Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Owl Goddess by Jenny Twist


The boy watched the star fall. It fell very slowly, and it was not one light but a multitude of lights spinning lazily through the night sky. Then great silver fish flew through the sky and other mysterious lights began to appear on the mountain. At last a great thunderbolt struck the ocean. The sound was flat and hollow and unbelievably loud, as if a giant had stamped on the earth. And the sign of the Goddess appeared in the sky—the sign of the Sacred Mushroom. These are the events that mark the arrival of the Atlantis, the doomed starship, bringing new gods who would change the lives of the boy and his people forever.

About the Author:

Jenny Twist left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist's assistant (she was The Lovely Tanya), she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

In 2001 she retired and moved to Spain where she lives with her husband, Vic, and their rather eccentric dog and cat. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, knitting and attempting to do fiendishly difficult logic puzzles.


Back in the seventies I read a book called Chariots of the Gods that posited the gods primitive peoples worshipped were actually explorers from other planets who landed on Earth. It suggested these people built such structures as the Great Pyramids, the Parthenon, and created the Nazga Lines, the patterns of which can only be seen from the air. In her acknowledgments at the end of The Owl Goddess, Ms. Twist admits to having read the same book and been greatly affected by it. Although, she puts her own spin on the story—one you’ll have to read the book to discover.

Prometheus is a member of a tribe called the Titans. Around sixteen years old, he’s already a man, and he’s been cast out of the group by Atlas, who wants to be King, and knows he can’t beat Prometheus in the footrace that would determine who will marry Pandora, the Queen who represents the Mother Goddess, and ascend the throne with her. He witnesses the landing of the Atlantis and its eventual scuttling by its captain, Zeus.

The crew settles on a plateau toward the top of Mount Olympus, setting up camp and traveling about in shuttles and escape pods they’ve salvaged from their damaged vessel. They use an energy shield to protect their camp from indigenous animals or people, and wear similar suits when they leave camp, so they appear to be impervious to the Titan’s weapons. On the other hand, when Pandora falls and hits her head on a rock, Prometheus appeals to Athena, Zeus’ daughter for help. Using modern technology, they’re able to heal Pandora, and the two groups become friendly—except for Atlas and some of the younger warriors who resent being bested by the “Olympians” superior defenses.

Many of the Greek myths play out in The Owl Goddess, but in ways that fit the premise. Athena adopts a baby owl, and the Titans worship her as a wise goddess. Zeus banishes Atlas and his cronies across the Mediterranean to Africa as punishment for attacking a group of Olympians who were no longer wearing shields. Pandora talks Prometheus into stealing “fire” from the Olympians and does, indeed, open something that releases chaos and death. However, Ms. Twist left out the fact that at the bottom of Pandora’s box, there was hope.

Altogether, The Owl Goddess was a fascinating look at Greek mythology from a slightly different point of view. Athena doesn’t see herself as a goddess at all. In fact, having been born aboard the Atlantis, she’s the only teenager in the colony, and she kind of has a crush on Prometheus, who is in love with Pandora, so there’s a bit of a romantic triangle going on there. She’s a clone of Zeus, so Hera is her mother, but not in the traditional sense. There’s not too much love lost there, and Athena tends to keep her distance from her. Hera is homesick, bored, and wants her creature comforts back. She’s cranky and demanding, and even Zeus avoids her as much as possible.

The Owl Goddess grabbed me from the beginning and held my attention throughout with well-drawn characters and a really cool twist at the end. I highly recommend it.

Heat Rating:  PG
Length:  273 Pages
Print:  $15.99
Digital:  $4.33

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