Review: Stealing Athena by Karen Essex

So I’m still reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (it’s a long book!) so I read another book in between! This one is pretty nice; I like it.

Type: Novel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 400 to 450 pages, depending on the book. Chapter lengths vary widely, from 10 to 40 pages. Book is divided into two parts, with the chapters within.

Setting: Constantinople, and Athens.

General Plot: Book actually tells two different stories, each within a different time period. In one story, a Scottish countess makes way for her husband to take parts of the Parthenon back to England. In the other story (that takes place 2000 years earlier), Perikles’ mistress plays a major part in the construction of the Parthenon. It’s also a story of women breaking social barriers in history. The stories are intertwined throughout the book.

What I Love About The Book: I love how the stories are intertwined. You can see how alike the stories are, despite the obvious difference in the big picture. The writing style is great; it’s a pretty easy read in my opinion, though it does thoroughly tell the story. My personal favorite part of the book is the section at the end where it tells the fate of the characters.

What I Dislike About The Book: Usually when a book tells two stories, the reader has a favorite one. And it can suck if you find yourself skimming through your least favorite story to get to the favorite one. I found myself rereading entire pages, because the book alternates between stories.

How Do I Know I’ll Like the Book? If you’re a history buff and you like novels, this book is for you. You definitely get the best of both worlds. While you get a little history in there, you also get a little bit of drama as well. And there is definitely a bit of drama that develops as the story progresses.

Overall Rating: 8/10. This is mostly because of the whole skimming problem; it was definitely a good book, but I found that I missed a lot of details the second time reading it because I didn’t pay close attention to one of the stories. Otherwise, I probably would’ve given it a 9. It’s a personal preference, I suppose.

Note: Since this is my third review now, you’re kinda getting an idea of the books I like (though ultimately I’ll read anything). If you know any books out there that you think are worth a read, let me know!


~ by musingsofaboredteenager on August 7, 2012.

11 Responses to “Review: Stealing Athena by Karen Essex”

  1. Sounds like a good book! I will try to buy it.

    Adieu, scribbler

  2. Thanks for the review, I will try to read this.

    • No problem! It’s definitely worth the read 🙂

      • Thanks. I like historical fiction 🙂

      • Oh, me too; I definitely would like to read more of it, because I’ve realized that I don’t read it as often anymore. Actually, the book that I’m reading now (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) is historical fiction as well. I find the writing style to be kind of dry (as it probably should be to be taken seriously), but surprisingly enough I still find it to be a good read. But it’s nearly 900 pages so it is definitely a time killer O.O

      • I agree with you. There are so many books to read, but so little free time to squeeze all of that. I don’t want to have audio books just to say that “I’ve read that book” because I do prefer reading than listening. 900 pages can indeed be a killer especially if the plot moves too slow. Let me know once you have finished it 🙂

      • Oh yeah, absolutely! I never liked audio book at all, and actually the guy who recommended Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell to me was “reading” it via audiobook, and to this day I have no idea how he did it. But I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out!

      • Ditto here. I like listening to music a lot, but I don’t think audiobooks will have the same wonderful feeling as reading a real book. Good luck with your read!

      • Absolutely! And thank you!

      • You are most welcome 🙂

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