The Ultimate Quest: Olympic Gold
Infinity Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 10) for Reader Views (4/08)
“Olympic Gold” by Rob Henning takes place in Greece at the time of the 16th Olympic Games. Adonis has been selected to compete in the pentathlon but his registration scroll is mysteriously missing. Alexis and Clio are determined to help recover the scroll, but to do so they must venture into dangerous places and confront angry Greek gods. Will they find it in time? Will Adonis be able to compete in the games and beat his evil Athenian rival?
Adonis, aged 18, is the pentathlon representative for Corinth. (The pentathlon includes five events: wrestling, discus, running in full amour, javelin, and the long jump.) This is very exciting for Adonis because only one person from his province is chosen for the once-in-four-years event. When his registration scroll disappears he is crushed. Adding to his anxiety, his cousin Alexis is missing, too.
While Adonis is praying to Zeus for the safe return of his cousin, Alexis and his friend Clio have taken things into their own hands, determined to help Adonis compete in the Olympics. They climb up MountOlympus to ask Zeus ask for a new scroll, but Zeus send them to Hades, the god of the underworld. The underworld is a scary place. Will Alexis and Clio make it out?
The book is an interesting mix of modern and ancient. The setting is ancient but the language is very modern. For example, Adonis addresses his cousin Alexis as “cuz.” The modern-style illustrations of bobble-headed characters don’t do justice to the book. I think that the goofy illustrations detract from the relationship the reader builds with the characters because they do not seem very life-like. Luckily, there are only four illustrations in the book. It might be most appealing to readers who really like modern features.
I would recommend this book to people who like adventures and Greek mythology. I think boys and girls would both like this book. (One of the main characters, Clio, is a girl). “Olympic Gold” is part of a trilogy, so if you liked this book, there are two other books that you can look forward to reading.