Review: The Immortal Game

immortal gameReviewed by Janell

This fantasy romance stars Ruby, a college student who wants to become a doctor like her father, and Ash, a sexy guy who seems to do nothing but sit in a coffee shop all day playing chess. Ruby takes a break from studying one day and plays chess with Ash, beating him with a strategy that her father taught to her. This throws Ash for quite a loop, because he’s never lost before.

Intrigued, Ash starts pestering Ruby at the coffee shop, and soon he’s got her bungee jumping and rock climbing when she should be studying. When Ruby finally decides that she doesn’t have time for boys and needs to get back to the books, Ash walks out on her. Then he shows up at her house in the middle of the night bleeding from a bullet in his chest.

But don’t worry, Ash is immortal. Ash is, in fact, a god: Ares, the god of war. Ruby buys this because she watches his body eject the bullet and heal itself overnight. She also learns that his sister, Athena, owns the coffee shop and his brother, Apollo, reads poetry there. Just go with it, because what happens next is pretty fun.

Ash falls for Ruby so hard that his inner peace creates actual world peace! Ruby can’t resist that, so she agrees to marry him and become a goddess (yes, it’s pretty much insta-love). But first they have to get his father to agree, and Zeus isn’t known for being flexible. Or nice.

It turns out that Ares and Ruby can’t live happily ever after until they rescue someone from the Underworld. Their trip is, well, awesome. All the details you ever heard about Greek mythology are brought to life: the River Styx, the dead who can’t pay the fare to get across, the giant dog guarding the gates, judgment, and Tartarus, where the evil are sent. I can’t remember if Dante’s Inferno was Greek or Christian or a hybrid, but some of the punishments that Ares and Ruby witness seem straight out of those circles of Hell.

There’s a part where Ares is ready to give up, and Ruby womans up and tells him that, with Zeus and Hades after her, there is no going back. Later, she has to rescue him from an amazing rotating maze guarded by chimera creatures, and she does it with a bow and arrow and stamina.

This book had great details. I enjoyed seeing how the various gods interacted with each other in a way that the mythology made sense. Also, while reading this book I ate some Greek yogurt, and the carton had a picture of Eros on the lid. “Eros, the love child of Ares and Aphrodite, he married a human who became the goddess Psyche!” I thought to myself, feeling smug. The book is also a learning experience!

I don’t read a lot of fantasy, so I don’t know if there’s a genre of Olympian heroes, but this is a fun place to start. The heat level is low because Ruby is a virgin (yep, just go with it) and has to stay that way until the wedding, but the adventure level is high.

Grade: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Immortal Game
by Joannah Miley
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Publisher: Second Story Publishing

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