Revenge is one of the most powerful feelings in the world. Mix that with feeling like you have to prove yourself for past mistakes, past failures, and what you have yet to accomplish, and this combination will drive you like no other. That mixture can have characters that are calm in nature driven to extreme actions. Pantheons: The Game of the Gods by E.J. Dabel, the second book in the Pantheon series, discuss all of this, along with the incorporation of characters we grew to love from the first book in the series, Pantheons.
Taking place a year after Isaiah’s battle with his father Zeus and the events of last novel, Isaiah is training in order to be better prepared for the next battle with his father. He is training with the mysterious man who rescued him in the last battle, and is trying to grow in certain areas, such as working with his lightning bolts. While this is happening, the powers that be decided that the teenage Gods must compete in the Fourth Great War (the legend was explained at the beginning of the first novel). However because the Gods are now in the bodies of strong teenagers, a game of tasselball (the game of the Gods) instead of a Great War will be played. Throughout the story, we see new characters introduced, old ones re-introduced, and find Isaiah learning about his true abilities.
I was hoping that I would enjoy this novel as much as the first one and boy did I. I regret not reading these back-to-back, because I did have to keep referring to the first novel to remind myself of characters. I really enjoyed reading about the new developments of my favorite characters. Isaiah is a great protagonist and great lead character because you root for him and want him to succeed. You see that he is human, despite his abilities that most humans don’t have, and you can’t help but cheer for someone who seems like the constant underdog. I enjoyed when the Red-Rovers were introduced and enjoyed their characters.
I didn’t mention this in my review of the first novel, but I was constantly double-checking the facts about the gods. I knew they would all be proven true, but I was amazed by the research that went into the novels. Dabel incorporated a ton of different gods, not only Greek, but Celtic, Babylonian, Norse, and Maori Gods and Goddesses. This made me really enjoy the historical background of the novel and opened me up to a brand new array of history. I had never researched any of the other Gods, but I definitely thought it was interesting to read about them to see their similarities and purposes among the different cultures. Even though this may be meant for a younger reader, I think it will not only prove to be entertaining, but also informational to all ages.
Like The Godfather Part II and Catching Fire, I think this second installment in the series was stronger than the first. It caught my attention from the first second and was able to keep me riveted until the end. This is my third time reading a novel by E.J. Dabel, and this was by far my favorite endeavor. Dabel really understands the characters and material he is writing about and this really shows in the context of the novel. He is able to give the reader what they want while always leaving them wanting more. I look forward to reading my next Dabel novel and hope they will continue to keep me engaged.
5 out of 5 Stars
Game of the Gods by E.J. Dabel
Sea Lion Books (2012)
eBook: 267 pages
Special thanks to Sea Lion Books for my review copy!