Review: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In line with the release of Uprising on May 28 (two days from now!!), the second book in the Children of the Gods series by Jessica Therrien, I am hereby reviewing the the first book in the series. Not familiar with the series? Check my review of Oppression today and get acquainted with possibly your next favorite series! Did you love Oppression? Come back here in two days time to check out my review of Uprising!

Oppression (Children of the Gods, #1)
Title: Oppression (Children of the Gods #1)
Author: Jessica Therrien
Publisher: ZOVA Books
Date of Publication: February 28, 2012

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First and foremost, thank you so much to Jessica Therrien for the signed review copy! <3 I also want to congratulate her for the super cute baby Matthew! Still, it goes without saying (but I'm saying it anyway) that all you'll ever read are my honest opinions. So let's get to that review, shall we?

I'm going to try something new for this review. I will be listing three things that I liked about Oppression and then three things that didn't really work out for me. Tell me what you think of that style in the comments section. So here goes!

Three Things I Loved About Oppression

1. Greek mythology. Guys, it's inspired by Greek mythology. That should be enough. Greek mythology is like ancient soap opera on steroids. All the scheming, the heartbreak, the killing -- it's campy good. I guess if it isn't your thing (HOW CAN IT BE NOT YOUR THING), this wouldn't appeal to you as much. But if it's your thing, if you're like me who filled notebooks and notebooks of family trees and stories and everything when you were a kid (yes, I was obsessed with Greek mythology when I was a kid), then this is for you.

2. Story world. In the Children of the Gods series, Descendants live with humans. They are the descendants of what the Greeks once considered gods. They have powers according to their lineage - light manipulation, persuasion, turning any liquid to wine, healing, conducting electricity, copying any power and a whole lot more. Oppression showed a beacon of light to all these terrific powers and I can't wait to read Uprising as I feel that more powers will be known in the second book. The Descendants also age slower than humans and can live up to 500 years, whilst looking like a normal 80-year old. There are several secret communities hiding in plain sight and they're governed by The Council, a bunch of corrupt leaders who descended from the original "gods". Cool? YEAH. Especially the powers. I also love how Jessica Therrien took Greek mythology and melded it into her own story. She used it for inspiration but she made it her own.

3. Cover. Isn't that GORGEOUS? The cover, that font, the model, the pose, her make-up, everything just looks good. I can't count how many times I petted my copy. My copy even came with these cloth leaf garland and they're just so Greek-looking and so pretty. Granted, I somehow don't get the relation of the cover to the story. Maybe the model's eyes are closed because they are oppressed? Or she's not yet aware of all the horror that's happening? That she needs to wake up and act? That sounds about right.

Three Things That Didn't Really Work For Me About Oppression

1. Insta-trust and insta-love. Right after they met, Elyse just joins William, trusts this COMPLETE STRANGER and goes with him to wherever. And then they're already in love. Sigh. I truly don't like insta-love guys. I sometimes love insta-love when I don't realize it. Maybe it's disguised or not so instant. But in here, BOOM. First few chapters and they're in love. Fine, Elyse lived her life thinking she's alone, a freak. But does that mean you'll jump into a relationship right away? Maybe it didn't help that I'm not a big fan of the characters as well, which is point number 2.

2. Characters. Sadly, I was not invested in Elyse and William and pretty much everyone. My favorite character was Kara because she's one conflicting character with depth. The characters did not grate on my nerves but I didn't love them as well. I was indifferent and I was more into knowing all about the Descendants themselves.

3. Loopholes. So the Descendants age slower. So while Elyse looks like an eighteen year-old, she's secretly eighty plus years old. But why does she acts like a teenager? Why is everyone acting like a teenager when they're not? I don't get it and it took me away from fully enjoying this read. It just nagged me while I was reading it though I did my best to put it at the back of my mind.

So that's about it! I feel bad that I didn't enjoy Oppression as much as I wanted to, knowing that I love anything Greek and the premise. Plus, Jessica Therrien is such a darling. However, I read tons of reviews of Oppression and they seemed to enjoy it so much. Even those who hate instalove found the romance sizzling and some also found Elyse a strong and relatable character. I guess this is a case of it's not the book, it's me but I truly think most readers will enjoy this novel. Oppression successfully established the world of the Children of the Gods series and it has done a wonderful job at it. I'll be reading the sequel for sure entitled Uprising. I'm excited to see all the scheming and fighting and I definitely want to know more about the Descendants.

About Jessica Therrien

Jessica is a graduate of San Diego State University. She lived in Taiwan for a year where she learned Chinese, but she lives in Chula Vista now, where everyone speaks Spanish instead.

Jessica is currently writing book three in her CHILDREN OF THE GODS series.


  1. Congratulations on your new baby boy, Jessica!

    Okay, firstly, LOVE the cover. I'm also digging the greek mythology aspect and the interesting world that the author created! I'm not too keen on insta-love, but it sounds like my kind of book.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. Yeap, it sounds like my kind of book too and it really is! Save for insta-love. I've removed a star or two in my ratings because of insta-love and this is yet another victim. I think I would have given it a 4 if not for that. I guess that's my dealbreaker. Thanks for dropping by, Ellie! :)

  2. Well-balanced review! :) The insta-love worked out for me. I don't know, I guess I just went with the flow of it and I liked it. Although there were moments when I was thinking of it the same way you did: why did she trust the guy so easily? Overall, I liked how you presented the good and the bad of this book. Great review! <3

    1. I think if you didn't dwell too much on the pace of their relationship, you would surely enjoy it. Alas, I was in a bit of a critical mood when I read it so I seemed to notice every single thing. Haha! Thank you so much, Precious!


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