When I was asked to review Simply The Quest, the follow on to Who Let the Gods Out, I jumped at it.
“Elliot and Virgo’s troubles are far from over: death-daemon
Thanatos and his scary mum are at large and determined to
destroy the world. As even more immortal allies and enemies
emerge, Virgo and Elliot must learn how to be heroes …”
Elliot is living at home with his mum and a load of ancient Greek gods. Yes, you read that right. Zeus, Hermes, Aphrodite, Athene and Hephaestus to be exact. He’s also still got teenage constellation Virgo living with him. Her suspended status means that she’s living as a mortal.
Elliot Hooper has a job to do. He has to reunite the Chaos stones before Thanatos, Daemon of Death, finds them. Elliot already has the Earth Stone, and now knows where the Air Stone is. Unfortunately for him, he has Nyx, goddess of the night and Thanatos’ mother, coming after his as well as Thanatos now. Not only that, he faces personal struggles; it’s hard enough dealing with his sick mum, when he finds out just where his dad has been for the last 11 years it would be understandable if he just quit and gave Thanatos what he wants.
On the sidelines, but providing the ever brilliant sidekick, is Virgo, who is struggling to adapt to life as a mortal; she is told by the Zodiac Council that she has to become a hero to get her immortality back, and so throws herself with fact-based gusto at the task at hand. Of course, if you want to be a hero, who do you go to? You go to Hercules, Theseus and Jason! Sadly, they’re all pursuing new career paths, but are all deliciously funny AND they each give Elliot a gift that can help him.
Simply the Quest follows Who Let the Gods out with assurance and aplomb. The world-building is brilliant. I for one would gladly go to this version of England, as there is apparently a Hedgehog World. But the genius of the book is that it’s bursting with brilliant characters, whose exploits never once let the pace slacken. Hermes is a particular favourite from the first book, and he takes a deservedly leading role in this book. I was thrilled with the action-driven narrative, and know that kids will be. For parents who read to their kids, the jokes are often on their level, which is a hoot.
Maz Evans manages to pack in a staggering amount of jokes, and creates truly comic characters in her immortals, while navigating Elliot’s heroic and home quests perfectly. Just as with Who Let the Gods Out, she balances silly with serious, black with boisterous and flat out touching sadness with a real uplifting message.
A totally recommended read.