Mythology in the Modern Age

americangodsWhat would the world be like if the gods of myth – or their descendants – existed in modern times? That’s exactly what the following works of fiction have set out to explore. Pick up one of these titles from your local library if you’re looking for something mythical to read:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Just released from prison, Shadow encounters Mr. Wednesday, an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him, and when Mr. Wednesday offers him a job as his bodyguard, Shadow accepts and is plunged into a dark and perilous world.

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips – The twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse. What begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind.

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland – As a human/god offspring, Zephyr is destined for a life of servitude, but when she uses forbidden magic to kill the god who murdered her sister, she discovers that she may be a dark goddess prophesied to change the balance of power.

Styxx (A Dark-Hunter novel) by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Traces the story of the Dark-Hunter leader’s powerful twin, who risks his life to prove his loyalty only to fall in love with a reluctant Atlantean goddess who resolves to pay back a debt at any cost.

Ilium by Dan Simmons – The first installment of a new saga based on themes from “The Iliad” and “The Tempest” places classical characters and gods in such settings as the Plains of Ilium, the terraformed oceans of Mars, and Jupiter space.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology in the story of two supernatural creatures–Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire–who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of turn-of-the-century New York.

Keepers of the Labyrinth by Erin E. Moulton – Lil Bennett goes to Crete to find answers about the circumstances of her mother’s death, and there finds herself entangled in an adventure of mythical proportions that leads her and her friends through the very labyrinth in which the real Minotaur was imprisoned.

Solstice by P.J. Hoover – Eighteen-year-old Piper lives with her controlling mother amid a Global Heating Crisis, but when she gets her first taste of freedom she discovers a universe of gods and monsters where her true identity, kept secret from her birth, could make all the difference in the world.

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