middle grades and older will enjoy:
Tony Ditocco and Robyn Ditocco - Atlas' Revenge: Another Mad Myth Mystery
Intriguing Read.......... Happy to Recommend ............. 5 Stars
Following the success of their highly regarded ‘The Hero Perseus’, the first in the Mad Myth Mystery series, writers Robyn and Tony DiTocco have tackled another Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction work based on Ancient gods and their doings.
We first met PJ as a sixteen year old when he was summoned by Zeus to help in the defeat of the Medusa. This time twenty year old PJ Allen is a college student and part time graphic artist for a movie studio. Beginning another adventure as a descendant of the Greek gods Perseus and Hercules the tale begins with a bang.
We find PJ with snowboard locked to his boot, surging toward a sharp 90 degree twist that becomes a straight vertical drop. This particular stretch is the only thing that is preventing PJ from conquering the mountain known as Atlas’ Revenge.’
In an effort to forestall yet another inevitable crash PJ grasps for anything and finds only a broken branch, slow mo tumbling and an ominous rumbling coming straight for him. With a gasp PJ awoke. For three nights now he has had the same disturbing dream. Maybe his recent assignment is getting to him; PJ has been reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for class.
PJ has lived in Southern California for three years now, and there is nothing resembling the curve or drop like the one in his dream. He has spent hours in the Malibu waves and has snow boarded the frozen surf of Olympia mountain many afternoons.
Following an auto crash on the Santa Monica Freeway PJ and old friend Andi Martin are again thrown together. Andi is now president of her clothing design company. PJ is attending college when he is not surfing waves or snow.
Without warning PJ is confronted with an all too familiar visit from Hermes the Messenger God. The 6.2 earthquake shaking Andi and PJ down the hillside following their auto crash has had many repercussions; villages in the Philippines are under water, in France skiers by the hundreds are isolated by snow and ice, tsunami, avalanche, earthquake are all the result of Atlas’ tricking Hercules into taking the burden of holding up the heavens.
Zeus has sent for PJ’s immediate return, Hercules can continue to hold the heavens for about three weeks and then the sky will fall. Hercules has been tricked by Atlas into holding up the heavens however he is becoming weaker and is losing control. PJ must complete the Twelve Labors initially assigned to Atlas, then he must locate Atlas, who has vanished and get him back on duty all before Hercules folds and the world collapses.
Travel into the vortex to meet with Zeus, homing arrows, an awakened lion, twelve labors to complete before Hercules is spent. PJ is not an always willing warrior as with Zeus's counsel he duels nefarious mythic gods and creatures. Many of the old familiar Greek mythical characters and exploits are adroitly integrated into the action.
When he is not performing heroic feats, decked out in magical armaments supplied by Athena, PJ is a pretty common fellow who attends class regularly and actually studies and still has time for surfing, snow-boarding and dating. This action packed, at times zany tale holds reader interest with its fabled characters, enlightened references, and dazzling quests often enjoyed by today’s young people as they delve into role-playing video games.
Writers Di Tocco have crafted a fast paced spell binder sure to intrigue the strong middle grade reader, high schooler who is ‘into’ fanciful works and adults who just plain like a good tale wound around Olympus. PJ Allen is a strong character built around a real kid. Parents will enjoy reading of him and his adventures. Appearing first in ‘The Hero Perseus,’ PJ has matured and continues to succeed in spite of himself.
Atlas’ Revenge Another Mad Myth Mystery is a polished work, filled with absorbing characters, stimulating settings, a compelling storyline and nicely detailed settings. Transitions between the mythical and present are handled well, PJ’s confusion and distress are felt by the reader.
The writers Di Tocco display an perspicacious adroitness for taking mundane situations as well as the not so mundane and weaving them into a real attention grabber. From the opening lines the reader is drawn into the tale, moved at breakneck speed into, through and beyond amazing situations, states of affairs and affairs.
The Di Toccos have done their homework, the ancient gods are well presented. High school students who are bored to death with ‘ancient reading’ will find themselves pulled into the tale, interest held fast and learning something of a fascinating period of time and myth.
I was sent a trade paperback copy for review. Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend, hope to see more of PJ soon.
Reviewed by: Molly’s Reviews
20+ years classroom teacher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction ages 12 through high school
Author: Di Tocco
Publisher: Brainstorm Publications, Inc.
ISBN-10: 0972342923 ISBN-13: 978-0972342926