Athena’s Promise by Annetta Ribken

Posted February 12, 2012 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 1 Comment


As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers. The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead. But that’s not her only problem.
Pallas needs to find the killer, and fast, or she’ll lose her job, her home, and the ragtag family she’s adopted out of her crew of “critters”. 
In the course of the investigation Pallas uncovers connections to a nasty Oddities dealer deep in the heart of Zombietown, forcing her to expose a trauma from her past which could threaten her future. With everyone and everything she loves in danger, the promise made to the Goddess Athena may well damn her if she breaks it, but she is bound and determined to save her friends, her home, and everything she’s built.

There is something to be sad about having a unique hook, something out there, that makes you as a reader say “huh, I really want to know what happens”. For me it’s the fact that Pallas works at a hotel at the front desk. When I first started going to college I was working at the front desk of a hotel, and believe me it isn’t an easy job, I myself had to deal with a shooting (someone got shot in the butt, so it wasn’t a murder like Pallas). So needless to say when I saw Pallas worked the front desk of a hotel that catered to the supernatural, and one where I murder happened, I was super intrigued.

As a front desk worker Pallas is basically responsible for anything and everything that comes up in the hotel. Making sure employees have everything they need, guests have everything they need, dealing with conventions, and reservations, oh and of course the inner politics that are in every job; oh and of course all the while trying to navigate all the difficult and different supernatural “critters” circumstances.

I love Pallas, she is a take charge kind of girl who is willing to do anything to get the job done. And it’s not just because she is some crazed work-a-holic (although she is), it’s because he work is her home, and all those people that she works with are her family. She’s also a girl with a past, and a past that she hold close to the vest. In fact it’s kind of fun going throughout the book and trying to put together the pieces of this woman’s past.

Another reason why this book is such a fun read is because it is a part of a larger murder mystery throughout the book and it’s really interesting to attempt to figure out who did it, why they did it, or if someone in the hotel did it.

There are parts in this book that make you laugh, and there are parts that seriously make you want to cry along side of Pallas. The employees are all creatively written and distinct in their own rights. Not only that but the world building is fantastic. What I think is even more impressive about this book is so much of it takes place in one setting, and when you have a book take place in one setting it can easily become repetitive. But that was never a problem for Athena’s Promise, it was fun and interesting from beginning to end.

This was good book, a fun read, and kind of made me wish I worked a zombie hotel. There isn’t anything to hot and heavy in the book so I would say it would be okay for younger readers, but those of you who really like urban fantasy this is a great read, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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