Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe
Publication date: November 2, 2021
Lore Olympus is a modern retelling of various Greek myths that gained fandom on WEBTOONS and is now available as the first in a series of bound volumes. In this story, the Greek gods and goddesses are no different than anyone today-they use cell phones, post to social media, and attend lavish parties on Olympus in their spare time. It’s at one of these parties where Hades sees Persephone for the first time and becomes instantly attracted to her. Persephone, however, has chosen a life of purity along with her roommate, Artemis, and is uninterested in any kind of romance. When the other gods and goddesses decide to meddle with Hades after hearing of his attraction, things become complicated. In addition to Hades and Persephone, Eros, Psyche, Hera, and other gods have storylines of their own.
Readers will enjoy Smythe’s beautiful artwork, where each god and goddess is given a unique color scheme. The story includes a bit of everything: love, friendship, humor, and especially the family dynamics of the gods: Zeus is the annoying big brother who has everything; Aphrodite is the self-absorbed beauty, and Poseidon the focus of all the jokes. This is not to say that the book is all comedy; it ventures into very real and dark themes such as sexism, consent, and the problematic side of social media, which could make the reader uncomfortable. The story is engaging from the start, and readers will quickly get invested in the characters. Even though they are Greek gods and goddesses, they become relatable through their very human faults, emotions, and heartache, and they turn out to be just like us!
Fans of Greek myths and retellings like Lore by Alexandra Bracken, Medusa by Jessie Burton, and Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters by Emily Roberson will enjoy Lore Olympus. Older teens who grew up loving the Percy Jackson series will find the mix of myths and “real lives” of the gods very appealing. Lore Olympus is also being adapted into an animated series on Netflix, which will no doubt draw in an even bigger audience.
Other Nominated Titles:
- The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle (February 8, 2022)
- Nightwing, vol. 1 by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo (December 14, 2021)
- Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega and Rose Bousamra (October 18, 2022)
- I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss vol. 2 by Sarasa Nagase, Anko Yuzu and Mai Murasaki (November 30, 2022)
- Children of the Atom, vol. 1 by Vita Ayala, Bernard Chang and Paco Medina (October 26, 2021)
- Ima Koi: Now I’m in Love, vol. 1 by Ayuko Hatta (March 1, 2022)
- The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.