Second Look: Ares: Bringer of War by George O’Connor

Note: This title will be released January 27, 2015.

This is going to be a quick review for two reasons: 1) I read this in about 20 minutes while taking a study break during finals week, and 2) I read it about a month ago, so it’s impact on me has decreased significantly since I read it

The intended age group for this book is the middle grade set. It’s not strictly a YA book (hence why I flew through it so fast), but the Olympians series is awesome for graphic novel or greek mythology fans. I happen to be both :)

Ares: Bringer of WarThe Story: The myth continues in the tenth year of the fabled Trojan War where two infamous gods of war go to battle. The spotlight is thrown on Ares, god of war, and primarily focuses on his battle with the clever and powerful Athena. As the battle culminates and the gods try to one-up each other to win, the human death toll mounts. Who will win this epic clash of power? And how many will have to die first? (summary taken from Goodreads)

The Low Down: Ares is the 7th book in the Olympians graphic novel series and, to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite. I am a huge fan of the series as a whole, but this installment just didn’t do it for me. It started off with a great hook and had lots of promise. But once I started to get to the nitty-gritty of the story, all I got out of it was a lot of confusion. It attempted to retell The Iliad and describe the elements of the Trojan War in a somewhat watered down version for younger readers. Anyone unfamiliar with The Iliad may have trouble following the story. The characters aren’t easy to keep track of, and there are plenty to go around in this graphic novel. I had a hard time following it because the names all blended together and the illustrations of the mortal characters (the non-gods) all looked identical. Even people with a basic knowledge of Greek mythology may struggle because this novel surrounds many players besides the well-known Greek gods.

The best part of this particular graphic novel was the artwork. The rich, dark colors give the war scenes the feel of sheer chaos. It’s drawn in a way so you can see what’s happening in each panel, but you can feel the madness and violence of the battles through the illustrations. It’s still an exciting page-turner that will leave readers eager to see what will happen next, even if younger readers struggle to understand the story as a whole.

The Bottom Line: Though this wasn’t my favorite installment of the Olympians graphic novel series, the quality of the artwork is fantastic and it’s still a good quality mythological tale, despite all the character confusion. I’m looking forward to seeing more installments from George O’Connor.

OFFICIAL RATING: 7/10

I received my copy of Ares: Bringer of War by George O’Connor as a digital eGalley from NetGalley. I was not given any form of payment or endorsement for my unbiased review, including alcohol or cupcakes, nor was I kidnapped and held at gunpoint.

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