Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Pour you a cup of coffee and enjoy another local indie review...
The key villain to any Greek god story finally appears. Kronos’ arrival in Olympia Heights triggers a final round of chaos before we sail off into the sunset with this series. Did it live up to expectations set in the beginning? I would say it did and it didn't, but it was still a good ride when all was said and done.
The Cult of Kronos (a rather misleading title) opens with a nice surprise, stemming from the heart wrenching turn of events in Blood of Athens. Without giving too much away, the godly cast of characters are learning how to be one with their inner-god and this becomes evident in chapter one in a big way. The drama that hides its ugly head behind this development is that not all of our favorites are so sure about wanting to return to their human-selves, which is a great setup for a series conclusion of this magnitude.
Back to Strickland’s fast writing style again, we are given little time to breathe before the fists start flying and things hit the fan. If there is anything the author struggles with, it certainly is not her skills with action and fight sequences as the final battle reminded me of a Pacific Rim/Godzilla type battle which would look awesome on the big screen.
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The problem lies in that the book moved so fast that it was over before you turned the page. Until the epilogue (which saved the book for me), it really felt like the author was just happy to get the book over with. The interludes in between chapters that dominated the series were even largely cut out in most passages, which would have been okay if there was a precedent for this set up in an earlier novel.
My only other concern is the title. There were a few instances in the book where characters were maybe working for Kronos or being manipulated….or something. Did a cult arise? Not that I remember. The page count could have been doubled in this book with Kronos working as a gym teacher or principal of Olympia Heights and slowly building a massive army. I may have missed the cult angle in the book, but it is likely because very little time was spent on it.
Saving the best for last, I want to discuss the epilogue. It was reading this that showed the entire series’ potential and made me excited for a promised comic book series. It was neat getting a final goodbye with these characters and seeing the new personalities they had taken on. It felt like a section cut out of a much stronger series and left me feeling hope for future works. I especially found the handling of the final moments as touching and bumped my rating from 2 stars to 3.
Overall, I recommend the Olympia Heights books if nothing but to support local Alabama writers and a unique take on Greek gods.
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.