Giveaway and Review: "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom"

"Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom"
 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: Aug 7, 2012
Source: sent by the authors

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series!The terrible Titans—merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans—have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....      Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.      Zeus gets his wish—and a lot more than he bargained for—when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, Zeus grabs the first thing he sees—an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime—and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.

My Review:

This is the first book in the brand new Heroes in Training series by the authors of the Goddess Girls books! This time, the books focus on the boy gods. The two series aren't related, so we aren't reading about the same Zeus and Poseidon as we see in the Goddess Girls books. I think this book gets the series off to a great start. Lots of fun and adventure with great characters!

It turns out Zeus wasn't always the all-powerful leader of the gods that we know about. He was a somewhat awkward tween boy on an adventure, hardly knowing what he was doing. This is a completely new spin on Zeus, I've never seen him like this before. It's really refreshing and realistic at the same time. The authors do a great job of modernizing his story to make it accessible to today's young audience, while still teaching the basic legendary stories.  The illustrations are great and they add a bit of a comic book or graphic novel feel to the book.

My favorite part of the book was Zeus' thunderbolt, Bolt. Bolt had his own personality even though he didn't speak. He was so cute, almost like a pet. I really enjoyed reading about their adventures together. Another great character was the Oracle. She was so funny, and definitely will appeal to young readers. Ironically, she can barely see the future through her often fuzzy, oversized glasses.

It's not all about the boys though, there is an appearance by a sassy, 10 year old Hera, and I can't wait to see the direction their friendship goes. It will be great to see what adventures Zeus, Poseidon, and Hera find next.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: n/a

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line: A fantastic start to a new series by two of my favorite MG authors, this time following the adventures of the boys.


Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams have generously provided a finished copy of "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" and a bookmark for one lucky reader of my blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post with your email address! Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy

Extra Entries:
+1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
+1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by the authors, In the Hammock is not responsible for lost or missing books, or the amount of time taken to ship the books
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

If you think this book sounds great, check out my reviews for ALL of the books in the author's other series, The Goddess Girls!  

#1 Athena the Brain
#2 Persephone the Phony (one of my favorites in the series)
#3 Aphrodite the Beauty (another top pick in the series)
#4 Artemis the Brave
#5 Athena the Wise
#6 Aphrodite the Diva
#7 Artemis the Loyal 
#8 Medusa the Mean (another of my favorites)
Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games


  1. Hi! I just came across your site and it is really lovely! I happily followed you and will enjoy reading your updates. You can find me over at Rainy Day Reads, It would be great if you could stop by and I would love have a fellow book lover as a follower. Christine x

  2. Ooh, I love their books! Please count me in.




    Thanks bunches!!

  3. It sounds great :D And it looks so cute

  4. The books sound so sweet!!
    I'm going to try to get my paws on it :)

    Great review :D

  5. This series sounds ADORABLE! It sorta reminds me of Rick Riordan, which is definitely a plus for me! I <3 him! And glad it's so good. I wasn't sure about the goddess books, but this one sounds great!

  6. Okay, you know I want to try this one as much as I want the girl series! I want them all!!! I can't wait to share the Special one with my niece. Her birthday is the day before mine so she's very special to me and the last grandchild in our family. Knowing how ungirly she is, she'd like this one better. She wore a Spiderman costume and pink rain boots to dinner at a restaurant on Christmas ever!! quite the fashion sense.

    Oh enter me!
    You know I follow you as Buried in Books

  7. This book sounds great. Thanks for the chance.

  8. I'm so happy to hear you review this one as highly as the GG books! I love the GG books and have such high hopes for these. I have a bunch of younger boys in my library who I think would really enjoy what Joan and Suzanne do with retelling myths, but I never would have been able to get them to read GIRL books :P Glad there's an option for them now!

    smallreview at yahoo dot com :)

  9. This book sounds great and it reminds me of The Lightning Thief. Please enter me. booksnobsblog at gmail dot com


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!