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Zeus, Inc. by Robin Burks

Robin Burks originally contacted me in early October. Seeing that she’d published one of her Nanowrimo novels, I invited her to write a guest post here about character development. I also agreed to review her book, Zeus, Inc.

Zeus, Inc. is a novel that’s hard to classify. It reads like something between a detective novel and an urban fantasy novel, and is even borderline science fiction. The story is set several decades into the future, after the world has nearly run out of power and been saved by a renewable energy source found by Zeus, Inc.’s CEO, Joseph Brentwood.

At the beginning of the story, Mr. Brentwood goes missing. Alex Grosjean, the wonderfully smartassed main character, is hired by his daughter Alisha to find him. Black outs start happening all over the place and Alex believes they’re somehow connected to Mr. Brentwood’s disappearance. She soon discovers that nothing is really what it seems to be, especially not Mr. Brentwood himself.

There are a lot of really cool things about this story. For one thing, it makes extensively detailed use of several aspects of Greek myth. I love stories that have elements of both the real world and mythological ones. In Zeus, Inc. Alex actually goes into Hades and meets a large cast of Greek gods. These gods were masterfully represented and I appreciate the detail of this part of the story.

One thing I found odd but amusing was Alex’s reaction to discovering that she was dealing with gods. She’s suitably shocked, but not suitably cowed. She continues to defy the gods and doesn’t treat them with any of the expected reverence. She treats them like normal people anyway. Now, I know a few people who I think would react much the same way, but it’s still pretty hard to believe. I enjoyed reading it, but I did read with one eyebrow raised as she cursed at the gods without a second thought.

Really though, my main complaint about the book is that it felt over written. The story was wonderful but I felt it could have used some more editing. Sometimes I would find things said twice but in slightly different ways, and other times I would find redundant words. I think that this book could have been much more closely edited, looking for instances of things like “she sat down“(down is implied by sat) and other small things that aren’t technically incorrect but still look sloppy. I saw a few more typos than I usually find in traditionally published books, but mostly the issue was over explanation of everything.

The only thing that bothered me about the story is that Alex at one point gains some supernatural power of her own, but it feels like the power is foreshadowing because it’s never properly explored. She never even really takes the time to learn how to control it, but it only causes her one problem–I would have liked to see this newfound power take a bigger role in the story.

Still, I loved this book. It used mythology in a totally new way, crossed genres a few times and made me laugh several more times. The best part? Ares is afraid of Alex’s cat. A war god who’s afraid of cats? That’s comedy gold right there.

I would definitely like to see more Alex Grosjean stories as she’s a wonderful character and I love the things that spring from Robin’s imagination, but I hope that if a second novel in the series is published more time is taken to edit it thoroughly so it’s a smoother read.

I give Zeus, Inc. a 3/5 star rating. You can purchase it for just $3.00 here.

Robin’s Bio: Robin Burks is not only a novelist, but also writes for, Syfy Network’s and as well as her own blogs – and Robin’s first novel, Zeus, Inc., is now available on Smashwords,, and in the iBookstore. She also occasionally speaks French and loves Doctor Who.