Muse Unexpected by V.C. Birlidis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sixteen-year-old Sophie has her world turned upside down when her father is killed in an accident, and her estranged grandmother shows up to transport Sophie and her mother back to their native Greece. Sophie learns that she is a Muse, the descendant of the mythical Greek sisters who were responsible for human inspiration. She is coming into her powers, although she can’t control them yet. In addition, she finds out she is the Muse destined to lead the battle against the trapped Olympians, who are intent on breaking out of their centuries-long imprisonment and restore Mount Olympus, sending humankind into endless misery. Along the way, she befriends a Gorgon, develops a romance with a Minotaur, and finds out who her parents really are.
The story is interesting. It brings elements of Greek mythology into the modern world, and gives a fresh take on the fallen angels mythos. Descriptions are nicely done, especially of the Greek settings. Some characterizations are a bit uneven, particularly Sophie’s mother, Callie. Georgia, the grandmother who is head of the Greek and Italian group of Muses, is described as ambitious and power-hungry, but doesn’t quite make that convincing. Sophie is probably the best of the main characters, although she, too, suffers from some uneven moments. The story contains both internal and external conflict, and the interweaving of the mythological elements works well.
Despite the above, the story is basically good. The use of mythology is good, and the modern setting works well with the ancient stories. However, the book would have benefited from a bit more editing. There are some uneven spots, and dialogue that seems forced and out of character, particularly for teenaged Sophie. There were spots where the story could have been tightened up a bit. And there were far too many mechanical errors- wrong word choice, grammar mistakes, awkward or run-on sentences. They did detract from the reading experience.
Muse Unexpected is a good meshing of modern setting and Greek mythology. It suffered a bit from the need for editing, but held my interest enough to finish in spite of the problems.