Thank you to First Second for inviting me to participate in the Ares Blog Tour. This is one of my favorite graphic novel series and if you have yet to pick up one of these, I encourage you to start now and do not waste another moment.
Description from GoodReads:
The myth continues in the tenth year of the fabled Trojan War where two infamous gods of war go to battle. The spotlight is thrown on Ares, god of war, and primarily focuses on his battle with the clever and powerful Athena. As the battle culminates and the gods try to one-up each other to win, the human death toll mounts. Who will win this epic clash of power? And how many will have to die first?
My thoughts on the book:
Ares: Bringer of War is the 7th book in the Olympians series. As someone who has been reading the series since the 1st Olympians book, Zeus, came out I have noticed that the series continues to grow and intrigue me as a reader. Though you can read each book in any order or as a stand alone, the books do build on one another. Hence, there are references in Ares that refer back to previous books particularly Aphrodite, and personally, I would encourage reading them at some point in order to appreciate the complexity of O'Connor's work.
One of the things that I always appreciate with O'Connor's presentation of the Greek gods in his series is the way that he frames each one. Each of the gods and goddesses have multiple stories and angles that can be presented. However, O'Connor typically finds a unique angle to present each individual god's story. In book 7, we see Ares in juxtaposition to Athena. Both are gods of war but with different strengths and agendas. As a result, they do not always get along and bicker with one another. In this story, the setting is different than the other books. It is almost as if we are in an arena with the spotlight on a specific time during the Trojan War with the gods and goddess of Olympus as on-lookers squabbling with one and another over the Trojans and the Greeks and who should win and how things should be managed. This interaction between the gods is more developed in this story arc than in previous books.
Since I do not consider myself an expert in Greek mythology, I admit that my favorite part of this series is the notes at the end, the references to the previous books and to further information about the gods. These Geek notes reveal much of the research O'Connor used in writing the story, but also shows his passion for the topic. Finally, though some may choose to skip the Geek notes, they do provide a much deeper understanding of the story, if one takes the time to read them.
A great series to have in a classroom or school library and will appeal to those with an interest in learning more about the Greek gods.
Jerzy Drozd Interviews George O'Connor:
For a shorter interview check out RBDHB Interviews George O'Connor:
Where to find information about George O'Connor and more about the Olympians....
About George O'Connor:
George O’Connor’s first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn’t. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark dystopian view of a society’s collapse as intimately viewed by four lost souls. Now he has brought his attention to Olympians, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form. In addition to his graphic novel career, Mr. O’Connor has published several children’s picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow, Sally and the Some-Thing, and Uncle Bigfoot. Drop by O'Connor's blog for cool information.