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Demitria Lunetta , Marley Lynn , Kate Karyus Quinn

Mythverse: Mount Olympus Academy (Series, Book 1): Fire & Flood

YEAR: 2019

COUNTRY: United States of America

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Title of the work

Mythverse: Mount Olympus Academy (Series, Book 1): Fire & Flood

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia

First Edition Date

2019

First Edition Details

Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta, Marley Lynn, Fire & Flood: Mount Olympus Academy (Mythverse Book 1), Little Fish Publishing, 2019, 250 pp.

ISBN

ASIN B07VBZ6LSF

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Novels

Target Audience

Young adults

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Female portrait

Demitria Lunetta (Author)

Demitria Lunetta is the author of Young Adult books, such as Fade, Bad Blood and more. She is also an editor and contributing author for two anthologies: Among the Shadows and Betty Bites Back. she holds a BA in Human Ecology.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Marley Lynn (Author)

Marley Lynn is an American author. She is the co-author of the Mythverse and Down and Dirty series.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Kate Karyus Quinn (Author)

Kate Karyus Quinn is an American author. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre and Masters of Fine Arts in film and television production from Chapman University. She is the author of Young Adult novels, among them: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Down with the Shine and Not Hungry. She is also the author (with Demitria Lunetta) of Anti/Hero graphic novel.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).

In an interview from 2019, Kate Karyus Quinn explains the benefit of co-writing the Mythverse series and expand on the writing process (yabookscentral.com, accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

Edith (Edie) Evans is an American 17-year old high school student. Due to an asthma attack, she is forced to miss her family’s summer vacation in Greece, where her archaeologist mother has gotten a job. Instead, Edie remains in Florida with her grandmother and father, Daniel, while her sister Mavis joins their mother in Greece. Although Edie is enjoying her stay with her grandmother and the trips she takes with her father, she has nightmares in which she has visions of her grandmother drowning. Her father reassures her, telling her it is just a dream, but one day Mavis and their mother do not skype as they usually do, and Edie’s father becomes more and more anxious, worrying that they might have gone missing, although Edie does not understand his concern. 

Then suddenly a terrible tsunami hits the coast near her grandmother’s condo. In all of the commotion, Edie is separated from her father and grandmother. She thinks that she witnessed a man’s face in the water but is not sure, “I could swear I see the shape of a person. A giant foamy head with leering mouth and two long arms reaching forward.” [p. 11]. She then reunites with her father.

Edie and her father run to the rooftop greenhouse and her father frantically tries to explain to her that she must now know who she really is. Edie does not understand. Then the ground rumbles and her father tells her to run to the stairs. When she finally arrives back at the condo and takes her phone, Edie received a video call from her father, and watches in horror as a watery face appears behind him. Her father tells her that she can only go with someone who knows the word ichor. Then her father disappears in a wall of water. Later she discovers that her grandmother died falling with the elevator while trying to get up to her apartment. They were the only two casualties of the tsunami.

Six months later, Edie is unhappily living with a foster couple, there being no sign yet of her mother or sister. One day a handsome man arrives in the disguise of a messenger. He reveals his true identity as the god Hermes and mentions the password, ichor. He also manages to unfurl two wings, which, to her great bewilderment, also suddenly sprout from Edie’s back. Edie is distraught and afraid, but she is also curious to find out who she really is and what happened to her family. Therefore, she agrees to go with Hermes to Mount Olympus Academy - which is located in Florida yet has a secret portal through the marshes. The academy, run by Zeus (or Mr. Zee as he is referred to in the series) houses various supernatural students and faculty: gods (mostly the teachers and administrators), vampires, shapeshifters and witches. Edie understands she is a shapeshifter but she is afraid to completely shift and uncover her inner beast, the nature of which she has not yet identified and can only sense its bloodlust. She befriends a girl named Cassandra who can foresee the future, although her prophecies are usually trifles, regarding the food at the cafeteria, so no one takes her seriously. Edie is assigned to the assassination class and she understands that there is more to the school than is initially apparent. The Olympian gods use the students to fight the monsters in an ongoing fierce war. Edie wishes to find the monster that killed her father, Leviathan, and avenge his death.

Slowly Edie discovers things about her family. The couple, Daniel and Lyla, whom she thought were her real parents, were in fact her adoptive family. Her adoptive parents met at the academy; her mother, Lyla, was a gifted healer witch. Her father, Daniel, was found and raised by Themis, the counselor of the academy, after having been abandoned at a young age. Edie and Mavis had different parents and both their mothers died during childbirth. Her adoptive father, Daniel, took them secretly from the academy when they were born. Edie wishes to find out more about her birth parents and the secret surrounding her birth. She slowly realizes how her adoptive parents tried to protect her and her sister, and embarks on a quest to discover her true parentage and discover what happened to her mother and sister. 

Meanwhile the academy provides Edie with romantic opportunities as well. She befriends (and slowly falls in love with) a vampire boy named Valentino, whose twin sister, Valentina (Tina), is her roommate. Tina is a snobbish vampire who threatens Edie, making her wonder if they can ever be friends.

Edie learns that the academy hides many secrets, that things are not as they appear and it is hard to tell who is a villain and who is not especially in regard to the war with the monsters.

One of Edie’s favorite teachers, a harpy named Ocypete, encourages her to use her wings and also attempts to recruit Edie to works as a spy for the monsters, but Edie refuses, painfully remembering that a monster killed her father.

During the spring dance, a renegade group of monsters attacks the academy. In all of the commotion, Edie is finally able to transform, and discovers she is a dragon-shifter. The battle is harsh and there are casualties on both sides, including Ocypete. Edie manages to save many of the students, but then discovers that her friend, Cassandra, was kidnapped. The book ends with this cliffhanger regarding the fate of Cassandra.

Analysis

This series shares similarities with other well-known fantasy series, such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or Twilight. The authors do not hide the similarities between this series and Harry Potter. They dedicate the book to Potter fans specifically: “For anyone still waiting for their Hogwart’s letter to arrive - this book is for you.” The emphasis of the series is on a strong heroine who is torn between the ordinary world she was brought up in and the new and mysterious one she is suddenly thrown into (similarly to Eliza Raine’s Olympus Academy trilogy). All the series mentioned deal with magic, ordinary children/adolescent who discover they have divine lineage/magic powers and meet unique friends such as witches or vampires.

The book is aimed at older teens or young adults especially due to various sexual references which occupy it, and form part of the interest of the characters, all 17 or 18 years old. The characters discuss sexual acts, sometimes graphically but not too much, bisexuality, teenage pregnancy (Edie’s mother became pregnant as a student at the university) etc. The book hence exhibits a very open approach to sexuality and same-sex relations. The only taboo is inter-species relations, for example between a witch and a vampire. Yet this taboo is reinforced by the school’s administrators, and is a result of a prejudice (as is further explained in the second book of the series). There are many inter-species couples in the series, including Edie and Val. Therefore love does triumph over various obstacles.

The Greek mythology provides the structure for the fantastic element of the story, the academy as well as the war between gods and monsters, most of which on both sides are Greek mythological beings. Yet the story, as noted, is not limited to the ancient Greek lore but mixes different mythological or legendary creatures, such as vampires, witches, werewolves and many others. While there are no specific myths which are being referred to, the universe of Mythverse is built upon a mixture of Greek mythological elements and characters, especially the gods and monsters.

The main axis of the plot is a recurrent motif of coming of age tales, in which the protagonists must find out who they really are, and discover their true identities. When Edie discovers that she is no ordinary high school girl, she must face with a new reality, very different from anything she ever knew. Even her physical form is changed. While physical changes are common as we grow, they do not involve sprouting wings. Edie realizes that even her asthma was a sign she did not belong in the human world, since in the academy she has no problem breathing (similar to Percy Jackson’s dyslexia). Learning to control her wings involves letting go of her human side and accepting her true identity as a shape shifter, “The moment I let go of everything I think of as me—everything that is human—my wings take control.” [p. 185]. Yet Edie does not give up on her humanity and emotions entirely. She remains a product of both worlds and in the end this is what makes her stand out and ultimately grow as a person and as a leader.

Edie is afraid to shift since she does not fully understand or accept her new, non-human identity. When she fully accepts herself and realizes she must help her friends and protect them, only then can the transformation be completed. Even if initially when she tells her friend, Cassandra, that she might be a dragon, Cassandra laughs it off, since, as she proclaimed, dragons are not real. In this fantastic world apparently there are also myths and legends. Yet Edie proves that anything can happen.

Regarding the adult figures, Edie’s father was her guardian and protector who died because of the secret he carried from the academy. He stands as a noble example against which the other male figures can be measured and all of them fail miserably, being lecherous and egoistic. The series has a strong message of female empowering, strong female characters who fight against a mostly domineering male environment.

The main mother-figures Edie encounters are Themis, the guidance counselor and Ocypete, her teacher whom she trusts. The betrayal of the harpy is especially painful for Edie, since she truly confided in her. Yet she is not left alone without any parental guidance, as Themis continues to protect her. When Edie arrives at the academy, she explains to her, “We help people like you. People who shift into other shapes. People who don’t belong anywhere else.” [p. 45]. The academy provides Edie with a sense of home, of belonging to something, after she had lost everyone and everything she had in the human world. 

The gods in this story are mischievous, lustful, secretive; they do not protect the students but prefer to use them as weapons. Hermes recruited Edie but did not tell her the truth about the war against the monsters. The head master, Zee, seems more occupied with sexual escapades than running the school. Persephone arrives at the dance to pick a boy for her amusement. As the series progresses we learn more about the gods’ deceptions. Ocypete tells Edie that “Many of the monsters were made for the sport of the gods—some of them as a direct result of the gods at their own sport.” [p. 180]. Now the gods must face their own creations which rise against them and their maltreatment.

The gods care little for the students hence the lingering question remains, which are the true monsters?


Addenda

The review refers to the 2020 Kindle edition.

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Mythverse: Mount Olympus Academy (Series, Book 1): Fire & Flood

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia

First Edition Date

2019

First Edition Details

Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta, Marley Lynn, Fire & Flood: Mount Olympus Academy (Mythverse Book 1), Little Fish Publishing, 2019, 250 pp.

ISBN

ASIN B07VBZ6LSF

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Novels

Target Audience

Young adults

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Female portrait

Demitria Lunetta (Author)

Demitria Lunetta is the author of Young Adult books, such as Fade, Bad Blood and more. She is also an editor and contributing author for two anthologies: Among the Shadows and Betty Bites Back. she holds a BA in Human Ecology.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Marley Lynn (Author)

Marley Lynn is an American author. She is the co-author of the Mythverse and Down and Dirty series.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Kate Karyus Quinn (Author)

Kate Karyus Quinn is an American author. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre and Masters of Fine Arts in film and television production from Chapman University. She is the author of Young Adult novels, among them: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Down with the Shine and Not Hungry. She is also the author (with Demitria Lunetta) of Anti/Hero graphic novel.


Official website (accessed: August 19, 2020).

In an interview from 2019, Kate Karyus Quinn explains the benefit of co-writing the Mythverse series and expand on the writing process (yabookscentral.com, accessed: August 19, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar- Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

Edith (Edie) Evans is an American 17-year old high school student. Due to an asthma attack, she is forced to miss her family’s summer vacation in Greece, where her archaeologist mother has gotten a job. Instead, Edie remains in Florida with her grandmother and father, Daniel, while her sister Mavis joins their mother in Greece. Although Edie is enjoying her stay with her grandmother and the trips she takes with her father, she has nightmares in which she has visions of her grandmother drowning. Her father reassures her, telling her it is just a dream, but one day Mavis and their mother do not skype as they usually do, and Edie’s father becomes more and more anxious, worrying that they might have gone missing, although Edie does not understand his concern. 

Then suddenly a terrible tsunami hits the coast near her grandmother’s condo. In all of the commotion, Edie is separated from her father and grandmother. She thinks that she witnessed a man’s face in the water but is not sure, “I could swear I see the shape of a person. A giant foamy head with leering mouth and two long arms reaching forward.” [p. 11]. She then reunites with her father.

Edie and her father run to the rooftop greenhouse and her father frantically tries to explain to her that she must now know who she really is. Edie does not understand. Then the ground rumbles and her father tells her to run to the stairs. When she finally arrives back at the condo and takes her phone, Edie received a video call from her father, and watches in horror as a watery face appears behind him. Her father tells her that she can only go with someone who knows the word ichor. Then her father disappears in a wall of water. Later she discovers that her grandmother died falling with the elevator while trying to get up to her apartment. They were the only two casualties of the tsunami.

Six months later, Edie is unhappily living with a foster couple, there being no sign yet of her mother or sister. One day a handsome man arrives in the disguise of a messenger. He reveals his true identity as the god Hermes and mentions the password, ichor. He also manages to unfurl two wings, which, to her great bewilderment, also suddenly sprout from Edie’s back. Edie is distraught and afraid, but she is also curious to find out who she really is and what happened to her family. Therefore, she agrees to go with Hermes to Mount Olympus Academy - which is located in Florida yet has a secret portal through the marshes. The academy, run by Zeus (or Mr. Zee as he is referred to in the series) houses various supernatural students and faculty: gods (mostly the teachers and administrators), vampires, shapeshifters and witches. Edie understands she is a shapeshifter but she is afraid to completely shift and uncover her inner beast, the nature of which she has not yet identified and can only sense its bloodlust. She befriends a girl named Cassandra who can foresee the future, although her prophecies are usually trifles, regarding the food at the cafeteria, so no one takes her seriously. Edie is assigned to the assassination class and she understands that there is more to the school than is initially apparent. The Olympian gods use the students to fight the monsters in an ongoing fierce war. Edie wishes to find the monster that killed her father, Leviathan, and avenge his death.

Slowly Edie discovers things about her family. The couple, Daniel and Lyla, whom she thought were her real parents, were in fact her adoptive family. Her adoptive parents met at the academy; her mother, Lyla, was a gifted healer witch. Her father, Daniel, was found and raised by Themis, the counselor of the academy, after having been abandoned at a young age. Edie and Mavis had different parents and both their mothers died during childbirth. Her adoptive father, Daniel, took them secretly from the academy when they were born. Edie wishes to find out more about her birth parents and the secret surrounding her birth. She slowly realizes how her adoptive parents tried to protect her and her sister, and embarks on a quest to discover her true parentage and discover what happened to her mother and sister. 

Meanwhile the academy provides Edie with romantic opportunities as well. She befriends (and slowly falls in love with) a vampire boy named Valentino, whose twin sister, Valentina (Tina), is her roommate. Tina is a snobbish vampire who threatens Edie, making her wonder if they can ever be friends.

Edie learns that the academy hides many secrets, that things are not as they appear and it is hard to tell who is a villain and who is not especially in regard to the war with the monsters.

One of Edie’s favorite teachers, a harpy named Ocypete, encourages her to use her wings and also attempts to recruit Edie to works as a spy for the monsters, but Edie refuses, painfully remembering that a monster killed her father.

During the spring dance, a renegade group of monsters attacks the academy. In all of the commotion, Edie is finally able to transform, and discovers she is a dragon-shifter. The battle is harsh and there are casualties on both sides, including Ocypete. Edie manages to save many of the students, but then discovers that her friend, Cassandra, was kidnapped. The book ends with this cliffhanger regarding the fate of Cassandra.

Analysis

This series shares similarities with other well-known fantasy series, such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or Twilight. The authors do not hide the similarities between this series and Harry Potter. They dedicate the book to Potter fans specifically: “For anyone still waiting for their Hogwart’s letter to arrive - this book is for you.” The emphasis of the series is on a strong heroine who is torn between the ordinary world she was brought up in and the new and mysterious one she is suddenly thrown into (similarly to Eliza Raine’s Olympus Academy trilogy). All the series mentioned deal with magic, ordinary children/adolescent who discover they have divine lineage/magic powers and meet unique friends such as witches or vampires.

The book is aimed at older teens or young adults especially due to various sexual references which occupy it, and form part of the interest of the characters, all 17 or 18 years old. The characters discuss sexual acts, sometimes graphically but not too much, bisexuality, teenage pregnancy (Edie’s mother became pregnant as a student at the university) etc. The book hence exhibits a very open approach to sexuality and same-sex relations. The only taboo is inter-species relations, for example between a witch and a vampire. Yet this taboo is reinforced by the school’s administrators, and is a result of a prejudice (as is further explained in the second book of the series). There are many inter-species couples in the series, including Edie and Val. Therefore love does triumph over various obstacles.

The Greek mythology provides the structure for the fantastic element of the story, the academy as well as the war between gods and monsters, most of which on both sides are Greek mythological beings. Yet the story, as noted, is not limited to the ancient Greek lore but mixes different mythological or legendary creatures, such as vampires, witches, werewolves and many others. While there are no specific myths which are being referred to, the universe of Mythverse is built upon a mixture of Greek mythological elements and characters, especially the gods and monsters.

The main axis of the plot is a recurrent motif of coming of age tales, in which the protagonists must find out who they really are, and discover their true identities. When Edie discovers that she is no ordinary high school girl, she must face with a new reality, very different from anything she ever knew. Even her physical form is changed. While physical changes are common as we grow, they do not involve sprouting wings. Edie realizes that even her asthma was a sign she did not belong in the human world, since in the academy she has no problem breathing (similar to Percy Jackson’s dyslexia). Learning to control her wings involves letting go of her human side and accepting her true identity as a shape shifter, “The moment I let go of everything I think of as me—everything that is human—my wings take control.” [p. 185]. Yet Edie does not give up on her humanity and emotions entirely. She remains a product of both worlds and in the end this is what makes her stand out and ultimately grow as a person and as a leader.

Edie is afraid to shift since she does not fully understand or accept her new, non-human identity. When she fully accepts herself and realizes she must help her friends and protect them, only then can the transformation be completed. Even if initially when she tells her friend, Cassandra, that she might be a dragon, Cassandra laughs it off, since, as she proclaimed, dragons are not real. In this fantastic world apparently there are also myths and legends. Yet Edie proves that anything can happen.

Regarding the adult figures, Edie’s father was her guardian and protector who died because of the secret he carried from the academy. He stands as a noble example against which the other male figures can be measured and all of them fail miserably, being lecherous and egoistic. The series has a strong message of female empowering, strong female characters who fight against a mostly domineering male environment.

The main mother-figures Edie encounters are Themis, the guidance counselor and Ocypete, her teacher whom she trusts. The betrayal of the harpy is especially painful for Edie, since she truly confided in her. Yet she is not left alone without any parental guidance, as Themis continues to protect her. When Edie arrives at the academy, she explains to her, “We help people like you. People who shift into other shapes. People who don’t belong anywhere else.” [p. 45]. The academy provides Edie with a sense of home, of belonging to something, after she had lost everyone and everything she had in the human world. 

The gods in this story are mischievous, lustful, secretive; they do not protect the students but prefer to use them as weapons. Hermes recruited Edie but did not tell her the truth about the war against the monsters. The head master, Zee, seems more occupied with sexual escapades than running the school. Persephone arrives at the dance to pick a boy for her amusement. As the series progresses we learn more about the gods’ deceptions. Ocypete tells Edie that “Many of the monsters were made for the sport of the gods—some of them as a direct result of the gods at their own sport.” [p. 180]. Now the gods must face their own creations which rise against them and their maltreatment.

The gods care little for the students hence the lingering question remains, which are the true monsters?


Addenda

The review refers to the 2020 Kindle edition.

Yellow cloud