Artemis: Wild Goddess of the Hunt

Another stellar entry in George O'Connor's Olympians series.  This one isn't getting a ton of love on Goodreads, and I loved it, so I think that means I made the right decision.  GR reviews are beocming less and less useful.  I mean, if we start at the relatively low level of usefulness and trustworthiness that we had at the beginning, pre-Amazon takeover.


All bookish drama aside, I loved this book.  O'Connor has written an unapologetically feminist graphic novel treatment of Artemis when most other authors and stories about her tend to downplay how she fights for her right to choose and instead emphasize her cruelty.  Exception being made, of course, for Riordan's genius Artemis' Wild Hunt empowering girls to do their own thing.

Really, any book about gods is going to contain cruelty; however, I think that Artemis often gets typecast as a frigid lady-dog who loves punishing people precisely because of her choice regarding men and marriage.  The inference is that Artemis punishes mortals like Niobe and Actaeon because of some repressed sexual issues since she has decided not to marry.  I'd like to just point out that Hera, goddess of marriage, is one of the most vindictive people ever.  Plus, Actaeon was a creeper.  A level-one stalker-creeper and he deserved it.  Okay, maybe not the being-torn-to-death-by-his-own-dogs bit, but definitely the transformation bit.

O'Connor has really outdone himself with this one, presenting Artemis as a confident young woman who balances being a helper and a leader, a huntress and a protector.  She knows what she wants and she goes for it, and if that makes readers uncomfortable, then that's on them and their sexist ways.

Another amazing addition to an extraordinary series.  This should be in all libraries.

I received a review copy from First Second.

Comments

  1. You should read Two Tales Of Twins From Ancient Greece And Rome by Ursula Dubosarsky. It's a children's book published by the Christmas Press, you can buy it from the web site. The stories are about Apollo and Artemis as children and Romulus and Remus(she manages to skip the murder of Remus, but does say that it would be nice to say it had a happy ending, but it didn't, and leave it at that). The Apollo and Artemis story is good.

    Ack, any story of gods is going to be nasty. The Greek gods were not a nice bunch at all. And Artemis transformed one if her followers into a bear for breaking her view of chastity, when the poor girl had been raped. No, not nice. But a goddess of nature and nature is not always nice. The pagans were far more practical than we are. They didn't say, "I refuse to believe in a God who allows X to happen," because of course they let X happen or even caused X to happen. It was their job and if you couldn't handle it, you might as well be one of those wimpy monotheists.

    In fact, I quite like the grumpy old man of the Jewish Bible, who might have smitten the pagans, but at least within his own people told the rich to piss off with their burnt offerings if they were going to oppress the poor.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I LOVED The Golden Day by Dubosarsky. It's criminally underrated. Shall have to check out that other book tout de suite.

      Right? Honestly, I think the dude reviewers are being harsher on this book because it's a goddess. I mean, Athena also punished Medusa for getting raped by Poseidon. Yikes. It's a bit like America, actually ... Anyway.

      Indeed--in the Old Testament, the Israelites were just as prone to being smote with plagues because they were disobedient and rather awful people. It was like equal opportunity smiting.

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    2. I've read The Golden Day too. She's written a lot, including a novel about the Petrov Affair, seen from the viewpoint if children living next door to the Petrovs and The First Book Of Samuel, which tells the Biblical story of the child Samuel in a modern setting.

      Christmas Press is a small Aussie press set up by Sophie Masson and a couple of creative friends. There are a couple of audiobooks of the publications, including one of this book. Because they're short, the audio books are short too, but nicely done, and this one is read by the author.

      Yes, there was a lot of equal opportunity smiting but I liked that passage from Isaiah, which was rather socialist/ left wing in its sympathies. The prophets were men-of-the-people in that respect. They didn't take nonsense from anyone, even kings.

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