Men of the Cave: Book One
In “Men of the Cave” by Marisette Burgess, Kasey Reese just graduated from high school and broke an engagement with her high-school boyfriend and accepted a year-long study abroad in Spain to clear her head. She also welcomes the escape from her hippie-parents to a more normal life.
She quickly finds herself thrown into a world of Greek mythology, Christian beliefs, and attractive immortals – much more complex and abnormal than she had hoped.
The characters were largely well-developed and enjoyable to read about. Kasey’s conflicts between coming out of an intense relationship and not wanting to start anything so soon and her new attraction toward Dion were believable. I had a little trouble sympathizing with someone who got engaged in high school, but it was well-written. Dion – one of the immortal brothers – conversed with awkward, stilted conversation, but I understood that the rationale was to convey his age.
The writing itself was full of errors. I didn’t notice too many toward the beginning of the book, but as it progressed it felt less and less edited. I don’t think I was reading an advanced reader copy, but I can only assume it was in order to excuse the lacks of punctuation and fragmented sentences.
The plot developed at an excellent pace, with enough twists and turns to retain some level of uncertainty, but not so much unexpected action that it felt like an action-adventure novel.
I loved the Spanish culture and language thrown into the book as Kasey adjusted to her new surroundings. The juxtaposition of Greek mythology and Christian myths was also excellently and intriguingly done. All these different layers of culture and context provided a rich background for the story.
I started out loving the book, but the story quickly fell into the common trap of the ‘supernatural romance’ (and, yes, the Stephanie Meyer “Twilight” series is an example, but not cause of this trend) in which a mortal falls for a supernatural and the supernatural being unreasonably and unconditionally loves the human. Kasey and Dion’s romance was largely predictable and followed the supernatural-human cliché, but was not a terrible example of the cliché.
Overall I enjoyed “Men of the Cave” by Marisette Burgess and will probably keep my eye out for the sequel, and its semi-groundbreaking back-story made up for its overdone romance. I would recommend “Men of the Cave” to fans of “Twilight” or other supernatural romances, to fans of Greek mythology, and fans of Christian fiction.