Olympus Prime: Return of the Titans by J.R. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a fun story which nominally recasts the clash between the original Titans and the new Olympian pantheon in Greek mythology as a struggle between galactic civilizations. What I found most enjoyable about this installment (part one of a series) was the 'realistic' detail given to both the starship armaments and their crew ... sure, there are points that require a bit of a stretch, but the interaction of the various military characters and tactics would be at home on any naval vessel that I have served on (quite unlike MOST Sci-Fi stories that I have encountered) earning the book an extra star and the gratitude of my dentist. Similarly ... The first contact / interaction with present day earth was well done, if perhaps a tad optimistic.
The book itself was well paced, with enough suspense to gently pull you through the whole story to a cliff-hanger ending; thankfully the main conflict was resolved and it appears that each installment will be able to stand on its own. There were few surprises in the story, which lacked a fair amount of intensity giving it more of a history book or clinical feel to it (especially in the beginning). I would have liked to see more grit when the story moved out of the more Spartan military settings (the potential power struggle on Olympus Prime could have been a story unto itself). Over all, the book is a quick, feel-good story that most will enjoy before fading from memory as it takes its place among other pleasant afternoons.
Finally, there were a few distracting editorial mistakes (where the wrong word spelled correctly appears), but not too bad.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.