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“Jupiter cannot be reasoned with when the sin is too great. If your people have created New Olympians, nothing will stop him. He can and will destroy this world,” Alexis. –The New Olympians
The New Olympians
by Kate O’Hearn
There is a horse named Tornado Warning that’s winning every race he enters—and faster than ever before seen—and Emily thinks the animal looks a lot like Pegasus. Afraid of what this might mean and of what Jupiter might do if he finds out, Emily, Joel, Paelen, Pegasus, and the sphinx Alexis decide to go to Earth to investigate. There they discover a plot to replicate Olympians and Nirads. The CRU has already created dozens of clones. Now they want to create their own Emily clone—and it doesn’t matter to them if the original Emily dies in the process.
Can Emily and her friends put a stop to the CRU’s plans before Jupiter finds out and follows through on his threat to destroy the Earth?
The New Olympians’ plot revolves around the CRU’s ability to make clones of the Olympians. The Olympians believe making clones is unnatural and that the humans must be stopped. Emily’s thoughts, the descriptions of the clones, and the Olympian’s views all reinforce the idea that making clones is immoral. To make matters worse, the CRU hopes to use the clones to dominate the world. An agent explains, “One world order isn’t a bad thing, Emily. There will be no more borders, no more wars . . . One language, one people and one country. . . The CRU is going to create Olympus on Earth.” In order to achieve this, the CRU will murder anyone who opposes them. While Emily has no desire to hurt anyone, she has no choice but to destroy the CRU facility and anyone who tries to stop her.
The New Olympians has a more serious tone and ramps up the violence. Sensitive readers may be upset by the treatment of the clones, some of which have deformities and are kept in cages. While none of the actual deaths are described, the number of people who are injured, killed, and punished may be upsetting.
One negative aspect of the story is inconsistencies in the characters’ actions. For example, even though the CRU can identify Paelen, he still puts himself and others in danger when he goes to the Las Vegas strip to see the sights. In the first two books, Paelen tries desperately to prove that he is no longer a thief. However, in The New Olympians, he steals several times and acts as if he enjoys the thrill of thievery. In another instance, Emily and her friends’ original goal was to verify that the CRU had indeed made clones. However, instead of reporting back to Jupiter once they’ve confirmed the existence of clones, the group decides to confront the CRU. Despite their knowledge of the CRU’s cruel tactics, the group makes several unrealistic decisions. For example, Agent T, who used to work for CRU, leads the group to a small town close to Area 51. Even though he knows the area is crawling with agents, Agent T thinks the group will go unnoticed. However, Agent T is quickly dispatched. Agent T’s presence doesn’t shed light on any new information which makes that section of the story feel unimportant and a waste of pages.
Readers who have read the first two books in the series will find The New Olympians frustrating because of the story’s inconsistencies, Emily’s lack of character growth, and events that do not advance the plot. However, readers may enjoy the reappearance of several characters from the previous books. The New Olympians wraps up the main conflict with the CRU’s clone-making abilities, which allows the next book in the series, Pegasus and the Origins of Olympus, to take Emily back in time to the origins of Olympus and to the deadly battle between the Olympians and the Titans. Readers who love traveling to other worlds where pegasi live should also read the Riders of the Realm Series by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez.
- After Joel scores a winning goal, the sphinx Alexis “brushed back the hair from Joel’s eyes, leaned forward, and kissed him full and long on the lips.” The kiss makes Emily jealous.
- The newspaper prints a picture of Tornado Warning, who looks like Pegasus’ twin. One of the Olympians asks Pegasus, “Did you get up to some mischief while you were in Emily’s world?”
- Emily and her friends break into a house that belongs to Agent T and Earl. When Agent T comes down the stairs, he screams. “Alexis knocked to the floor a long-haired man wearing a brown bathrobe. Emily received her first look at Alexis’s eating teeth as the Sphinx stood on the man’s chest and prepared to kill him. . . Huge, sharp canines filled her mouth as her jaw unhinged to allow her to open her mouth wider than Emily had thought possible.” Joel calms the sphinx down before anything worse happens.
- A newspaper article describes a robbery, saying “there was only one survivor of the massacre.”
- Another newspaper article describes a boy who broke into a chocolate store. “One witness said he was super strong and tossed everyone around like they weighed nothing.”
- When Pegasus sees Tornado Warning, Pegasus attacks him. “Tornado Warning charged out of his stable. Rearing up, the two glowing stallions attacked each other with all the fury they possessed. Pegasus’s wings opened and smashed at Tornado’s head, knocking him into the large open training ring.”
- Pegasus’s brother tries to stop the fight, but “all his presence did was to infuriate Tornado Warning further. The gray stallion rose high in the air and came crashing down on Chrysaor with his powerful front hooves. Driven to the ground, the winged boar squealed in pain.” Chrysaor is injured.
- Ranch hands hear the horses fighting and go to investigate. “A blast from a shotgun fired at Pegasus alerting the group. . . [Emily] raised her hands in the air. No flame emerged, but the man was lifted over the heads of the fighting stallions and thrown to the opposite side of the stable.” Agent T holds the ranch hands at gunpoint.
- The stallions continue to fight. “Pegasus was steadily gaining over Tornado. Despite the racing stallion’s strength, he was no match for the enraged Olympian . . . Tornado Warning was covered in blood from the deep cuts caused by Pegasus’s hooves. His eyes were closed, and he wasn’t breathing.” The fight is described over six pages.
- Agent T needs information about Tornado Warning. A ranch hand named Rip refuses to talk, so Agent T “slapped Rip across the face.” Rip is still defiant and Alexis attacks. “Moments later Rip Russell was on the ground, crying in pain and grasping his lower legs. His jeans were torn from Alexis’s claws, and blood was rising to the surface.”
- When Rip and some other ranch hands try to grab Emily, Alexis attacks them. Emily closes her eyes, so she doesn’t see the attack, but Agent T tells her, “Keep your eyes shut; you don’t want to see this.” Alexis kills the men who were “going after Emily.” Later, Emily sees blood on her clothes.
- When Agent T tries to talk to the CRU, they attack him and Alexis. Alexis’ wings are dislocated. Alexis thinks Agent T is dead, so she runs to warn the others.
- The CRU soldiers try to capture Emily and her friends. When the soldiers arrive, “Popping sounds filled the air as they fired. [Emily] felt the stings on her arms and back and realized they were using tranquilizer darts. . . She held up her hand and released the laserlike flame at the nearest military vehicle. It exploded in a brilliant blast.” This causes a chain reaction that blows up the other vehicles.
- The CRU also try to capture Tornado Warning. The horse “stopped, spun around, and charged the soldiers who were trying to capture him. . . He instinctively used his wings as weapons. He flapped them and struck the men who were trying to catch him. Others were kicked by his lethal hooves. . . the winged racehorse [was] finally brought down by the countless tranquilizer darts being shot into him.”
- During the attack, Joel is shot. In anger, Emily goes after the military helicopters. “Emily focused her eyes on the closest helicopter. . . Emily raised her hands and unleashed the flame.” The story implies that Emily destroys all the helicopters. The attack is described over five pages.
- While walking down a Las Vegas street, two men “pulled out weapons and shoved them into Paelen’s and Joel’s backs.” They take Paelen, Joel, and Frankie to their mob boss. After the mob boss threatens to kill them, Joel and Paelen attack the men. “A shot went off and hit Joel’s arm, but the bullet ricocheted off the silver and hit one of the men.” Paelen is shot in the head. “The bullet knocked Paelen backwards. He felt a searing pain in the center of his forehead. . . Joel charged the shooter. . . The tattooed man cried out as the bones in his arm shattered under the impact of Joel’s silver arm.” The scene is described over seven pages.
- After subduing the mob boss’ men, Joel tries to get the mob boss to talk. When he refuses, Joel “put his silver hand around the man’s throat and hoisted him up in the air. As the tattooed man squirmed and tried to break free, Joel slammed him hard against the wall.” The man eventually talks. Joel and Paelen then tie up the man and leave.
- When Paelen’s clone sees him, the clone attacks. The clone “smashed through the diner door and turned on Paelen. It screeched and roared and charged at him with murderous fury in his eyes. . . The clone lifted Paelen in the air and threw him through the plate-glass window of the diner. . . The clone struck out at Joel with a brutal blow that threw him several meters in the air. Joel landed on the roof of a seller’s pushcart and slipped down to the ground, badly winded.”
- As the fight continues, Paelen “tore up a streetlight from the pavement and used the pole like a bat, smashing the clone into a tall, brightly lit casino sign. Lightbulbs burst and sparked as debris poured down into the street.” As Paelen and the clone throw each other around, they start a fire.
- Ignoring the fire, Paelen “hurled the clone at the biggest, heaviest thing he could find—a lighted wall of a casino. The casino’s sign exploded with the impact, and the wall crumbled. As the clone fell to the ground, part of the lighted sign collapsed and fell on top of it.”
- A police officer raises his weapon at an injured Paelen. When Paelen refuses to stop, the officer shoots a taser. “Electrical current tore through him. He lost control of his muscles and collapsed to the ground, convulsing. The pain was intense, and he couldn’t move.” Paelen passes out and wakes up in jail. The fight scene is described over five pages.
- Paelen breaks out of jail, and returns to his hiding place, but the clone is still able to find him. “The clone, caught hold of him and, screaming in rage, lifted him high above its head. Snarling with uncontrolled hatred, it hurled Paelen at the painted window. . .” Paelen falls off the building and is presumed dead.
- In order to keep her friends safe, Emily shoots at the military helicopters that are shooting at them. “One by one, the helicopters exploded in the air and rained fire down on the dark desert floor. Soon they were alone.”
- In an epic, multi-chapter conclusion, the Olympians, led by Emily, fight the CRU. Emily tries to talk to the CRU soldiers, who shoot her. Emily “felt her body exploding in pain as several bullets found their mark. Thrown backwards, she hit her head on the ground with an explosive impact.” In a panic, Emily accidentally makes Alexis and Pegasus disappear and Emily assumes she has killed them.
- When Jupiter finds out what is happening on Earth, he takes his two brothers—Pluto and Neptune—to Earth. To help Joel, the three go to the police station. The police “opened fire on the chariots. Unaffected by their bullets, Jupiter returned fire with his lightning bolts. Suddenly the ground beneath the police exploded as Neptune commanded water to come forth.”
- When another police officer shoots at Pluto, “he swept his hand in the air. An instant later, the officer collapsed dead to the ground.” As they talk to the police, helicopters appear. “A second rocket was fired at the Olympians. Jupiter raised his arm, and the rocket shot away from the chariots and tore into the police station. The rocket exploded on impact. . .” Jupiter “fired powerful lightning bolts at [the helicopters]. They burst into flame and crashed down to the street in a heap of burning metal.”
- The military continues to shoot weapons at the Olympians, who remain unharmed. The weapons “were defeated by the Olympians’ powers and crashed into a big black pyramid-shaped building. The light at its top went out, the windows exploded, and the building burst into flame.”
- The CRU captures the Nirad prince, Toban. They secure him to a table with gold and the gold burns his skin. The gold “scalded him until his skin smoldered, opened, and bled. [Emily] watched scientists extracting fresh black blood and skin samples from the suffering young prince. . . The prince’s eyes were shut as he writhed and howled in pain. The tight gold bands were cutting deep into his smoking, open flesh.”
- To destroy the CRU’s ability to make clones, Emily destroys Area 51. “Emily unleashes her power. Laserlike flames rushed from her hands and burned their way into the buildings. . . The sounds of the groaning and crumbling facility filled the air and grew in intensity until they become almost unbearable . . . The dust settled, and where once stood the CRU facility was nothing but an impossibly large crater.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- When Emily meets Tornado Warning, one of the workers tells her, “Tornado Warning is loco. He has killed two riders. No one can touch him unless he is drugged.” In order to control Tornado Warning, the horse is given sedatives.
- In order to keep Tornado Warning from fighting with Pegasus, the horse is given “heavy tranquilizers” that make him sleep.
- Paelen meets a homeless boy named Frankie. Frankie’s mother abandoned him, and the boy is being cared for by a man who is drunk often.
- In order to steal money, Paelen targets a drunk gambler.
- The adults use profanity infrequently. Profanity includes darn, heck, damn, and hell. For example, Agent T asks Emily, “what the hell are you doing back here?”
- Oh God and Lord are used as exclamations several times.
- The story includes many Greek Gods, who have supernatural powers, such as the sphinx Alexis who can “read a human’s intentions.”
- The sphinx Alexis is given Pluto’s helmet of invisibility so she can travel around Earth without being seen.
- Emily can heal others. She also has new, unpredictable powers. She explains, “Sometimes I can move things. Sometimes items disappear and I can never find them again. And sometimes they explode.”
- When Emily plans to go to Earth without permission, she “prayed she would be returning to him in Olympus soon with good news.”
- When Earl finds out about Tornado Warning, he says, “pray to God he’s just a horse and not an Olympian clone.”
- When Emily leads the military away from her friends, Paelen prayed, “Be safe, Emily.”
- At Agent T’s request, Jupiter turns him into a willow tree. Jupiter explains that Agent T is a “very happy” tree. “Agent T will never feel pain but can still experience joy. He can think, speak, and live a long and happy life with Alexis.”
- In order to punish the CRU staff, Pluto changes them into Prometheus Oak trees. “Being turned into a Prometheus Oak is living torture. He will remain fully conscious and aware of his previous life. He will feel everything. . . His bark is like breaking bones, and when the wind blow through his leaves, you will hear him screaming.”