Dark Olympus, Book #2
Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sex, but I wouldn’t call it spicy
Character Chemistry: If you say so
Plot: Eros is supposed to kill Psyche, and marries her instead
Overall: Decidedly meh
I thought the first Dark Olympus book, Neon Gods, was pretty good. My main quibble was that I wanted more from the worldbuilding—but I had high hopes for things to be more fleshed out as the series progressed. Unfortunately, I was disappointed on that front. The world in Electric Idol remains nebulous. In addition, I found the writing repetitive in the extreme.
These are the keywords of this review: repetitive and vague.
Electric Idol, in one dialogue:
Eros: I am a mOnStEr!
Psyche: We all gotta play the game in Olympus, Eros.
Eros: Not you, you and your sisters are special. So special.
Psyche: I can’t trust anyone except my family.
Eros: I will keep you safe.
Psyche: I can’t let myself get too close to him, because his feelings aren’t real.
Eros: If I were good, I would let her good, but I’m selfish and want her to myself forever because I’m a monster.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
I was utterly bored by Eros and his guilt about being a monster. Telling me he has blood on his hands a million times, but never actually showing him doing something monstrous? Sorry, I don’t believe it. I admit that morality chain is not my favorite, but if you’re going to be bad, lean in!
Eros and Psyche talk a lot about the “games” played in Olympus, but I still don’t have a handle on how the city is run or how its magic or politics or economy works. Like, the games seem to be all about social media and getting “the people” on your side? But none of the characters actually seem to give a shit about the population of Olympus? And maybe Aphrodite is mad that Psyche is a more successful influencer than she is? That seems awfully petty, though I guess all the gods in Greek myths were awfully petty, so I suppose that tracks. But how does that work with how the city is actually run, or the people who live there? Are you a bourbon influencer just for fellow Olympians (population 13 + family members), or are you a bourbon influencer for the world? Olympus is simultaneously multicultural (see Orpheus, the Korean-Swedish hottie who broke Eurydice’s heart) and grounded by “our Greek roots.” (Who is “we,” here, Psyche? Inquiring minds want to know.) People can’t leave, really, but they do—do people enter? The ruling Thirteen (the petty folks who run the city as avatars of the Greek gods) see themselves as *international* arbiters of culture—but…what? To be fair, Eros is pretty derisive about that worldview, but still.
On the relationship level, Eros declared many many times that he was selfish so he was keeping Psyche, but I wasn’t sure why he liked her so much? I do understand why he saved her initially—she was in trouble for being kind to him in a moment when he was weak—but I didn’t buy the movement from “I’ll save her from my evil mom” to “I will keep her in my penthouse forever.”
As you can see, I have tons of questions about what’s actually going on in this world, and in the relationship between Eros and Psyche. If the writing had been less repetitive, I might have been more willing to let it go.
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