Athena the Brain by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Athena the BrainInformation

Goodreads: Athena the Brain
Series: Goddess Girls #1
Source: Library
Published: 2010


Athena never knew her birth parents until the day a letter arrives from Zeus, introducing himself as her father and inviting her to attend Mount Olympus Academy.  Athena hopes that she will finally fit in at her new school, but on her first day makes an enemy of the jealous Medusa.  Can Athena prove herself worthy to attend school with the other goddessgirls or will her father the principal send her packing?


At only 160 pages, Athena the Brain has to fit a lot of information in a small space, introducing major characters, setting up the premise of the series, and describing the world of the Goddess Girls.  Inevitably, the world seems to lack detail and the plot proves slightly simplistic.  Younger readers will probably enjoy this series, but I found myself thinking that it never reached its full potential.

Athena the Brain introduces no over-arching plot for the series, instead focusing on Athena’s first days at Mount Olympus Academy.  This gives her 160 pages to make new friends and an enemy, to meet a potential crush, to find her way around a new world, and to enter a bunch of competitions (winning the invention competition apparently being the main plot point).  In short, there is no time to flesh the characters out–most are only known by their physical descriptions or at best are labelled “flirty” or “beautiful”.  There is no time to describe the world–readers barely have any idea how the relationship between gods and mortals work, nor do they receive details about how the school operates or how classes are conducted.  The competitions, even the one that should highlight Athena’s gifts to mankind, are so glossed over that readers only know that Athena enters them before they learn how they end–we see very little preparation for them or roadblocks along the way.  Why, even the entire Trojan War is depicted in a few pages!

I wanted to enter into this intriguing new world with Athena, one where the mortals mix uneasily with the immortals and the inhabitants of Mount Olympus wield strange and sometimes uncontrollable powers over the inhabitants of the earth.  However, the book contains so little detail that I felt like I barely knew Athena’s world, much less Athena herself or even her friends.  Perhaps subsequent books flesh out the characters and the world, but I do not know if I am even interested enough to find out.


2 thoughts on “Athena the Brain by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

    • Krysta says:

      I suppose the world can be developed further in the sequels, but since a lot of world building is typically accomplished in the introductory novel, that makes me wonder if the world is considered important to this series.


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