It’s winter in New York City. Private Investigator Selene DiSilva is summoned by the NYPD to investigate a murder scene with mythological undertones. Her former identity as Artemis, the Greek Goddess known as The Huntress, remains a secret to everyone but Theo Schultz, a young, enthusiastic classicist professor who served as Artemis’ sidekick in the first book in the series, The Immortals. Theo is also now Selene’s boyfriend, although the path of true love between a millennial with an interest in the Gods who ruled Mount Olympus and a millennia-year old Goddess who actually lived there isn’t without challenge.
To their horror, Selene and Theo discover that the murdered body belongs to Hades, God of the Underworld. The Olympians remain tied to the elements of the earth and Hades murder prompts a series of suicides across the city. Whilst on patrol, Selene is attacked by a mortal man who she easily bests in battle, until he produces a winged cap and flies to safety, returning later to attack both Selene and Theo, forcing them to go on the run. With Gods themselves now a target for ritualistic killers, Selene has no choice but to forge alliances with her scattered siblings and bring Hades’ murderers to justice before it’s too late.
Fans of Brodsky’s first offering will appreciate the potential of this storyline, as it allows for characters who previously appeared in supporting parts to play a larger role as Selene is forced to reunite with her estranged family members. Her twin Apollo, otherwise known as a rock star named Paul, has lost his golden shimmer (and his singing voice) and is hiding a secret from his sister that proves significant as the story develops. Other familiar characters including the mischievous Dash and Theo’s pal Gabriella also return, although new additions prove equally entertaining. Philippe, God of Love, is captured perfectly, and his inclusion not only livens up proceedings but also provides tragic parallels into his own experiences as a God who fell in love with a mortal.
Brodsky wastes little time in propelling the narrative forward through a variety of twists that thrill at every turn, whilst carefully offering glimpses into Artemis’ history as the Huntress through integral flashbacks of her former life that relate to the story at hand.
Whilst the complicated mythology can prove to be a little dense at times, Brodsky does a service to her audience by refusing to talk down to them and instead deploys the likeable Theo as a bridge to help explain the significance of ancient rituals to the plot. Artemis remains a complex heroine, at times struggling to reconcile her desire for Theo against her vow to remain a virgin and dedicate her existence to the protection of womankind. Regardless, she remains an engaging and admirable protagonist, one whose adventures will hopefully continue for many more stories as this thoroughly enjoyable series continues.
WINTER OF THE GODS / AUTHOR: JORDANNA MAX BRODSKY / PUBLISHER: ORBIT / RELEASE DATE: 16TH FEBRUARY