The last time we saw Gryphon he was on the verge of a major nervous breakdown. His brother Orpheus had just rescued him from the Underworld, and he was not dealing well with being back in the real world. While he was in the Underworld Atalanta (the Argonauts main enemy made Gryphon her slave, her doulas. The time he spent with her and Kronos (Titan, another big bad) has NOT done him any good. He was lucky to get out with what little sanity he has left to him. Now that he has been rescued she is a voice in his head and a darkness within him, constantly calling him to her. If that wasn’t maddening as all hell, he’s having these blackout type spells where he thinks everyone around him is a daemon, and he reacts accordingly. When we join back up with him and the rest of the Argonauts, he and Orpheus are living in the Misos colony, because Gryphon refuses to go back to Argolea. It’s just too dangerous, because that’s all Atalanta needs, is a way into Argolea. While in one of his blackouts, he attacked some of his fellow brothers and some of Nick’s men (Nick is the head of the Misos colony).
Nick is, understandably, livid, and demands that the brothers DO something with him. Question is, what do you do with him? Gryphon is not as out in space as his brothers think that he is. He’s having a hard time with the voices, yes, but he knows he has to resist following them, that they only lead to bad things. He decides that for the good of his brother and everyone at the colony that he must leave, before Nick and the others throw him ( and Orpheus) out on their collective tails for the good of the colony.
Maelea, the daughter of Persephone and Zeus, was brought to the colony by Orpheus when he was in the middle of his rescue of Gryphon. She has been hunted for most of her life, and has become adept at hiding. Orpheus blew her cover when he found her, and now she cannot stick her head outside of the door without Hades sending hellhounds to kill her. You see, Hades hates her guts because Persephone is his wife, yet Zeus disguised himself as Hades to get in Persephone’s bed. Maelea has been forced to hide out in the human realm for the last 3000 years, since she cannot enter the Underworld without being killed. She mentions in this book that the only safe place for her would be Olympus, if she can prove her loyalty to the gods. That would mean cutting off all contact with her mother and her mother’s side, and the human realm as well - however, that’s something she is not prepared to do. We all have family members like that I suppose….they suck, but they're family, so you love them anyway. It’s just a matter of time until Hades figures out where she is, so she knows she needs to leave the colony. She’s spent her entire life depending on no one but herself - she’s feeling trapped and restless.
As luck would have it, Maelea’s perfect escape plan is foiled by Gryphon, who kidnaps her and forces her to take him along with her. Cave ins and more drama happens, but they eventually get free despite Nick’s men and the Argonauts hunting for them. Side note: The cave that they landed in during the cave in was a therillium mine, a very handy mineral that when heated, renders the area surrounding it invisible. No sooner than they hit the open air do they get attacked by daemons, then hellhounds several miles down the road, then another pack of daemons in a hotel they take shelter in. Gryphon can’t seem to explain why he won’t just let her go, now that they have gotten away from the colony - he only says that he needs her. He doesn’t quite understand it himself, but when Maelea is near him the voices are not as bad; he’s able to think more clearly. Maelea herself is attracted to him and the bit of Underworld darkness he is now stained with. Gryphon on the other hand, is attracted to Zeus’ side of her lineage, the light she seems to carry around with her. So there you have it, yin and yang, in human (ish) form.
I keep picturing Maelea as a goth teenager for some reason, I really like her as a character. Poor Gryphon, I feel bad for the guy - having a head full of snakes sounds like no fun at all. Persephone shows up when Maelea is alone and offers her a deal - get him to take you to Argolea and get me the Orb of Kronos, and I’ll make sure that Zeus will let you into Olympus. Of course, she only wants the power for herself, and Maelea is right only trust her mom about as far as she can throw her. They are forced out of their hotel room hideout by the pack of daemons that I mentioned earlier, and Gryphon is injured in the fight. Maelea manages to kill the daemons and get him into the truck, thanks to a nifty little vial of love potion #9 that good old mom left her to get Gryphon to bend to her will.
They embark on a road trip that Gryphon is mostly unconscious for, and along the way they give into their attraction to each other. (That was probably one of the best sex scenes I’ve read from this author to date-- very good! **fans**) They wind up on Vancouver Island in a house that Maelea bought a hundred or so years before. They have their cloaking rocks, so for the moment they are safe from Hades and everyone else that might be hunting for them. This includes the rest of the Argonauts, who are up to their ears in dead daemons and hellhounds, trying to hide the evidence from the general populace. They are NOT thrilled that Gryphon hasn’t been doing cleanup of his kills, but figure he is deep into one of his blackouts. They know Maelea is with him, which only leads to them thinking the worst of that situation too. Gryphon is wracked with guilt no sooner than he wakes up and realizes that they have had sex. He thinks that he raped her, but that could not be farther from the truth. You see, Gryph is a big old guy, and to keep him moving ( and compliant) she dosed him with mom’s magic juice again. It’s an aphrodisiac along with it’s other properties, and nature just took it’s course. She sets him straight almost immediately, which was a relief, because I was really not looking forward to a long drawn out you-drugged-me-damn-you-but-I-still-want-you-anyway drama fest. I had more than enough of that with Demetrius and Isadora, thanks.
They spend a happy week at Maelea’s house. Their love story really is a sweet one, and I enjoyed this part of the book very much. Eventually Gryphon decides that he has to kill Atalanta, it’s the only way he will be free of the voices in his head. He only has so long to do this before Kronos calls them both back to the Underworld if they do not have the Orb. He is content thinking that Maelea (who he now knows is his soul mate) will be safe and waiting for him when he returns. What he doesn’t know is that the therillium only lasts so long, and about the time it gave out they were surrounded by both daemons and hellhounds. Luckily, Orpheus and Skyla showed up about the same time, so they were able to get them to Argolea. Things in Argolea are not peachy, because the Council is (as always) trying to undermine the Argonauts. Gryphon’s sloppy kills are just another axe for them to grind, as well as bringing Maelea to Argolea and possibly drawing the wrath of several different gods. Orpheus gets them out of the city though, and they flee to the mountains above Argolea.
Alright, if you don’t wanna know what happens, don’t read after this point!!
Right about then Persephone shows up and wants to know if Maelea got the orb, as per their agreement. Maelea tells Gryphon she didn't take that deal, wouldn't have taken it. Briefly he doesn't believe her and summons the rest of the Argonauts to deal with her and disappears. I about threw the book at this point I was so frustrated. He uses Atalanta's voice within him to find her stronghold somewhere in Scandinavia. Right about the time he stops and thinks for a minute he realizes that he does believe Maelea and that she didn't take the orb, which is missing. He is turning to leave when a portal opens with a pile of daemons and Max, Zander and Callia’s boy. He has stolen the orb because he is determined to prove his worth by killing Atalanta. Then BOOM Atalanta pops out of nowhere! Then BOOM again, another portal opens and here comes all the Argonauts and Maelea! BANG! Maelea sees that Atalanta is about to get her clutches on her man - she FINALLY gets ahold of her power that they have been hinting at the entire book and flash fries Atalanta with a gigantic bolt of lightning! (I was cheering by this point.) To make things even better, while the rest of the Argonauts are standing around with their collective thumbs up their asses, it’s MAELEA who lops Atalanta’s head off!
I was thrilled that she was the one to do it, like I said, I am really fond of her character. Zeus appears, because now Mealea his finally done something worth his interest (rolls my eyes) and she rightly tells him that not only is she NOT handing over the Orb of Kronos to either him or her mother, she had decided she no longer cares about entering Olympus, she’s fine right where she’s at, thankyaverymuch. Zeus is none too happy about this, of course, and tries to press his point, like the big bully he is. Lachesis appears and basically smacks his hand like Zeus was a pissed off toddler, and sends his ass back to Olympus. Even the king of the gods can’t mess around with fate. Lachesis explains that this was why Orpheus was reincarnated, why all of this has happened the way that it did, all to get everyone together and to this point. She takes away Maelea’s link to both the Underworld and Olympus, making her finally free of all of her parent’s influences for the first time in her long life. Gryphon and Maelea have found their balance in each other, and the Argonauts’ biggest enemy is crispy crittered and decapitated on the ground. Huzzah!!
This book ran by very fast for me. Literally, I looked up once and I was at 60% and said to myself “WTH, it seems like I just got started.” I spent much of this series unable to really connect with the characters until this book. As I mentioned before, Orpheus was really the only one to catch my attention before Maelea. I never really paid too much attention to Gryphon until he got dragged into the Underworld, sad to say. I wonder now, with Atalanta dead, what is going to happen with Gryphon and the Orb? Atalanta’s deal with Kronos was to bring him the Orb in six month’s time or risk both her and Gryphon being pulled back into the Underworld to be Kronos’ slaves. Does Atalanta’s death negate the deal? They mention that all taint of the Underworld has been removed from Gryphon, so I suppose that must be the case. In either case there is one PISSED OFF Titan hanging out in Tartarus right about now.
Titus is the next Argonaut up for a book, which is called Bound. We get a closer glimpse of him in this novel, which is whetting my interest to read his story. I have a few things I have to get read before I get to that one, but never fear, the Argonauts will be back soon!
Keep it between the pages,