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on 25 April 2010
Science fiction or fantasy readers looking for a serious book should keep looking elsewhere: James Lovegrove's The Age of Zeus isn't a meticulous reinterpretation of age-old myths or a stirring, philosophical treatise on modern society. Instead, this is a shameless excuse to blow up first edition AD&D monsters with power armor.

And before we get too far: there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The Age of Zeus is ridiculous, campy fun, and should be celebrated for it. The premise is delightfully simple. The Olympian gods have come back and are reigning over the modern world. There's global peace (yay), but it isn't particularly fun (boo). Whilst the Hydra chews on retirees in Florida, resentment grows.

Fortunately, a band of heroes have arisen: twelve people ("Titans") that are particularly miffed with the Olympians. They're given Heinlein-style power armor and the task of saving humanity.

The plot is established in about ten pages - maybe twenty if you count the training montage. The following five hundred pages are spent in set-piece battles in which the Titans explode one monster after another. If you've ever been curious about what happens when you attack Gorgons with shotguns, this is your chance.

There are a few plot-twists - obvious betrayals, the obligatory love story, a "quitting" sequence - and a lot of monologuing. There's absolutely nothing in this from a plot standpoint that is in any way surprising. Nor, as far as character development, is there anything to write home about. Everyone is blandly appealing, but they all speak in carefully-crafted witticisms that prevent any sort of real dialogue from occurring.

The Age of Zeus is fun, entertaining and endlessly explosive. It is a fantasy in the sense that it is a daydream let loose on paper. Very readable and very enjoyable, but make sure to take it for what it is.
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Ten years ago the Olympians appeared. They are living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods. Using their powers and monstrous creatures straight out of mythology, the Olympians went about saving the world by enslaving it. The divine guardians now rule the world by force. Any who speak out against them die. This is often followed by the Pantheon dishing out harsh discipline. (For example, Hong Kong no longer exists.) Resistance has proved futile. All of humankind now bows to those on Mount Olympus. Those who dare to disagree with anything, wisely keeps silent.

Samantha "Sam" Akehurst is a former detective sergeant with the London Metropolitan police force. Sam responds to an invitation for a chance to join a small group of rebels armed with high-tech battlesuits and weapons. Calling themselves the Titans, this group is going to war against the all-mighty gods.

***** FIVE STARS! A brilliant combination of modern warfare and Greek mythology. Though the synopsis has the sound of Fantasy, believe me when I say this is Science Fiction. One must read the entire story to fully understand my meaning. Author James Lovegrove's writing style is intense. His plot is creative, impressive, and could almost be called noble - no matter which side of the battle line the reader may mentally stand on. Lovegrove is on his way to greatness. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 29 August 2010
This is the first Lovegrove novel I've read and a small departure from what I'd normally go for. While this novel isn't going to set the world on fire it is a bucket load of fun. Gods, Monsters, superhuman exo-suits, worldwide locations, heart pumping combat sequences and guns... big guns... BIG BIG GUNS! You're really not going to care too much about any of the characters and the author seems to have a rather unhealthy obsession with castration. So if you're not looking for something too taxing then this will be for you. Essentially, a summer movie blockbuster in book form. So, shut down your brain and enjoy the set pieces.
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The second novel in Lovegroves Age series and one that takes a different look to the original this time with the Greek Pantheon. Well written, beautifully creative and above all a story that really will satify the reader. Lovegrove's talent really does explode onto the pages as the consequences and actions of the few affect the masses creating a thought provoking tale. A top quality read and whilst I haven't always loved James' writing I really think he's got something special with this series.
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on 29 June 2011
What can I say; average characterisation, average plot & dialogue.... but oh my god(s)! What bloody, gory, monster-filled fun! If you like your books full of action, lots of mythology, sci-fi armour & guns and then some more action, then you are definitely in need of some Lovegrove. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is essentially a group of soldiers going after a bunch of monsters and gods and battling all the way through, although the story does hold its own in a weird sort of way. Love the mythologically inspired puns (read it and you'll know what I mean). Enjoy!
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on 16 April 2014
The problem with Sy Fy Original movies is that they are full of amazing ideas that can't be done justice with a teeny budget and PS1 era CGI. Thankfully a novel can just take it's mad concept and take it to its absolute limit, and Age of Zeus is that incarnate.

The story is simple. The greek gods of old are back, and humans are subjugated to their rule. A former arms manufacturer is somewhat annoyed with enforced world peace and hires a group of people wronged by the deity's, kits them out with fighting armour right out of Tony Starks labs, and send them to rip them apart. That's pretty much it. If you demand more plot from a story like this you're not doing it right.

So why is this a five star joy and not a one star 'so bad it's good' hipster book? Because it's just done so damn well. Every action scene is exquisitely written, dialogue serves its purpose and characters are relatively simple, but likable (or not as the story calls for). And for gods sake, it's people in power armour punching minatours and cyclopse to death!

Honestly there are enough crazy fun ideas to have made any number of video games, RPGs or other assets of nerd culture, but instead we get a nice, breezy action soaked story to take it all in. Highly recommended if you like pulp stories and know that not every book has to be Shakespeare to be fantastic.
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on 29 September 2015
wow what more can I say
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on 13 June 2010
The Olympian gods are back and with their mighty powers have destroyed nations and armies and forced the countries of Earth into a reluctant peace. All is well as long you don't speak out against them, if you do then you will be swiftly and mortally dealt with.
This book starts off ten years after their arrival. A billionaire weapons manufacturer creates a high-tech suit of armour and recruits 11 people (who have all lost loved ones to the Olympians) to fight the gods and end their oppressive rule; dubbing this team the Titans.
Because the gods themselves are so powerful and mighty the team start by warming up and killing the various monsters the Olympians have sent forth in to the world (Cyclops, Griffin, Minotaur etc.) Once the monsters are dispatched, then it'll be time to deal with the gods themselves.

For the most part the book is an action-packed bit of fun, but it's inconsistent and baffling towards the end. For example: Throughout the first half of the book it's established that the gods are very powerful and dangerous. They've destroyed Hong Kong and just six of them wiped out the Danish army, but when the Titans finally end up fighting them a mere shotgun blast can kill them - from this I can only assume that the whipped armies of the world did not use guns when confronting the gods. Zeus's final scenes are especially disturbing and also ridiculous considering how powerful the chap is supposed to be - how this guy came to take over the world, I can't fathom (it's certainly not covered in any depth).

The Age of Zeus is an enjoyable book, but tapers off toward the end and finishes with an uncomfortable ending.
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