Book Review and Interview with the Author, Gene Doucette
Hellenic Immortal, written by Gene Doucette, is a sequel to Immortal. I have reviewed Immortal, with an interview with Gene Doucette here. It’s one my favorite book from last year, as you could see from the my Goodreads rating here.
About Hellenic Immortal
An oracle has predicted the sojourner’s end, which is a problem for Adam insofar as he has never encountered an oracular prediction that didn’t come true . . . and he is the sojourner. To survive, he’s going to have to figure out what a beautiful ex-government analyst, an eco-terrorist, a rogue FBI agent, and the world’s oldest religious cult all want with him, and fast.
And all he wanted when he came to Vegas was to forget about a girl. And maybe have a drink or two.
“I am probably not the best source when it comes to who invented what. For a long time I thought I invented the wheel.”
–Adam the Immortal
I am always a bit skeptical about sequels. Especially if it’s the second book. Most times, it failed my expectation by either being a preamble to the amazing conclusion for the third book, or just plain boring. I am happy to report this is definitely not the case with Hellenic Immortal.
It continues on the adventures of Adam, some years after Immortal. It follows a Greek cult and mythology background, some crazy environmentalist, packs a lot of action and a little bit of romance.
The beginning sold me right to it. Adam is as sarcastic as ever. He said the craziest things that made me laughing out loud:
“… instead I was drinking in Las Vegas and quietly wishing for a nice plague or two to make the planet a bit less crowded.”
It just shows how honest he is. He definitely says what he thinks, and when you are sixty thousand years old or something, I do believe you would have such confidence. I would be lying if I said I never had any bad thoughts crossing my mind when I came across annoying people, so I find this part very refreshing.
The story picks up nicely after that. I especially love the Greek cult background to this book. It ties the story very well and it gives a nice blend of historical and current events. It also adds a sense of realness to it, making Adam’s character felt very present. It seems like he could be the next guy you saw in a bar. (No, please don’t try to pretend you’re Adam when you met me.)
The only part I’m not too crazy about is the excerpts from Silenus the Younger. Sometimes I felt like it’s more of a distraction to the flow of the story, especially when it’s a longer text. Maybe I’m just not a fan of excerpts taken from some older text / poems in general. But at least, as I got nearer to the end of the book, I realized the importance and connection of the texts. So, if you’re like me, please bear the connection in mind, I think you would probably like it better that way.
Overall, Hellenic Immortal is a great book. I love it even more than Immortal. I don’t even think you have to read the first one to understand what’s going on in this book (although I bet you’ll be sorry if you haven’t read Immortal yet!). It is more of an action packed historical/fantasy adventure so I would recommend this book especially for guys and girls who think like guys. Hey, I don’t mean to be discriminative, but if you only like sappy romances, rainbows and unicorns, this is definitely not for you. If you like sarcastic humor, please read this book! You might find yourself wishing you’re Adam. (You’ve been warned!)
Interview with Gene Doucette
What is the inspiration behind this book, was there a certain real event or history depicting the Greek cults?
When it came time to work on a second book about Adam I decided early on to focus on the Greek sphere. It’s such an important period in the history of European culture and I tacitly avoided discussing it in detail in the first book, so it was only logical that this would be the place to go. It also made sense to me that Adam would have spent a lot of time in that area. As to real events, you’d be surprised how much of what shows up in Hellenic Immortal is either a true historical event or a myth retold as an historical event. Pisistratus’s triumphant return to Athens, for instance, happened more or less as described. As for the Mystery Cults, I stayed as true to history as I could there as well, keeping in mind that much of what went on in the ceremonies is lost to history.
I love Adam’s character. I think he is brilliantly sarcastic. Do you have a favorite part / scene / quote from him?
You know, when I re-read the books (and I’m not going to admit how often this happens, but it’s more often than it should) I always come across a stray line here or there that surprises me. Which is a weird thing to admit from the person that penned the line in question, but there you go. I think this week it’s this line, and only because a half hour of research went into writing it:
The Athenians defeated the Trojans, the Persians defeated the Athenians, the Persians defeated Spartans, the Athenians and the Spartans defeated the Persians, the Spartans defeated the Athenians, the Thebans defeated the Spartans, and the Macedonians defeated everybody. So you can understand why I didn’t go out of my way to establish a firm residence anywhere in the Greek sphere; sometimes I was afraid to even sit down.
Thank you Cindy at The Writer’s Coffee Shop, who gave me a chance to review this book and participate on the blog tour. Thank you Gene, for writing such an awesome book and answering my questions.