Goddess Girls: Artemis the Loyal

It’s Goddess Girls time again!!! Now that we’re caught up, we can read them in order! This is Book 7, Artemis the Loyal.

Totally misleading cover; nothing this exciting ever happens

Summary of Amazingness
By Patricia
The Olypmics are coming up, when all the boys at Mount Olympus Academy compete against boys from other schools in exciting athletic events! Artemis is angry that, even though she’s a great athlete, she can’t participate, so decides to petition Zeus to start a girls-only Olypmics for fairness. Meanwhile, her brother Apollo is mad at her for always trying to help him and making him look weak, so he decides to participate in the scariest Olympic event of all: matching wits with the Parnassus Python! Plus, Actaeon is totally crushing on her, and maybe one of the rival giant athletes is too?? Eventually, Zeus agrees to the girl games after his new fiance Hera wheedles it out of him and Apollo steps up to show that boys support it too.

In the book this confrontation involves a lot less fighting and a lot more lame riddles

Faithfulness to Original Mythos
By Steven
Let’s be clear about this one: this was a story completely written for its own sake with very little effort (or apparently desire) to reinterpret any given myth in a new context. Thus trying to rate the faithfulness to any original mythos would be an apples-to-oranges comparison. Having said that, there are a few original mythical themes that raise their heads in this book, most notably the interaction between Artemis, the hunter Actaeon, and his transformation into a stag. Artemis takes offense at an action of Actaeon’s, transforms him into a stag, and he is subsequently pursued by hounds. I know that’s an extremely high-level summary of the original myth, but that’s about as close to it as the book’s version comes. In the original, Actaeon accidentally stumbles upon the virginal goddess being bathed by her nymph attendants and his (unintentional) sacrilege in viewing her uncoveredm—perhaps he lingered a little too long to watch?—is the catalyst for Artemis’ vengeful transformation. In that version, his own hounds do as they were trained and take up the pursuit of their erstwhile master in stag form, eventually taking him down and tearing him to pieces. The book’s version is much tamer; Actaeon makes fun of the already sensitive goddess-girl and is temporarily transformed out of pique, being chased by a visiting giant as well as her own hounds until she hurriedly rescinds the transformation to save him.
Other than that, the whimsical tale of pre-teen romance between Artemis and her two suitors, Actaeon and Otus (an actual admirer/suitor of Artemis after a stalker-y fashion in the original myth), is pretty much spun out of whole cloth. The only other major reference worth mentioning is the creation of the Heraean Games, an actual female-only athletic competition which may have functioned as Greek women’s foil to the all-male Olympics. Of course, in the actual Greek Olympics, unlike the book, there would have been no female spectators at the games on pain of a long walk over a short cliff. Still, bonus points for trying, right?

Steven is continually disappointed that this series doesn't contain the nudity and bloodshed he's accustomed to in Greek mythology

Tween Girl Life Lessons
By Patricia
1) Want to convince someone in authority of something, ladies? You either need to use your wiles or get male backing. Who cares if 60 girls signed Artemis’ petition? It’s the page of BOY signatures Apollo was able to get that really count
2) When twins are identical, one of them is always evil
3) Just because you’re ten minutes older, doesn’t mean you get to mother your brother to death.

Steven’s Favorites!
Character: Otus the giant. He really lives up to the bringer-of-civilization reputation he had in Greek myth, even if they don’t make mention of it.
Part: Artemis’ first encounter with the Python. I couldn’t help but root for the snake!
Thing I Learned: ‘Saying uncle’ in ancient Greece was enough to get you released by the terrible mythological monster of your choice. Why didn’t all the heroes try that instead of all the fighting? Seems a lot less tiring.

Patricia’s Favorites!!
Character: Actaeon! Way to take it in stride when you’re turned into a stag and hunted by giants, guy.
Part: When Artemis completely failed to disguise herself as a boy to enter the games and SHOW THEM ALL WHAT GIRLS CAN DO. Why did this not even occur to her?? She already has an identical twin it is completely perfect.
Thing I Learned: Giants practice bride kidnapping and it’s okay because that’s their culture

Next: Medusa the Mean
Previously:
Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6

One response to “Goddess Girls: Artemis the Loyal”

  1. […] Next Time: Super Special: The Girl Games! Previously: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7 […]

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