Title: Go the Distance
Author: Jen Calonita
Pub. Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy Retellings
What if Meg had to become a god?
After Hercules proves he’s a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can’t be with Hercules because she’s, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus–as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest.
The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex’s current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?
Written by the author of Mirror, Mirror and Conceal, Don’t Feel, Jen Calonita’s latest twist is sure to delight and surprise.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. The moment I learned that there was going to be a Twisted Tales novel based on Hercules, I knew I needed to read it. Despite the amazing tagline, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, and ultimately, I enjoyed this one.
I will say that I have a sort of love/hate relationship with these books. I don’t ever find them actually “twisted”. I don’t know. I get that the authors are taking the well known and loved movies and altering the plots to be something slightly different. But to me “twisted” has almost a darker connotation. I’m always left having enjoyed it, but also feeling a little bereft.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, Meg felt a little out of character – I didn’t quite get the sass she has in the movie. But I did appreciate the backstory and how her character was shaped. I think I still like Movie Version Megara over this version but having more depth to her character is really nice. She was always capable in the movie, and you care about her, but you can really get behind her and her actions in this book.
And yes, I wish Hercules – aka Wonder Boy – had a little bit bigger of a role, but it’s fine.
I will say the most shocking element in this book – and I really wasn’t expecting it – was the Hades and Persephone plot line. Maybe it’s just me, but the Disney version of Hades never came across like he would care about anyone – like, he was the stereotypical rendition of Hades. Like, actual evil, hell bent on causing chaos, Hades. Not, soft, tortured, morally grey, in desperate need of a hug and good conversation, Hades. I just found it weird, and I didn’t really like it.
Also, on the note of the Gods – they felt like they came out of PJO.
As long as I turned my brain off and just enjoyed the story for what it was – Meg’s journey to become a God – then I had no problems. It was a pretty quick read, enjoyable and endearing at times. But if I started thinking too much, I started comparing and then I wasn’t necessarily enjoying it. I’m also quickly realizing that these books are 100% geared towards a younger YA crowd – which also might lend to my different interpretation of “twisted”. I still want to read the other books in this series, because I want to see the various takes. But if you’re interested you can check out my reviews for Straight on Till Morning, Part of Your World and Conceal Don’t Feel.
You can check out Go the Distance when it hits shelves next week! Let me know if you’ve read any of the other books in the Twisted Tales series. Are there ones I should prioritize? Skip? Tell me in the comments!