Harbinger is a fun fast passed paranormal romance. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. "I despised most gods and suspected the feeling was mutual. But I didn’t have to like them; I just had to work for them. As long as they left me alone in my godless city, life was good."
This first three sentences tell so much about the MC, Phi and make clear its all about mythology. If that's not your cup of tea, i suggest you put the book down. Because Crake packed the novel with mythology, and not just from one corner or area. NO she uses loads! And she does a darn good job at it. She knows her mythologies. Be it noes, ancient egyptian,ancient celitc, indian or greek- she nails it. Which in my opinion makes this book real good. The world building is awesome. Not only did Crake create a world were the gods of ancient mythologies live and breath, she created and decries their realms with fascinating details. But the thing i think she exceeded best, is in the different characters of the gods. She gave made them come alive, just how I would imagine Aphrodite to behave…can imagine Hera and Zeus in a domestic modern situation? Well, Crake in my opinion nailed it! She gas the Immortals, who's stories we know, somehow a humanity, without taking away from the mythology. For this i would have totally given her at least 4stars…Added to the known factor, Crake cleverly added her own mythology her own realm. And its distributions and world building are just as brilliant as those of the well known ancient gods and their playgrounds.
World building is the strong hold of this novel.
I loved the action packed storyline, it kept me guessing, hoping and worrying until right at the end. Really fun.
It is a Paranormal Action Romance (I do enjoy those) so the usual kick ass, love confusion and magic tricks are thrown it. There is even a sort of love triangle- I loath those with a passion- but it was not that bad and actually Phi handles it much better than many other MC in books I read lately.
Phi, being the narrator, the person who utters those first three scentences- is a young woman who is trying to life her life as normal as possible, with being a messenger for the gods and the daughter of one of them…
She despised most of the gods , doesn't trust them at all and is desperately trying to be 'normal'. I found her character charming and honest, loved her struggles in finding who she is and understand her mistrusts and worries. The direct and unflorished way Crake wrote the story suits Phi and make her more real.
I like the cocky, when I crook my finger at you you come to me, Aden. Thought he is a demigod, he is one of Crakes inventions, so well imbedded into the greek mythology, that I ended up googling him. Because I simply couldn't remember a greek demigod with that name. But Aphrodite did have sons… which goes to show again how thoroughly the world building is!
The other gods are simply fabulous, but I can't mention to much about them since it would be total spoilers… if you like mythology I think you will definitely love them
One thing I got to spill though, is Hera and Zeus, their relationship and mistrust is just how I think it would be. Knowing their history, wouldn't Hera just react exactly the way she does? I shared her suspicions- even if it was for a brief moment….
The villains in the story are great, creepy and I had to keep guessing who the 'baddies' actually were. Trying to reevaluate each situation as the story unfolds, I worked it out, just as it was unraveling.
Sadly I found the love story kinda lacking. Lots of the love story is rather cliché, but I wouldn't have minded that if it were still written really well. But while Aden and Phi have great chemistry-- it is also really lacking at times. Hermes is sultry to the T, but somehow I didn't find him that seductive. There are these great moments and then they kinda fizzled out.
Especially the actual love scene, it was so anticlimatic. I thought, 'that was it?' There was all this build up, and then it had very little chemistry for some reason. maybe it would have been better to black it out. Dunno I actually went back to reread it while writing this review, and still feel like it.
This is Crakes first novel. And i think it is a great debut. Her world are incredible, the overall plot great and I greatly enjoyed it.
I read that other readers suggested that this should be made into a series- but honestly I would prefer it to be a standalone.
Still I hope that Crake will write many more novels and I am certainly looking forward to reading them.
a very good 3.5stars.ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!