A while ago I bought this book cheap off Amazon but couldn’t really get into it. I think mainly because I was on a steampunk kick at the time and just couldn’t get back into an urban fantasy frame of mind. That being said, Chronicles of a Demigod by Adam McNamee is pretty good.
It starts off with Coyote (the Native American spirit) deciding that his people needed a weapon of godly make, something super cool. Unfortunately there isn’t really a smithy spirit in the Native American pantheons (I say pantheons because while the many tribes believed a lot of similar things, they all have their own myths). So Coyote decides to trick Hephaestus into making him the ultimate sword by playing off his jealousy of Ares.
And it works, sort of. Hephaestus makes the sword…but he curses it so that only a Greek (or a Greek demigod) can wield it. So Coyote takes the sword and, pissed off and a trickster, he gives it to a Greek demigod. One of Ares’ get. 🙂
Enter Ambrose, who lives in Las Cruces and is one of many Greek demigods in the world. As you no doubt already know, the Greek gods were not known for their fidelity. What I like about them in this world is that they can basically live forever as long as they get ambrosia, which is actually supplied by the gods and run around the demigods by Hermes’ offspring.
Ambrose is a son of Ares but he doesn’t fight. Or at least, he hasn’t fought for roughly one hundred years. Why, you ask? Because he fell in love with the daughter of Hades, Selene. Hades made him a deal: you go 100 years without fighting and I’ll allow you to date my daughter. Which first of all, boo. My dad wouldn’t have that sort of say over my love life, why should hers? Second of all, why bother with deals when you’re the lord of the underworld? Can’t you arrange to disrupt the flow of ambrosia or higher someone to take him out if you really didn’t approve?
Anyway, moving on. Las Cruces is one of two areas in the country which are sort of supernatural safe zones. The other being Portland and if you’ve ever been to Portland, you’ll know that wouldn’t be all that far fetched. 😀 Groups of supes live in Las Cruces that normally wouldn’t get to stay in one place. They follow the rules set down by a guy named Alistrov (whom we don’t meet), which ensures the supes stay under the radar and don’t kill each other. Most other places, it sounds like a free for all. And in Portland, the supes are basically serfs of one guy.
Unfortunately, Alistrov disappears and the alpha of the local werewolf pack gets murdered, leaving Las Cruces open for the taking. The supes who live there don’t want to leave. It’s their home and there isn’t any place else in the country that’s as stable and prosperous. So they band together and try to get Ambrose to fight for them, since he’s the only real fighter in the lot.
Ambrose turns them down. He wants to finish out his 100 years and get Selene back. His best friend, a son of Hermes named Dorian, keeps trying to tell him that this deal is not the way to get her back, that it’s changed him but Ambrose doesn’t listen…until Selene shows up and tells him the same thing. And dumps his ass. The reason being that neither Ambrose nor her father consulted with her on this stupid deal, which she would have shot down because Hades can’t make her do anything. Which is kind of cruel when you think of it. She didn’t make the deal so she could have gone to Ambrose any time and told him that. She chose not to and then dumped him. Kind sounds like he’s well shot of her.
With nothing holding him back from fighting, Ambrose decides that he likes Las Cruces too much and he’s a little too mad to not do anything. He agrees to fight their enemy, a bear shifter named Ursa (not original but it’s exactly the kind of name this character would have given himself). And have I mentioned that he’s got to keep his half sister Selia off his back? She wants the Trickster’s Blade like none other but she’s a nasty bitch and Ambrose isn’t going to let her have it. It was a gift from Coyote himself because Ambrose was the Ares kid who was most like Coyote, tricky.
This is pretty clearly a first novel but it was surprisingly good and the world building was pretty decent. I’m a sucker for Greek demigod stories in my urban fantasy, so I ended up quite enjoying this. It definitely ended on an open note, hinting at a follow up book though I haven’t seen one yet. I hope he comes out with one. I really like Ambrose. He’s not your typical Ares kid in fantasy. He’s got layers. Like an onion. 😉 Rating: B+. Good, but could use some polishing.