by Amelia Wilde
Hercules always wanted the innocent young Daisy, but he could never have her.
She was perfect in every way. He was born of violence and shadows. His birthright is sacrifice. Never love.
Fighting for his country left him battered and broken. He built a successful business in technological security. Wealth. Fame. None of it makes him worthy of her.
Then she's caught in the sights of dangerous men.
He has to protect her. Except the forces that target her are the very ones that threaten his past. Can he save her without exposing his own desperate longing? Or will his secrets tear them both apart?
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR and Amelia Wilde for sending me an arc of Hero Worship, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
There is something missing from the synopsis of this book. Or perhaps a missing author's note that should have been inserted before reading this book. A very important note, that may have changed my review by a star at least. So if you haven't read this book, and you want to, let me give you that very important bit of information that I wish was disclosed to me; despite being the first book in a series, this is a spin-off from Amelia Wilde's other series', Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon. There are 11 books throughout those three series'.
Hero Worship is not written for a reader who stumbles upon it.
Hero Worship is written for the reader who has read the 11 other books.
If I had known that, I wouldn't have applied for the arc. And while I could have dnf'd it, and chosen to not review it, I did promise to be fair and honest.
To be fair - it wasn't terrible. Amelia Wilde has talent as a writer. From a purely technical standpoint, it worked. Despite not understanding most of what was going on, I didn't hate it so much that I gave up on it. I actually finished it in two days - longer than it would normally take me to get through a book like this, but it kept some of my interest. I thought there were interesting and unique hints to the original mythology while keeping it modern and fresh. The characters were also unique, despite being a retelling.
To be honest, though, it wasn't great. It wasn't even that good.
It was just ... chaotic.
First of all, nothing, and I mean nothing is explained. I assume the information I needed, which probably would have increased my star rating to three stars, was in her other series'. The whole setting, the dynamics ... nothing was explained.
That is a big problem.
Hero Worship is either meant to be a standalone or the start of a new series. Amelia Wilde needed to include the information learned from the other books in this book. It's a start of a new series. It doesn't matter if previous readers are aware of the information and dynamics already - new readers are not. A spinoff series needs to provide that information. Authors need to write in service to a brand-new reader. I'm sure her fans will enjoy that it just jumps into the story, but her fans will read her books no matter what. They truly don't care if there is a paragraph here and there explaining things. Hell, sometimes it's appreciated as a little refresher. As a new reader of Amelia Wilde, I was left not wanting to continue the series, and not wanting to explore her other work.
Not because I have read things out of order.
It's not the first time I've read a spin-off series first before discovering there was a series before it.
In those other books, I not only loved the spin-off series on its own, but it made me want to go and purchase series the other series. That's not the case here.
The characters were interesting. Both the main characters and side characters. I enjoyed that the personalities each character had were not exactly mirrored after most retellings. After all, in this genre, let's be honest by saying most Hades', Persephone's, Zeus' etc ... are almost always the same. The only one I have read to date that stands apart is Lore Olympus, and now this one. As for the romance part of it, I just didn't feel the chemistry between Daisy and Hercules. It felt forced. The sex was hot, and definitely rougher (but consensual, which I felt was very clear, and I did appreciate), but it just wasn't there. It happens too quickly and felt so out of the blue, it felt like whiplash.
Sadly, I was not a fan of Hero Worship. Obviously, if you are a reader of Amelia Wilde's work, and have read the Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon series', you will enjoy Hero Worship. If the synopsis drew you in, like it did me, read her other work before committing, because in order to understand most of this book, you will need to.