Author: Audrey Hart
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: November 2011
Summary: Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece.
As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people—humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what.
Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her—all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her. Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess—all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.
☆: 2/5 – showed serious promise but ultimately failed to deliver.
Review: I wish I could say differently, but this one just wasn’t for me. The beginning was good, and solid, and had some serious promise, and then…well, once the time shift occurred, it all kind of went downhill from there. I love reading indie pubs and self pubs so I was pretty excited about this title, but I feel like that had it had a few more drafts, it might have really turned into something great. “The Dig” has a great premise, don’t get me wrong, but in the end it failed to deliver for me.
I think perhaps this book would be best suited for MG audiences – not YA. Or if it is YA, it’s very young YA at best. I felt Zoe, despite her age, should have had a bit more maturity in terms of her behavior. I really liked the beginning, and I enjoyed the time shift, but alas Hart kind of struck a nerve when she had ancient Greeks speaking like modern people. That’s one thing that really annoys me when it comes to historical fiction – have your characters speak as if they were actually in that time period, please. The anachronisms were too numerous to count, and insertion of our current pop culture really didn’t help that.
Zoe’s character was stably constructed, but I feel like she could have been rounded out more. I think that Hart is saving this for future books, and I wish her luck in those endeavors as this one just didn’t sit right with me. She does have a way with words and prose, I will definitely give her that, and her talent with sensory language saved the book from being a complete disaster. But I think that younger audiences would do much well with this one as I just failed to completely connect with it.
Hart definitely struck up images of ancient Greece very well – I will give her that. I do feel like there was a bit too much telling in parts of the book, but when she feels like showing us her scenes, she really is able to do so – and I love it when authors are able to do that. I just wish it had translated into being able to strengthen the entire book as a whole, and not just in patches as it ultimately all turned out.
Final verdict? Give this to MG or young YA audiences, as this one just didn’t work for me and perhaps could have been something much better had it had a few more drafts. But don’t take my word for it. “The Dig” is out now, so go and check it out and give the small pubs the love they deserve.