Best Debut Novel of 2016 [in my limited opinion]
I'm really excited to be participating in this monthly blog challenge! It sounded like a lot of fun when I heard about it. I did read a LOT of books in 2016, but as far as I have been able to figure only 2 of those were debut novels and I picked them both out in response to finding out the topic of the first Calendar Girls theme. So here's my pick for the best debut novel of 2016...out of my limited pool of 2 options:
The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1)
by Jordanna Max Brodsky
"MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.SOME ARE OLDER THAN THE CITY ITSELF.Manhattan.The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.Murders.In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way.Gods.With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who's her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they'll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city's other Immortals.Much like Lev Grossman's The Magicians spoke to a generation of adults who grew up with Harry Potter, THE IMMORTALS will enchant anyone who loved American Gods or Percy Jackson." -- via Goodreads
There are a couple of reasons why I think that this book was the best debut novel of the year. The first is the premise. It's taking the Greek gods and goddess and placing them in a modern world and showing not only how they affect the modern world but how the modern world affects them. They're not still the same all powerful, omnipotent figures of ancient times like we see in books like the Riordanverse; the gods and goddesses in this adaptation have been changed by history just as much as mortals and that's at the crux of the action. The action itself is another reason I think this novel is the best, at it's most basic I can sum it up simply as CSI: Greek Mythology. It's as much a mystery/detective novel as it is a Greek mythological fantasy novel and that's really not something I've ever seen before. Another thing that to me makes this the best debut of the year is the characters as both individual characters and their relationships with each other, especially the main character Selene/Artemis. Selene is an immensely interesting character who could absolutely be classed a strong female character - but not unbelievably so. She is still flawed and imperfect and acknowledges her flaws and weaknesses willingly. Her relationships are also really interesting and I found the romantic subplot to be refreshing because it didn't end up in the two MCs having sex. Although I suspect they will in one of the sequels, which is fine! It'll be interesting to see how the author deals with the whole virgin goddess thing because that aspect of Selene is something that her powers are inexorably linked to.
If Greek mythology is your thing I highly recommend this book. Alternately if you like mysteries this would also be a good choice!
Flavia : Iron Cast
Mandy : The Star-Touched Queen
The Reality Bug Book Blog : Ever the Hunted
Melanie : Arena