Review - Ganymede: Abducted by the Gods by Wendy Rathbone

book cover

Ganymede: Abducted by the Gods

by Wendy Rathbone

My rating:

Tags: Ancient Greece Myth Science Fiction

Posted in Book Reviews on January 26, 2018

In Greek mythology, Ganymede was a young man or boy born in the area that would become Troy. He was supposedly so beautiful that the god Zeus, chief among all the immortals, kidnaps and brings Ganymede to Olympus to serve as his cup-bearer and become immortal himself. This retelling of the classic story is given from Ganymede’s point of view, and puts a science fiction spin on the tale.

Although not original, the idea that the gods of Greek mythology were aliens from a technologically advanced civilization is still well played. Ganymede’s reactions to the technology he encounters seems realistic and well thought out. However, the success of the story relies on our empathy with the young man taken from his family, and despite the circumstances, I just couldn’t connect with Ganymede. He comes across more like the helpless heroine of some old fashioned bodice-ripper than a prince of a royal household that produced a long line of warriors.

The prose delivers some interesting ideas, but it mostly consists of an inner monologue of Ganymede’s own musings and recollections. It gets rather frustrating by the end, since there are constant allusions to the young man being more than just a pretty face, yet the question as to what, exactly, he is never gets answered. Some of that is intentional, as Zeus and particularly Eros guide Ganymede in a rather Socratic way towards self-discovery, but the end of the book still leaves a great many questions dangling unanswered.

I really wanted to like this book, but despite the interesting ideas behind the story, I just couldn’t find any common ground with the main character.

“Ganymede: Abducted by the Gods” is available from Amazon.