Winter of the Gods picks up shortly after The Immortals leaves off. Selene DiSilva is still a PI in New York City, dating Theo Schultz and protecting the women of New York from abusive men. The Immortals somewhat touched on the decline of the gods as they become increasingly irrelevant to humans; Winter of the Gods takes this a step further and introduces a set of new villains who are actively hunting down the gods and killing them in a seemingly ritualistic manner.
I really enjoyed The Immortals and this sequel is a fantastic follow up that ratchets up the stakes and delves even deeper into the humanity of the gods. Paul (Apollo) in particular became even more fleshed out in this story, as a famous musician haunted by visions of his violent past, and I love how his and Selene’s bond as twins is proven much stronger than their centuries-old estrangement. Selene and the other gods as well in this story face the various atrocities they’ve committed in the past, and I can only imagine how gut wrenching that experience must be, to be faced with the potential loss of one’s immortality and have to deal with centuries of guilty.
Theo and his human friends played a major role in solving this mystery, though admittedly their story pales in comparison to the gods’. The rituals of this cult don’t quite correspond to the Greek and Roman traditions Theo is familiar with, so he has to go a bit beyond his comfort zone and consult some friends to help Selene figure out what’s happening. He’s also clearly in love with her, and (thankfully) understanding of her reluctance to commit to long term relationship. I like how their relationship develops throughout the story, and how they eventually realize how much they mean to each other.
Whereas The Immortals was pure geeky fun, Winter of the Gods is more existential angst. It’s just as exciting a read as The Immortals was, but it’s also a much more emotional one. The ending reminds me how The Empire Strikes Back ended — there’s some happiness and hope, but it’s overcast with everything that’s happened before. I’m invested in this series now, and look forward to seeing how it turns out in the next book.
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(As an aside, isn’t that cover beautiful? Kudos to designer Kirk Benshoff.)