GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Story Behind the Story: Heir to the Underworld: The New Gods of Olympus, Book 1 by JB Dennis | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Story Behind the Story: Heir to the Underworld: The New Gods of Olympus, Book 1 by JB Dennis

Like most of my generation, Disney’s animated movies played a large role in our formative years. They gave us brave heroes to admire, catchy songs to sing, witty lines to laugh at, and (at least for me) acted as our electronic babysitters. We were, for good or ill, molded by our love for Disney. In fact, it’s because of a Disney movie that you are reading this post.

Before 2002 my favorite Disney movie was Aladdin, thanks in no small part to the talents of the late Robin Williams. However, I, unfortunately, wasn't lucky enough to have that movie in my possession. So, instead of watching Aladdin on rewind, I had to settle for my second favorite movie at the time, Hercules. It was funny, clever, and dripping with personality. I consider it one of Disney’s best. I mention this because I want you to be left in no doubt that I truly do love this movie. However, DISNEY GOT IT WRONG!

A natural part of growing up is the shattering of certain childhood illusions. Storks don’t deliver babies to expectant parents, rainbows don’t lead to pots of gold, and Santa Claus doesn't deliver presents all around the world. That's Amazon's job. This simple fact of life is no less true when it comes to Disney movies. I can't exactly blame them for a more childish interpretation of Greek mythology. The myths surround Zeus and Hera alone are enough to give children nightmares for months. And yet, I still have a problem, a major sticking point of contention, if you will. My problem is Hades. 

Sure, Hades made a great villain. He was funny, fast-talking, temperamental, and sleazy. The perfect combination of traits to engage the masses of juvenile minds under the, somewhat monopolistic, sway of Disney Animation. Eventually, however, those minds grow up and they find Wikipedia. In true Greek mythology, Hades was not a villain. True, some saw him as such because of his association with the dead but every myth regarding the god of the Underworld showed him to be a gracious host, a loving husband, and a fair ruler (at least, as fair as a Greek god could be). And yet, despite the fact that Hades was one of the better gods, he is often characterized as petty, spiteful, jealous, and (in some case) evil. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of versions of Hades I’ve seen in which he is portrayed in a positive light and still have several fingers left over. Enough is enough. It’s time to put down another finger. 

Of course, my burning desire to give Hades his day is not the only thing I cover in my book. Heir to the Underworld has a diverse cast of 14 main characters across several different nationalities, sexualities, and socio-economic backgrounds. Yes, you read that right, 14. And to answer your next question, “Yes, I know I’m insane.” So, if you are interested in a character-driven story about Greek mythology, I invite you to give me a chance. Also, I got Hades right. And, if you disagree with me on that fact, then, in the vernacular of today's youth, "Fight me!"

Heir to the Underworld: The New Gods of Olympus, Book 1
by JB Dennis
January 14, 2020
242 pages
Fourteen young mortals find themselves the unexpected heirs to the powers of the ancient Greek gods. Benjamin Darke, the new god of the dead, soon discovers that being a god isn’t as easy as one might expect.

About the Author
JB Dennis has been obsessed with Greek mythology ever since he watched Disney's Hercules.  This started a lifelong study of the various gods, goddesses, monsters, and heroes that make-up, in his opinion, the greatest series of stories ever told.  The New Gods of Olympus series is JB's way of sharing his love for the Greek mythos with a new generation.

No comments:

Post a Comment