In his first novel, author Josh Strnad introduces us to the small town of Pantheon and the struggles of its inhabitants and founders, the surviving Greek Gods who wage a shadowy war against the inhuman forces of the Legion. On the way, Lamont and Emma, two not-so-regular people, find themselves caught up in the power struggle and petty trysts of divinities and are forced to play their part in deciding the fate of the world.
To the author’s credit, the book’s creative liberties with the source material of Greek myth are well done and presented, avoiding any unnecessary cheesiness or the cartoonish stylings of such shows as Hercules or Xena. In fact, Josh Strnad does an outright excellent job of introducing us to the idea of surviving ancient gods, who despite being blessed with extraordinary powers and abilities, are marooned in the modern world. Choosing a more modern (and laconic) approach to presenting modernized legends, instead of trying to recreate a mythological feel which would have otherwise harmed the aesthetics of the story.
My only complaint is mostly based on the fact that this book’s particular writing style and presentation feel forced at times, pushing for resolution instead of building any necessary suspense for the reader, a typical error made by writers in their debut novels. The cover of the book, made by Kelly Shorten, catches the eye but is unfortunately inappropriate for the book’s content. While Pantheon is a Western-style story about the Greek Gods, it seems to focus more on the Western aspect of the story while leaving the fantasy bits completely out of the equation.