Book Thoughts on Thursday is somewhere for me to share with you some of the books I've been reading and really enjoyed.
1304: The Harbinger, Christine Rains
A friendly warning: Although not intentional, I may give away some aspects of the story that you may not want revealed. I know I hate it when spoilers ruin my experience of a story, so feel free to halt your reading here until you've read it for yourself.
Then you can come back to see if you share my thoughts!
Meira Harper loves both her jobs: talking about beautiful shoes and fetching souls for Zeus. But the Thunder God threatens the harpy's loyalty to her job when she receives the call to bring the soul of gorgeous Sam Wright. Meira pleads with her boss to let him live. Zeus agrees, but Sam must fight for his life. If Sam can win three challenges, he can keep his soul.
The gods never play fairly, though, so Meira needs to find ways to help Sam with the challenges. She cannot outwardly cross her master, but she refuses to let the man she loves lose his soul. They haven't even had a chance to start a life together.
Sam's soul is on the line. Meira's will be too if she's caught, but that's a risk she's willing to take.
1304 The Harbinger is quite different to the first three installments of The 13th Floor series, taking the action away from Carmine for most of the story. This is by no means a bad thing though, and I was totally captivated by the setting of Olympus.
The relationship between Meira and Sam was already established as the story began, and it was clear that they were both fully invested in the other. I was already rooting for them when the crushing message comes through from Zeus, that Sam is next to be taken.
I've never read much about gods and mythology, but this was a great take on all of the major players. I loved that Hera was such a nasty character, conniving to turn Meira into a poodle. I was all ready to get in there and give her a slap!
For me, the beauty of this story was that both Sam and Meira were fighting to save each other, selflessly without any expectation that they'd end up together. The love they each had for the other was all they needed to justify their own sacrifice so that the other would survive.
Meira, in particular, had no real reason to carry on other than to save Sam, she certainly wasn't facing any kind of happiness but she would do it for him.
My favourite scene is definitely when all the goddesses step forward to offer her their mark so she could live freely, safe from the gods who fight over her. Hera's response was totally unexpected, but was a great way to show her more compassionate side.
I'd love to read more about what these gods and goddesses get up to up there on high, as they watch us mere mortals muddle through our ordinary lives.
The Harbinger is the fourth in The 13th Floor series of novellas, and the author Christine Rains will be on tour in October to celebrate the release of the series as a collection. Make sure you check it out!