Title: The Helm of Darkness (War on the Gods Book 1)
Author: A. P. Mobley
Publisher: Sea of Ink Press
Pub Date: 06/03/18
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Andy and Zoey are two normal teenagers living in the modern day–that is, until they’re knocked unconscious in a freak storm sweeping the United States.
When they wake up, the world they know has been tossed away. Their city is in ruins, strange creatures walk the earth, and worst of all, everyone is gone. They stumble across Diana and Spencer, two kids around their age who possess incredible magical abilities, and who claim to be the demigod children of Greek gods. Not only that, they also claim the year is 500 AS, five hundred years after the gods conjured a massive storm that destroyed most of humanity and helped them take the world as their own once again.
Andy and Zoey are soon handed an impossible task: To save humanity. To lead a war on the gods.
They’ll have to battle monsters, death, and their own inner demons to survive and to protect the people they love.
I’ve been on a mythology kick ever since I read The Atlantis Bloodline by C. A. Gray in May because it reminded me how much I love mythology. I read The Lightning Thief for the first time in May too and loved it, so when I saw The Helm of Darkness on BookSirens, I immediately went for it. I had no idea I would fall so in love with this book. This is the kind of book where you wonder why everyone isn’t raving about it because it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
“When the world is taken back, and monsters rule the trees, blood of a demigod will spill. Two mortals will rise, two from the Before, reborn from sacrifice. And when the sky is black and green, and the heavens cry, they will lead a war. A war on the gods.”
Chills right? This perfectly summarizes what the heart of this book is about. One of the elements I liked best in the book was that Andy and Zoey had completely opposite feelings about the situation they were thrust into. They lived different lives in the Before and while Andy had a loving family that he’s desperate to reconnect with, Zoey’s glad to not be tethered to anyone or her actions in the past. They don’t suddenly understand everything happening in 500 AS, and Andy wasn’t always on board with everything required of them. Mobley did a great job writing believable characters that grew over the course of the book but never strayed from their original identity. The characters in this, even minor ones, were given so much detail and show how well-thought-out the story is.
Another one of my favorite elements in the book was how in depth the god’s and demigod’s powers are talked about. Andy and Zoey don’t know much about them, so we get to hear Diana and Spencer not only tell them about the different powers, but show Andy and Zoey how they work. I feel like I want to know everything about Spencer and Diana, like in a novella of before this all happened. I learned so much from them and thought it was so fascinating to see how demigod’s powers were a reflection of their parent’s. And how those powers were strengthened by being near the element they have control over. Basically, I love that it wasn’t just a focus on one person’s power and that we got to see the demigods use their powers to try to train the mortals on how to fight.
The gods themselves though? A mess. Messy. Apollo was a pretty good dad in this, but Zeus was a terrible father which I mean is not completely surprising considering his entire history. And the demigods fighting each other? Sign me up for more of that okay. There are also some violent moments in the story that I enjoyed because it made the action scenes seem so vivid and raised the stakes when you realized how injured the characters became.
The betrayal that happened in this book I did not see coming at all. Like if you had to ask me what a twist in this book would be, I had a moment where I suspected something, but I was like no it could never happen. It did happen.
Overall, The Helm of Darkness was a fascinating adventure story to read, and I cannot wait to read the next book, Poseidon’s Trident. This book seriously had me questioning what if the gods are actually real and they’re mad we don’t worship them.
Mobley does a great job of dropping you right into the action as you see what has become of the US in the centuries after the storm. You get to see the monsters that lurk and get details about their capabilities. You also get introduced to the conflict that started the storm and what is happening between the gods.
Darko – I love love Darko, a satyr. I just want to protect him and have him be happy (I think I have soft spot since Mr. Tumnus the faun in Narnia).
Kali – She’s so spunky and brings the fun banter. Also, I can’t wait to see how her relationship with the others develops in the next book.
Diana – She’s been through a lot and yet is willing to sacrifice so much to help Andy and Zoey defeat the gods. She can be rough around the edges at times but is generally sweet.
Honorable Mention: Karter – he gets sympathy points because I feel bad for him
The plot kept my attention the entire time as we got to see how Andy and Zoey handled being asked to defeat the gods. The journey they had to take was dangerous and full of distractions, some accidental and some intentional. During their travels, we get introduced to new characters and some other popular Greek figures. I also liked that every plot point felt like there was a purpose for it being included.
A. P. Mobley is a young-adult fantasy author with an undying love for Greek mythology and epic, magical tales. She grew up in Wyoming and currently lives there, working part-time as a substitute teacher and studying to earn her degree in English. She considers herself a huge nerd, loves chocolate a little too much, and can be found snuggling with one of her pets into late hours of the night. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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Thanks for reading my review on The Helm of Darkness! Comment down below whether you like mythology and if so, what kind? Also, which god(dess) would you want to be your parent if you were a demigod?