A Damsel No More (Go the Distance – A Book Review)

Go the Distance (A Twisted Tale)

Author: Jen Calonita

Published: 2021

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated D for this damsel in distress defying the gods because that’s just her style.

What if Meg had to become a Greek god?

With Hades defeated and the Titans sent back to whence they came, it’s happily ever after, right? Nope. Meg is shunned and separated from Hercules not only for her the part she played as Hades’s pawn. Now, she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. She has the opportunity of a lifetime. Hera offers a quest to her and if she succeeds she’ll become a god and be able to be with Hercules forever. But is that what she truly wants? It’s something she has to figure out as she completes this quest. So many hope for her success, though one god in particular is pining for her downfall. Meg, in more distress than usual.

Taking place right after the Disney movie’s end, Meg was faced with possibly losing Hercules. In the midst of Zeus’s rage, she was determined to prove that she truly loved Hercules by completing a mysterious quest sent from Hera. It wasn’t a simple “defeat the monster” quest. This one took her to the depths of the underworld, to the center of her heartache and doubt with her ex-boyfriend, and even showed her the consequences of Hades’s war on the Greek gods.

Giphy

Taking on Meg’s POV was a dream. She’s one of my absolute favorite Disney characters. Not only is she funny, but she’s also sarcastic and relatable. Her story is one I’ve always wondered about and this book answered my wish. Still plucky as ever, Meg was able to reforge relationships and gain unexpected friends: Pegasus and Phil. That had to be one of my utmost favorite parts. That, and understanding why she struggled with the decision in her heart about whether she truly wanted and deserved to be with Hercules. Getting her backstory as well was so much and more. It made her more than just a hero’s love interest. It showed her how she came to rely on only herself and grew hard-hearted and that she was a hero, too.

Tenor

I fell in love with this tale so fast. Full of adventure and proof that while Meg may still be in distress, she is no damsel. She’s not like Hercules—half god with oodles of strength—and still managed to hack it with monsters like the best of ’em. Still, her pluckiness came with understandable doubt. Sometimes a quest isn’t all about defeating monsters but confronting your past. I found that balance to be really nice. That’s what quests do. They test you in multiple ways and get to the heart and soul of you.

Giphy

The addition of Persephone and Hades’s story was the extra I didn’t know I needed. It’s one of my favorite myths and one that always gets a unique twist. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that it made great entertainment. More so, the involvement and wisdom of other gods was really fantastic. It was good to know that there were those that were hoping for Meg’s success. It was ironic that it was male gods that looked down on Meg and rejected her while it was the female gods that came to her aid.

On a Side Note: It’s always good to see Pain and Panic, my favorite little trouble makers.

Overall

Maybe I’m biased because of how much I loved mythos and am a sucker for a quest, but this wasn’t that bad. It was fun, witty and true to itself. A twisted tale? Not so much. I might’ve expected it to be a bit darker, but it’s fine that it’s not. This was actually something the gods would do to a mortal. Still, entertaining and heartfelt, this story really got to the center of who Meg is. I can appreciate that.

Quotables:

“She’s never lived somewhere she longed to return to, where she felt loved,, where she felt safe; a place she didn’t want to leave.” (p. 15)

“On the contrary, it’s very important. You are going to war, Megara. And in war, one must have the will to fight for when they want or they will fall in battle as swiftly as a sword cuts through the air.” (Athena, p. 93)

“Sometimes your head will lead, and other time it will be your heart.” (Athena, p. 123)

“…Love means it’s okay to lean on one another.” (Aphrodite, p. 211)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

Song Today? The Sun Will Rise by Kelly Clarkson.

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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