Andrews-Katz, Eric. “Tartarus”, Bold strokes Books, 2017.
A Centuries Old War
I, by and large, do not read fantasy novels; they are just not among my favorite things. In order to get through a fantasy novel, something has to pull me in early on and Eric Andrews-Katz managed to do just that with his new novel, “Tartarus”. He takes us back to a time when the gods of Olympus nearly destroyed the Titans, a race that had come to their world before they did. It was then that Echidna, Mother of Monsters, was captured and imprisoned in Tartarus. It took her hundreds of years but she finally managed too escape and come into a world that is modern and unlike where she had been before. The old gods are gone, and now she promises to destroy every descendant of the Olympians.
Moving to the modern period and the contemporary world, we meet Adrian and Annelise, twins who live in the contemporary Pacific Northwest and Having no idea that they are Olympians. When Adrian meets Zack, the two find themselves totally into each other and the more they get to know one another, the more they fall in love. During a rather rough attack arranged by Echidna, Zack reveals his divinity and he understands now that we must teach the twins about their own heritage, and how to best use their powers in the oncoming last battle between Titans and Olympians in which there will be no weapons, only magic.
Aside from an interesting read about the Olympians and Titans, we get a taste of mythology, magic and monsters. This is a wonderful study of how the heritage of the Greeks survives though contemporary time as it comes down via the DNA that is centuries old.
Annelise owns an art gallery and one of her recent exhibitions was by a local artist, Zack. Through this Zack meets Adrian, Annelise’s twin brother and the two man are attracted to each other. I should add here that the twins are 48 years old and Zack is close to 60-years-old. He sense something in Adrian, a kind of latent power, and he helps Adrian learn about and accept it as his own. At first, we have no idea who this Zack is and he remains mysterious for a while.
Everything here happens quickly because of the war that is coming and Adrian has two issues— he has to accept Zack and his otherworldly powers and he has to do the same for himself. They must also be prepared to face Echidna who, centuries after being imprisoned, has returned to see revenge on those that imprisoned her.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in this story and there is a lot that I have not summarized— I want you to have the same pleasures that I had when reading this. Eric Andrews-Katz is a fine writer with a great imagination that he shares with us here, His characters are well drawn but this is a novel that is driven more by plot than by characters.