By: Corey Lack
Age of Heroes was the eighth book in James Lovegrove’s Pantheon series, released back in 2016. Similarly to the Age of Zeus book of the same series, Age of Heroes focuses on Greek mythology for the story, but this time, rather than focus on the gods, it is the demi-gods, the children of the Greek gods, that take center stage. In this version of Earth, as with the rest of the series, the truth of the supernatural is different. In this one, the demi-gods have survived their divine parents mysteriously leaving Earth and the demi-gods have gone through life, hiding their true identities and immortalities.
The characters of the story include the likes of Theseus (the hero who killed the minotaur), Perseus (the hero who killed Medusa), Heracles, and Hippolyta (the queen of the Amazons.) Each of these characters now live as ordinary lives as they can get away with, with each choice of occupation fitting well in with their personalities. Theseus, the one always trying to do what’s right, is a mystery writer, Perseus, the famed monster hunter, now tracks down cryptids, Heracles, the glory-seeking brawler, is a luchador, Odysseus, the master strategist, is an advisor for several American presidents, and Hippolyta, the former leader of an all-woman nation of warriors, now serves as a leader of an all-woman bodyguard organization. There are also mortal characters that have been hired by a mysterious benefactor to track down and kill the demi-gods. Each of the characters are very well-written. With the demi-gods, I would really get the impression that I was dealing with centuries-old beings just trying to live their lives and with the mercenaries, it really drove the realism as each member was very different, both in background and mentality. Some of the mercenaries were enjoying getting paid to kill these seemingly random targets, whereas others were curious as to why they were chosen.
The plot, however, was where I’d say the story was lacking. Through most of the story, it focuses on the demi-gods trying to gather their fellows while the mercenaries hunted them, then they find another mystery that they need to investigate, and then another. In my opinion, it seemed more episodic than a flowing storyline.
Despite my issues with the plot, I’d still recommend this one as it was still pretty entertaining. As I mentioned in my Age of Zeus review, I’ve long been a fan of Greek mythology, so I especially enjoyed this one. There was also plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader interested. I’d give it 8.5 minotaur statues out of 10.