Reviews for Zeus : King of the Gods


Booklist Reviews 2010 January #1
O'Connor unveils his new Olympians graphic-novel series with this story of the daddy of Greek gods. Most immediately striking about this, aside from the exciting artwork, is the care O'Connor takes to visualize the creation myth that begins with Gaea creating and taking as a husband the sky, Ouranos. Their children--the Titans and other proto-Olympian entities--are often neglected or at best murkily covered, but here they're vividly portrayed with all the magnificence of their beyond-good-and-evil power. After this breathtaking and lengthy sequence, Zeus enters the scene to grow from a feisty nymph-needling youth to a lightning bolt-wielding avenger. The extended, earth-shattering battle he wages with his father, Kronos, takes up the bulk of the story, delivering page after page of cataclysmic blows with the sensibility and hyperkinetic pacing of a literary superhero comic. While O'Connor includes a generous bounty of bonus materials to gratify myth hounds, this series could well become the initiation point for a new cadre of acolytes. New volumes should come quickly, with Athena's book due in April 2010. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
After opening with the history of Zeus's ancestors, the tale progresses to the birth of the "king of the gods," his fight with the Titans, and the rise of the Olympians: "ageless and immortal, a new race of gods." This graphic novel treatment brings a modern, colorful, action-packed look to an old tale. Reading list. Bib. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 December #2
An energetic graphic series on classical mythology debuts with the origin story of the Big Cheese Olympian, Zeus. Appropriately heightened, stately language narrates the joining of Gaea with Ouranos, the Titans' rise to power and Kronos's devouring of all his children but one--Zeus (pictured with lots of muscles and, oddly enough, Nordic blond good looks). In contrast (and in the same spirit as G. Brian Karas's rendition of the King of the Gods's story for younger readers, Young Zeus, also 2009), speech-balloon dialogue is decidedly colloquial: "Hey Metis. How about a kiss?" O'Connor pulls out the comic-book stops in his artwork, consciously echoing superteam portraits of yore in his line-up of angry Olympians and allowing the Clash of the Titans to extend over pages and pages of hugely satisfying sound effects, crumbled mountains and thrown lighting bolts. He plants clues in both text and images to stories to be developed as the series continues. Extensive backmatter includes an author's note, full-page character profiles, "G[r]eek Notes," discussion questions ("Has your dad ever tried to eat you?") and a bibliography. Holy Cyclopes, here's a keeper. (Graphic mythology. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 February #1
O'Connor (Kapow!;Journey into Mohawk Country) embarks on a new project: a series of graphic novels for young readers about Greek mythology (Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess follows in April, with Hera and Hades in the pipeline). While the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is the gold standard for illustrated introductions to Greek mythology, O'Connor offers a modern take with a new view of these "original superhero stories" with gritty yet heroic art and spare prose that lets the myths speak for themselves. The story is the one most schoolchildren know-the Titans created Zeus and Hera, as well as the Cyclopes, and adventure ensued-but O'Connor brings the young gods to life with memorable compositions and attention to detail (childlike fear on Hera's face as she navigates the treacherous new world, a bat screeching away as Zeus confronts the Cyclopes). Back matter includes notes, a bibliography, a list of recommended books for further reading, and discussion questions for readers, making it attractive for teachers and librarians for its information and depth of research. But that shouldn't stop tweens from enjoying the story. Ages 9-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March

Gr 4 Up--This 12-volume series debuts with the origins of Zeus. O'Connor begins his retelling by starting from literally nothing. Then a simple brown circle introduces readers to Gaea, or Mother Earth. The creation of Olympians unfolds slowly with simple straightforward lines and silhouettes. Dark browns and blacks echo the early development of the Titans. The first fully rendered face is that of the infant Zeus, with his birth symbolized in a pastel palette. This new race of Gods is visually and strikingly different. Zeus's virility and vitality both bring the story to life and make it accessible to young readers. Zeus's encounters with gods, particularly his battle with his father Kronos, are visually compelling. Images of grasping hands, thunderbolts, close-up visages, gaping holes in the earth, and silhouetted bodies bring Zeus's struggle for dominance into clear focus. Oversize panels reinforce the heroic proportions of the story. It is telling that from such a simple beginning, the complex story is able to evolve naturally to a satisfying conclusion, as depicted on the final page showing Zeus and the new race of numerous immortal gods. O'Connor clearly hints throughout the retelling that more stories are forthcoming: "And that is a tale for another day." Endpapers show the Olympian Family Tree. Back matter includes an author's note, notation of Greek words, discussion questions, and recommended reading. This ultimate superhero story will appeal to anyone who enjoys Greek mythology or great comic art.--Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

[Page 186]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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