Galen Surlak-Ramsey's The Gorgon Bride was published by Tiny Fox Press in July 2018.

Information about Galen Surlak-Ramsey:

When Galen’s not obsessing over his latest text, he’s likely throwing himself out of an airplane, teaching others how to throw themselves out of an airplane, playing something online, taking pictures of the heavens with his telescope, or wrangling his four children somewhere in Southwest Florida.

He also manages to pay the bills as a chaplain for a local hospice.

Click here to visit his official website.

Information about The Gorgon Bride:

THE GODS ARE FUNNY.

Except when you piss them off.

Then they suck.

They really, really suck.

(Really).

Alexander Weiss discovers this tidbit when he inadvertently insults Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and she casts him away on a forgotten isle filled with statues.

Being marooned is bad enough, but the fact that the island is also the home of Euryale, elder sister to Medusa, makes the situation a touch worse. The only thing keeping Alex from being petrified is the fact that Euryale has taken a liking to the blundering mortal.

For now.

What follows next is a wild, adventurous tale filled with heroes, gods, monsters, love, and war that is nothing short of legendary.

REVIEW: THE GORGON BRIDE BY GALEN SURLAK-RAMSEY

Galen Surlak-Ramsey's The Gorgon Bride is an entertaining and imaginative, but slightly flawed tale about what happens when a man accidentally and carelessly insults the Goddess of Wisdom and ends up finding a suitor for the snake-haired Gorgon. It's a quick and fun read with a sarcastic edge to it.

Galen Surlak-Ramsey's vision of Greek mythology is imaginative, because he writes about what kind of things the gods and goddesses are up to in the 21st century and how they meddle with mortals. He seems to have a surprisingly good imagination, because there are concepts in this novel that I don't recall seeing explored in other similar kind of fantasy novels. He has strived to write something different about the Greek gods and has succeeded in it.

The Gorgon Bride is a story about Alexander Weiss who, after getting squashed to death by a large whale, finds himself in the Underworld. When he meets Athena, he manages to insult her and ends up on a forgotten island filled with statues where Euryale lives. Soon he tries to find a suitor for the beautiful and snake-haired Euryale who's in need of a lover, but all of a sudden he notices that he's falling in love with her...

This is the beginning of a lighthearted fantasy story filled with humour, adventure, gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes, love and war.

It was fun to read about how Alex began to fall in love with Euryale and what kind of feelings he had for her. Alex's feelings for Euryale developed fast, which felt a bit strange to me, but this unusual love affair is entertaining and brings entertainment values to the story. I also enjoyed reading about Alex and his old love, Jessica, because she finds herself being drawn into the happenings and notices to her amazement that everything about the gods and myths is real.

I was surprised by how much the author knows about Greek mythology. He has clearly researched mythology before writing this novel, because his vision of the immortal beings is enjoyable and insightful. He fluently tells of how arrogant the gods can be and how they use mortals as pawns and playthings in their own schemes. The gods have their own values and they respect certain things in others.

Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, is quite an interesting character, because she is clever and intelligent, but also terrifyingly cruel. She likes to play games and teach others lessons. Her views about "tough love" are fascinatingly brutal.

What happens between Ares (the God of War) and his wise sister, Athena, is handled well, because Ares is a bit frustrated at being beaten in games by Athena. Ares doesn't like to lose to his sister and doesn't like the games that she plays.

I also enjoyed reading about how Aphrodite, Ares' lover, hears from Ares that Athena is trying to find a suitor for Euryale. Aphrodite's reaction to this is fascinating, because she becomes deeply upset and is aware that Athena knows nothing about the matters of the heart. Because she is resourceful, she finds her own way get involved in Athena's schemes.

I was pleased to find tiny bits and pieces of wisdom in this novel. The author writes well about love and being a hero. I think it's great that he explores these issues, because it adds fascination to the story arc.

Although I enjoyed this novel and found it enjoyable, it had a few flaws that bothered me, so I feel the need to point out a couple of things. The modern and swiftly moving prose fits the fast-paced story, but I think that this novel would've benefited from slower pacing and a more literary and descriptive approach to writing, because it feels rushed and has a kind of a "style over substance" feel to it. This novel would've also been enhanced by a more in-depth character development and exploration of the characters' lives, because I found it difficult to root for some of the characters. Fortunately, it's easy to overlook these flaws due to the story being amusing and lively escapism with a strong focus on light entertainment, because - after all - we all do need this kind of fantasy entertainment from time to time.

It's slightly difficult for me to rate this novel, because I enjoyed it, but was bothered by its flaws. After careful consideration, I decided to give this novel strong three and a half stars on the scale from one to five stars, because the author definitely has something here and the story is entertaining.

Galen Surlak-Ramsey's The Gorgon Bride is a modern, original and fascinating take on Greek mythology. It's totally different from many other novels that tell about Greek gods and goddesses, because the author has come up with a story that amuses and entertains readers with its quirky happenings. It's lighthearted fun for readers who are interested in humorous and fast-paced escapism.

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