I’m just going to assume most, if not at all, readers have heard of, or at least read, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (if you haven’t, get on that train). He opened the door to YA adaptions of Greek mythology, and thank God because that is some pretty interesting stuff. Jennifer L. Armentrout decided to take it a step further, and the world was blessed with The Return. Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my auto-read authors; if she writes a book, I will read it, no questions asked. Combine her awesome writing and unforgettable characters with the world of Greek mythology, and you have an incredible book in your hands.
It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet. Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.
A hallmark of Armentrout’s are her sassy and smart-assy male characters. Some hate them, most love them, and all can’t help but laugh at their antics and one-liners. Seth was no exception. I found myself endeared to him from the first page, and he has quickly joined the ranks of Daemon (Lux) and Roth (Dark Elements) as some of my favorite fictional heroes. I found myself falling for him right along with Josie.
Another talent of Armentrout’s is the relatability of her female characters. They’re often slightly socially awkward, adorable, bamboozled by the supernatural world that has revealed itself to them, and completely unable to resist the charisma of their respective male lead characters. Josie was no exception. She was (understandably) flustered when Sean showed up out of the blue with his gold eyes, cocky attitude, and extremely blunt revelation that the world of Greek mythology was real, and she was in fact a demigod. That scene was absolutely priceless. She also displayed another hallmark of Arementrout’s leading ladies, an enviable toughness in rough situations. She didn’t cower and run from the danger of her new life. She accepted it, and grew with it. She fiercely loved and protected her family and loved ones, and her loyalty them was tear-wrothy. Add these admirable traits to her slight awkwardness and sassiness, and I couldn’t help but love her. The world needs more heroines like her.
Technically, this book is the beginning of a spin-off series from Armentrout’s Covenant series. I was told by several people to read that series first, and then come back to The Return. However being the impatient person that I am, I ignored them. The Return was sitting on my shelf calling my name, and I didn’t have any of theCovenant series in my possession, so I said screw it, I’ll figure out the background story on my own. And I did. I don’t regret reading this book without first reading it’s original series. However, I do still think some things would make more sense of have more meaning if I read theCovenant series. So if you’re the kind of person that likes knowing the full backstory, read the Covenant series first. If you don’t mind being slightly confused every now and then throughout the book, then go for this one first.
Let me be clear, this is not a Young Adult book. It is steamy, sexy at some points (thank you Seth), and decidedly a New Adult story. That being said, there aren’t many NA novels that focus on Greek mythology, so Armentrout has definitely blessed the world with this series. The Power which is the next book in this fantastic series, is set to be released early 2016. I’m not sure of the exact release date, and I know the author has been under extreme stress lately and announced she would be taking a small break ( we love you JLA, feel better soon!), so the release date may be pushed back. We’ll have to wait and see. However, don’t let the uncertain release date of the sequel keep you from missing out on this awesome first book!