UK Amazon Reviews:
Just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. This is the story of thirteen year old Emily and how her life is turned upside down when the magical Pegasus lands on the roof of the apartment where she lives. In the midst of a New York blackout Emily must try to save the injured Pegasus and workout why he is in New York and why nowhere is safe. Emily enlists the help of Joel a difficult boy from school and realises that they have more in common than they would have ever realised as they tell each other about their lives whilst trying to keep Pegasus and themselves safe from danger. The story is fairly fast paced and gripping, the characters are soon on the run both from the evil Nirads who want to kill both Emily and Pegasus, and more interestingly but perhaps as evil the CRU, a secret government agency.
This book mixes modern life with characters from Roman mythology, Pegasus, Jupiter, Diana, Apollo etc. and makes an exciting mixture of the two as Emily and Joel are entrusted with saving both their own world and Olympus from the Nirads.
I enjoyed the inclusion of the CRU as it made for an interesting section in the book as the characters are waylaid by this strange and awful organisation.
This was a good adventure story that I would definitely recommend. If you enjoyed the mythology side of the Percy Jackson books then you’ll enjoy this as well. The book has a few unanswered questions but does have an appropriate ending so no nasty cliffhanger, looking forward to the sequel.
I absolutely love Greek mythology as well as roman. I loved Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series so when I saw what he wrote about this book I knew I had to read it. If it wasn’t for the fact I had to go to work I would have read it from cover to cover. I read it really quickly and love how Kate O’Hearn used the gods in their roman form, and was instantly drawn into the story. It really is worth reading. I got to love the main character Emily as her bond with Pegasus grew. This really is a wonderful story for all ages. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Emily and gang in the next book “Pegasus and the fight for Olympus” which I am currently reading. I urge anyone who is tempted to read this book to pick it up as I can promise you, you will love it. Happy reading! 🙂
By: Miss Sarah Brown
Other Press Reviews:
Kate O’Hearn is an American writer who’s already produced several fantasy novels. Pegasus and the Flame is the first in a trilogy, in which Olympian gods experience the 21st century after Olympus is invaded by uncannily successful nasties. Gods are falling like flies. Paelen, wicked god out only for himself, has designs on Pegasus’ golden bridle, which if he can capture it, will give him power over Pegasus and thus over everything else. His plans are thwarted when Pegasus is wounded and crashes out of Olympus into… New York. The battle over Olympus has produced monumental thunderstorms over the city. Heroine Emily is home alone as her policeman father is out dealing with the fallout. Pegasus crash lands onto the top of her apartment building, badly injured. Emily is determined to save Pegasus, with the help of bolshy, misunderstood classmate Joel. Not only are the Olympian invaders after Pegasus, but an extraordinarily nasty American Secret Service outfit who have managed to capture Paelen are out to extract the gods’ secrets too.
Nearly all of the action takes place in New York. I loved the contrast between the soupy Olympian glamour and the gritty reality of New York City. It’s one of the main strengths of the book, as the New York background lends fizz to the fantasy. Emily and Joel are suitably spiky too. And how about Pegasus? Equine fantasy usually falls down because the horses (alright, unicorns. It’s generally unicorns) are so good. It’s as if the prototype Victorian child, all quavering unspoiled innocence, has taken equine form and whipped the author’s wits away in the process. Pegasus, I think, succeeds because he is a character-driven horse. There’s a definite sense of danger to Pegasus. And I absolutely love the fact that Pegasus, and indeed all the Olympians, live their life on one huge sugar rush. Earth being somewhat lacking in ambrosia, food of the gods, ice cream and all things sweet have to substitute, so there are wonderful scenes when the human attendants are raiding the junk food counters to keep the Olympians going.
The villains are interesting: Paelen, without giving too much away, realises the error of his ways (I hope he is a little less predictable in future volumes). The Nirads, the Olympian invaders, haven’t yet emerged as anything other than a stomping force of evil. I did Google Nirad to see if I could find out what the wretched term actually reminded me of, but other than Northern Ireland Radiator Service, which I do rather like as an idea for a supercharged race of villains – the heating elements who turned to the dark side – there wasn’t anything. The most interesting villains are those in the sub Secret Service CRU, who are truly vile; completely incapable of seeing anything other than their own narrow truth.
I have to admit most critical faculties deserted me when reading this book as I was just too eager to FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Whipping the pages over at the speed of light and charging through the paragraphs like the titular Pegasus doesn’t leave a lot of time for critical thought.
My one quibble about the book would be a failure to understand quite why the heroine didn’t die when we were led to believe she would, but my failure might well be a side effect of the speed reading. Perhaps she’s become a god? Goddess rather? As the Nirad aren’t yet defeated, goddess-hood would undoubtedly be handy. I did also wonder (so that’s two quibbles, now I come to think) how, if you’re supposed to be an immortal god, you end up dead, as many Olympians do at the beginning of the book. Immortal here seems to mean immortal except in certain and exceptionally rare circumstances. But no matter. There is plenty to go on for the next two books. Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus is out in July and I shall attempt to read it with notebook and pen at my side.
By: Jane Badger – ‘Books, Mud and Compost – And Horses’
Kate O’Hearn’s Pegasus and the Flame is guaranteed to appeal to many young readers who want a gripping tale with non-stop action. Like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, most of the action takes place in contemporary Manhattan, though with Roman rather than Greek gods. The magnificent stallion of the title has a mission to complete in New York. If he fails, the fate of the Olympians is doomed forever. With the help of heroine Emily and her friend Joel, the young duo find themselves in the midst of an epic battle. After a deadly attack on Olympus, an army of gigantic four-armed Nirads have now invaded New York via the sewers.
Touching deftly on major themes such as betrayal, loss, greed, friendship and heroic sacrifice, O’Hearn creates a broad panoply of well-rounded characters. She is particularly scathing of the sadistic Central Research Unit team (CRU), a thinly veiled reference to the CIA or FBI. The wealth of detail, character and incident threatens at times to overwhelm the reader, but the author just about succeeds in keeping the reader fully on board through to the somewhat predictable conclusion.
O’Hearn has a keen sense of humour as evidenced by her portrayal of the all-too-human Paelen the Magnificent and her description of the enthusiasm with which Pegasus embraced tubs of ice cream and honey cereal in place of ambrosia, the alleged food of the gods. No carrots, apples and hay for this winged equine! Readers will be happy to hear that the second book in the series is due out later in 2011.
By: Marian Keyes – Inis Magazine