Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Dig by Audrey Hart

Release date: November 7, 2011
Publisher: Backlit Fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Ebook
Source: Advance copy provided by the author
Buy the book: Amazon

Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece. 

As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people—humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what. 

Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her—all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her.
 I have always had a love of Greek mythology. I don't consider myself an expert on it or anything, but the stories of the gods and all the crazy creatures has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I've seen a whole lot of interpretations of the stories, and the The Dig is definitely one of my favorites. All of our favorite gods are there--Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hermes--but they're human teenagers. I really love this idea, because I always felt like the gods seemed like big, powerful teenagers anyways, with their scrabbling over stupid things and falling in love with their own reflections. Audrey Hart has incorporated all of the things we love about Greek mythology within the coming-of-age story of Zoe Calder, and it's a fun ride.

Zoe was definitely a highlight of the book. I know there are a lot of "introverted" young adult protagonists, but Zoe felt like the most genuine and realistic interpretation of this, and I felt like she and I would get along. She's smart and intuitive. Sure, she freaks out about somehow ending up in ancient Greece, but she doesn't whine about it for the whole book: she does something about it. Her insecurities felt real and much like how I felt in high school. She doesn't have the same interests as her classmates, and can't quite relate, but somehow knows there's really nothing wrong with that. At the same time, Zoe's journey is a trip to find herself. Though she knew she was strong, she never had to really show it, and she learns just what kind of person she is.

I also thought the relationship between Zoe and Zeus was well-developed, which is a rarity recently. In true teenager fashion, Zoe rushes into labels for what they are and thinks she's way more in love than she really is, but their real relationship (not the one in Zoe's head) moves at a good pace. There's no insta-love, just attraction, and their relationship develops over time spent together having a good time, not brooding stares. Zeus is also a very worthy love interest. I'm definitely looking forward to more of him. 

The Dig is a very fast-paced and fun read. At just above 200 pages, you can read it in one sitting and be very satisfied with how you've spent your last few hours. It is packed full with action, mythology, and romance that all blend together for a great adventure, and I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy!

Risk a paper cut? It only comes in digital form right now, so there's no danger! Muahahaha. But even if there were danger of a paper cut, I'd still advise you to read The Dig as soon as possible.

I need to extend a big thanks to Audrey Hart for contacting me about reviewing The Dig and for providing me with an advance copy! You're the best!

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