The Necklace of Goddess Athena by Effrosyni Moschoudi

Summary

The Necklace of Goddess Athena by Effrosyni Moschoudi on AmazonThis story is a beautifully crafted, original Urban Fantasy adventure. It is refreshing with a quality descriptive writing style that transports the reader to Athens from the first page. It is what is described as a “Rare Gem.”Although simplistic in nature and intent, through the expert word building the story increases in depth as the adventure takes hold. This does not race off with plots and complex characters taking you on breathless, bizarre journeys. It slowly builds up in depth, with mystery and suspense; the reader in the side seat for the entire journey. So, take a load of your feet and relax. Sit in that soft, comfy, adventure seat you have been before; and enjoy a few hours of Greek mythology, mystery, time travel, young first love and heartfelt lasting friendships; A story for the whole family.

The prologue commences in the city of ancient Athens. A necklace of unbridled beauty is being thrust into the ocean from the edge of a precipice. Efimios, a middle aged gent is distraught, suffering the heartache of his family dispersed over time. Why has his patron treated him so? Having worked tirelessly throughout the years for the Goddess Athena, he wanted now only what every other mortal had. This morsel of information draws the reader in, curiosity abounds, preparation for the tale to reveal. A silent invitation is given to the reader; to seek, join and discover a rich new world to explore.

Thus; the adventure unfolds:

Flash forward; the time is modern day Greece. Amidst lightening flashes the booming thunder rocks the city of Athens; we find two teenagers thrust out of a terrifying vortex of time. Landing unceremoniously within the remnants of an old orchard, they are lost, confused and bewildered. Unbeknown to the two travellers, a looming shadow is towering over them, the majestic and mystical Parthenon, perched atop of Acropolis Hill. Silently watching events unfold, the only witness to a pivotal moment in time; the commencement to righting a wrong long forgotten.

The protagonists have now been introduced. Phevos and Daphne, the two teenagers, grew up in ancient Greece listening to their father Efimios recount his stories of time travel, assisting the Goddess Athena in keeping her people safe. Never in their wildest dreams did they foresee this event happening to them. An unknown task to be completed, hidden, obscure clues to find and interpret was the only information received prior to being transported; fulfilling the task will be their only way home. This is the key event to the following tale, where the main characters lives will be changed forever. Phevos and Daphne are joined shortly by their two main support characters, orphaned siblings Ksenia and Manos. They befriend the strangers found on their property in disarray and distress. A strong and lasting friend ship will blossom between the four characters that will unite them in more ways than one. This friendship will set the tone and voice for the entire adventure.

Greek mythology and underlying heartaches will secrete itself subtlely throughout this tale, enhancing the mystery and suspense; thereby, strengthening the plot, theme, scenes and character development. The expert word building and wonderfully descriptive sentences assist with the weaving of all the elements together. This allows for the slow building to the story depth. The writing was smooth and flowing, movement moderate, though a small tendency for some lengthy sentences can be easily resolved with extra punctuation. The character dialogues allowed the tone, rhythm and delivery to be realistic. This emphasised the distinctive personality traits, enhancing character delineation without the need for over use of dialogue tags. Transition from narrative through conversational writing was flawlessly executed.

The character building began slowly with lengthy narratives. This allowed time for the two protagonists to explore their surroundings, to understand and adapt to modern day urban society. Sharing their quest and experiencing unfamiliar emotional situations they gradually matured into well rounded young adults, all whilst hoping to find and interpret the vital clues or signs. The support characters became rounded due to interactions with the two protagonists. Growth included learning about life, first love and family values; hidden secrets shared, standing up for oneself and having inner belief. The secondary characters back in old Athens remained static due to time travel issues. The Goddess Athena a heroine to her people showed her human flawed traits, a renowned fact in Greek Mythology. Add the touch of magic; she becomes unveiled as the antagonist. Though not thoroughly an evil Goddess, merely one that has temper tantrums when she is denied.

There was a simplistic quality to the plot. The exposition, the structure arc foundation was based within the prologue narrative, previously stated. As with the character building, the plot took its time in building depth, this allowed for story flow and continuity, eventually striving and gaining the right character/plot balance. The adventure pace increased as plot points introduced significant elements and intriguing scenes. Answers unveiled, truths exposed, the turning point/apex, cast new intrigue and mystery for the fabulous four. New characters emerged, that became a focal point to the underlying hidden theme. The structure arc was maintained throughout the adventure, composed in such a way as to permit a gentle, light hearted warm aesthetic quality to the rhythm of the story.

There was an array of human emotions portrayed with strengths and weaknesses exposed within this tale, E.G, Humour, sadness, grief, friendship, honour, trust, Greek family moral and ethical values, young first love, timeless love, and hope. There were also small doses of jealousy, mistrust, vulnerability, cruelty of peers and loneliness. The adventure had all the recipe ingredients of a small urban, modern day Greek community rolled up in a mythical fantasy tale.

Building up to the conclusion of the adventure was suspenseful with a twist or two adding complications. It certainly had the reader on the edge of her seat. Action sequences with vividly described scenery were expertly constructed and delivered. This emphasised the fact, that throughout the entire story, the setting of the scenes played a major role, to enhancing and influencing the mystery, the plot and character development. The ending was riveting, unexpected and resolute. (A few tissues would not go astray).

A quiet sigh could be heard as the Parthenon perched atop of Acropolis Hill, watching events unfold, knew all that was wrong is now right, time was now attuned.


Review

Criteria Relevant information Mark
1. Perception:

  • Believability
  • Correct science
  • Correct fiction facts
  • Society makes sense
  • Type of writing, smooth flow/ how is the transition from Descriptive to Narrative.
  • Greece, Athens was the background of this story. Depicting reality and believability in the novel.
  • Greek mythology facts were important to the story and like time travel is at the mercy of the author’s imagination. Vivid and thorough descriptive writing enhanced the realism and the reader’s experience.
  • Society was realistic and resembled an everyday suburban town in Greece.
  • The writing was smooth and flowing, an easy, enjoyable read. Lengthy narration within the prologue set the scene for future events. Transition from narrative to conversational style was seamless along with beautifully vivid scene descriptions.
5 Stars (5 / 5)
2. Grammar :

  • Spelling errors
  • Syntax/ Sentence structure
  • Punctuation
  • Laziness/Sloppiness
  • Format issues, missing words
  • Grammar was well attended; few lengthy sentences can be rectified by further punctuation.
  • The sentence flow was flawless. Great word building bought the characters to life.
5 Stars (5 / 5)
3. Characters:

  • Too many with some forgotten
  • Complexity/Roundness
  • Growth pattern
  • Speech pattern in keeping with character
  • Likeability/originality
  • There were two protagonists, Phevos and Daphne, major support characters and The Goddess Athena as the antagonist. All accounted for at the end of the story.
  • All major characters experienced some form of growth and roundness by the end of the story. Phevos and Daphne through maturity and experiences in a modern day society. The major support characters became more rounded due to interactions with the two protagonists. Learning about life, love and family, standing up for oneself and having inner belief.
  • The secondary characters back in old Athens remained static due to time travel issues.
  • Speech patterns with tone and delivery was realistic, very well described with the first encounter.
  • All characters were likeable, loveable and endearing. The antagonist was portrayed as a goddess having a tantrum, no real evil intent, just not getting her own way, well done.
5 Stars (5 / 5)
4. Plot /Story line:

  • Crafting of plot/plots
  • Complexity
  • How do they converge
  • Humor/Tragedy was it real to reader
  • Ending
  • There was a simplistic quality to the plot. The exposition was based within the prologue narrative .As the main protagonists were introduced in dramatic circumstances, the depth of the story increased giving a sense of mystery and suspense.
  • The first few chapters were character driven then became more balanced within the plot once the action sequences occurred. This gave time for the characters to grow and for Phevos and Daphne to understand modern day culture, so essentially the back ground was being covered. The apex was masterfully executed with suspense and intrigue.
  • There was humour, sadness, family values and young first love. It contained vulnerability in a new environment, new culture, new emotions, and cruelty of peers. Ethics, Greek mythology, mysticism and a common mystery and adversary. The adventure had all the recipe ingredients of a small community rolled up in a fantasy tale.
  • The ending was quite riveting, very descriptive and resolute.
5 Stars (5 / 5)
5. Bigger Picture:

  • Reader involvement
  • Social/ethical dilemmas/morals
  • Order of story does it work
  • Did the reader enjoy it/Do you want to read more
  • Plagiarism
  • The introduction to the main theme, invited the reader in, to join and explore the rich and unique adventure. From the first chapter the reader felt part of the story. Laughing; crying, loved, felt their happiness and their pain, their anguish and loss along with the characters.
  • The structure arc was maintained, giving depth to the plot and characters. Although the plot was simplistic in nature, the aesthetic qualities of the writing were expertly attuned. The rhythm, flow and voice of the adventure were light hearted with warmth, though with some underlying moral, ethical and family value issues.
  • The scenes and settings beautifully described influenced the emotive aspects, playing a significant role within the story.
  • The only aspect which may be improved is the long narratives, shortening these would assist with the story movement in the first few chapters.
5 Stars (5 / 5)

Overall Rating

  1. Star Poor
  2. Stars Needs a lot of rework to make it better
  3. Stars Good but has some problem areas
  4. Stars Really good just couple problems
  5. Stars Excellent
Perception:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Grammar:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Characters:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Plot:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Big Picture:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Average:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Overall
5 Stars (5 / 5)
Excellent

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Genre: fantasy, urban fantasy