond this world. It was a nice introduction to this world Strickland had created but it had the draw backs of a fantasy origin story. Well, where The Pantheon had the kids struggling with high school because they were gods, The Weight of the World has them struggling in spite the fact that they are gods.
Separating itself from fellow genre titles it might be mistaken with, book two in this series really takes off. The fantasy element takes a proper seat on the back burner--only appearing when we damn well want it to--and we are finally allowed to enjoy the human elements of teenagers fully aware that they are the Greek gods of old. Relationships are squandered, school fights take place, friendships are tested because of a petty high school blog, and all of this takes place in between their group meetings on Sundays. I loved those moments. You might pick up the sequel for the Greek fantasy elements, but stick around for the story grounded in reality underneath, which in my opinion is Amy Leigh Strickland's wheelhouse.
+ With the origins out of the way, the characters are allowed to breathe
+ Strickland's craft has risen to a new height (Olympian height)
- The focus on the human elements of the story made the action seem abrupt at times.
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.