Even though she is the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite says that she cannot love anybody and nobody can love her. Hephaestus, her husband, wants nothing more than her love, but she is having an affair with Ares, God of War. Hephaestus wants justice and his wife back. He holds up a court where he demands explanations from Aphrodite for her infidelity. She tells them a story of four people set in World War I:
Sweet Hazel, who loves to play the piano.
Charming James, who falls head over heels for Hazel.
Strong Colette, who lost everyone she loves in the war.
Talented Aubrey, who loves music.
This is a tale of love and war narrated by the Gods of love and war.
Firstly, props to the author for coming up with such a unique concept of narrating a love story set amidst World War I by the Greek Gods. As innovative was this idea, it was executed just marvelously.
Although the writing was not very lyrical and flowery, it was elementary yet beautiful. The story’s flow was consistent and spontaneous, and the pacing was moderately fast without being abrupt and hasty.
The central four characters, as well as the Greek Gods, were very likeable and endearing. The characters were well developed and were not one dimensional. Hazel, James, Colette, and Aubrey felt like real people, vulnerable and with real raw emotions. I admired all of them and was continually rooting for the character. As for the Gods, they were absorbing, saying the least.
A Pinch of Humor
Even though the story is set against the war’s hardship, it also had some of its light-hearted moments. The story is quite witty and humorous at times. The Gods were a source of entertainment throughout the story. Theirs banters made me chuckle quite a few times.
The Heartbreak of War
“He only knew he was in grave danger of heading off to the Front as a soldier in love.”
The author showed all the brutal colors of war and how war affects everyone. There have been many great books about war and how it affects the people, the nation, and the world. But not every book chiefly focuses on how war affects love and the people in love and the heartbreak of it all. Just imagine finding someone amazing only to separate days later to fight the enemies at the Front. Imagine sleeping in the filthy trenches instead of the safe arms of your loved ones. Imagine not knowing when you’ll see your loved ones again, not even knowing whether you’ll see your loved one again. Imagine killing your enemies who are just as human beings as you are just so you can help end the war and go home to your loved ones. It’s truly devastating. To spend every waking moment yearning and wishing desperately to see your loved one while you’re knee-deep in mud and filth and decay with weapons in your hands, is so cruel and unthinkable to me. Still, millions of people had this as their reality. Julie Berry did a splendid job of making the readers realize this. Also, think of all the people who lost their loved ones in the war. They are gone, but the ones they leave behind must go on without them. Whose fault is this? Oh God, this is so upsetting and heart-wrenching. This book made me cry 6 times.
The Cruelties of War
The author showed the brutal picture of war. It mentally affects the soldiers who are fighting the enemy and who see all the horrors of war. They see their friends die in front of their eyes and how hard it affects them. The author also showed both the kinds of injury war leaves behind- mental and physical ones. The author also led some light on how the black soldiers were treated during that time.
Music played an essential role in the story since Hazel and Aubrey were both musicians. In dire times of war and death, music plays a crucial role in boosting the people’s morale, especially the soldiers.
The audiobook is phenomenal. It’s an entire cast and has background music playing whenever there is any music playing in the story. This added touch enhanced the listening experience even more.
Julie Berry has created a masterpiece! I love this book with my all heart. You need to add this book to your tbr right now if you haven’t already.
My rating : 5 out of 5 stars.