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The Immortals


The Immortals

What happens to gods and goddesses as their religions go extinct and they are forgotten or replaced by new deities? This is not a new question, not even a question unique in contemporary fiction. But in THE IMMORTALS, Jordanna Max Brodsky’s debut novel, it is explored in the always-dynamic setting of New York City as a series of grisly murders pull a classicist and a goddess together to solve the crimes. The Greek Olympian deities may not have cults full of worshippers any longer, but they remain in this story charming and at least slightly magical figures who have found themselves far from home, fading from power and memory and making due in the modern world.

Selene DiSilva protects women. As a private investigator and hired muscle, she specializes in keeping females free from harm and away from their abusers. This line of work, which involves some night-time stalking and prowling along with the protection, taps into her ancient identity and powers. Selene is in actuality the Greek goddess Artemis, having settled in New York over 200 years ago (arriving disguised as a Dutch settler). Once the Mistress of Beasts, The Far Shooter and Moon Goddess, Selene now has to be content with the company of her dog, her bow and arrow disassembled in her backpack, and only her name to reflect her former glory. Yet even as her mother, Leto, is dying in a New York hospital, Selene feels her powers surge. Unfortunately, she discovers that it is due to the ritual murder of a young and ambitious scholar named Helen Emerson.

"Brodsky’s astonishing amount of research and obvious passion for ancient Greece and its deities are apparent, making THE IMMORTALS quite a bit of fun to read, despite some of its darker themes and scenes."

A chance meeting at the scene of the crime introduces Selene to Professor Theo Schultz, a promising classicist himself and Helen’s ex-boyfriend, as well as an early suspect in her murder. While there is no real evidence tying Theo to Helen’s death, he harrasses the police with his theories about ancient Greek religion and the enigmatic and little-understood Eleusinian Mysteries, keeping himself in the spotlight of the investigation. Soon Selene and Theo have teamed up to find out who killed Helen and to prevent the murders they believe are imminent. Selene grows increasingly conflicted as she realizes that the violence may be restoring her powers and as a romantic connection between she and Theo develops.

Who is behind the horrific violence, and what do they hope to gain? Selene and Theo are racing against an ancient clock set again in motion, trying to anticipate the next steps and terrible motivation for the cultic killings. Theo’s impressive knowledge of ancient Greek culture, language and religion helps Selene tap into her latent powers and brings out all the fierceness and focus of Artemis the Hunter.

THE IMMORTALS is a fresh retelling of the Olympian myths and offers a unique perspective of New York City as well. Brodsky blends genres, resulting in something that perhaps can be called a fantasy/crime/drama. The supernatural elements of the story provide her with a little leeway, so some of the coincidences and hard-to-believe plot moves can be overlooked. Here murder takes on mythic dimensions, but the truth of misogyny and violence against women through the ages is a brutally real counterbalance.

Brodsky’s astonishing amount of research and obvious passion for ancient Greece and its deities are apparent, making THE IMMORTALS quite a bit of fun to read, despite some of its darker themes and scenes.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on February 26, 2016

The Immortals
by Jordanna Max Brodsky

  • Publication Date: December 13, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • ISBN-10: 031630624X
  • ISBN-13: 9780316306249