“I was the cute baby bunny surrounded by thirty hungry dragons.”All The Gold Between Us by Jade Le Bris
Can a human survive among the gods?
Kalani Mayfield never thought she would be fighting for her life in the world of Greek gods and goddesses. She was living a typical college student life, juggling her jobs, classes, and caring for her little brother until she was abducted by mistake. The only way she can save her life and go home is to win a deadly Tournament. Unfortunately, her opponents are Coppers – the gods and goddesses’ grandchildren. These Coppers have incredible magical powers and have trained for years to become the strongest and win their place on Mount Olympus.
Nothing could have prepared Kalani for the magical – and lethal – competition she has to fight in, nor for the people she will meet. To survive without any powers of her own, Kalani will have to push herself past her limits and learn to trust others along the way.
Fantasy, Fiction, New Adult, Friendship, Greek Mythology, Romance, Contemporary Romance, Competition, Survival, Magic, Fake Dating
Others in Series:
Book 2: TBA but certainly in the works
Why This Rating?
Full disclosure, I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for a voluntary honest review.
I feel like Greek Mythology is a subject that authors can always use within their stories and it rarely gets old. There are just so many different ways to bend and twist them into a fun plot. Jade doesn’t disappoint when she takes us straight to Olympus and drops Kalani (us) into a competition for our lives against the grandchildren of the Greek gods and goddesses. Here is a story full of survival, friendship, death, and a start to a possible romance?? One thing to remember for our competitors, just because something can bud between character (friendship or something more) doesn’t mean they’ll survive the next Trail or live through the night for that matter.
This book is entirely in first POV through Kalani’s eyes. The only mortal to be sucked into the 146th Tournament on Olympus by complete accident. This poor woman manages to hold herself together far better than I would or than what a majority of us probably would. I mean seriously, kidnapped and then told your were to be terminated? But you still hold hope that you might be able to get back home and find ways to enjoy the little things in life despite being in an alien world. I love that her motto is “Fake it till you make it”. I live that motto some days too, you go girl you’ve got this!
The beginning of the book was a bit harder to work through than the later half. There was a lot of character set up for Kalani before the competition situation happened and then us playing catch up with Kalani once there. And it wasn’t until the whole group of friends started working together did it start picking up speed. As soon as the Trails started, I hardly put it down. But that could also be because of the adrenaline and anxiety those Trails were giving me. Just saying, how long can YOU hold your breath?!? HA! This is a read that is certainly a build up read rather than just hooking you right away.
Even though this book says it is a romance, I wouldn’t bank my reading urge on that so much. Yes there are romantic relationships around Kalani, but this book has the MC in a fake date situation. The romantic tension is there between them for sure. Get ready for a lot of tension building! I was certainly saying “Come ON already! Just one kiss!” but it was still an enjoyable part to read. had me squealing at times too hehe!
One thing about the writing that sort of took me out of the story was the repetition. The author would sometimes restate or repeat a line in almost the exact same way just a few pages after it was already said. I found myself skim reading here and there when I felt like it was about to happen again – and unfortunately I was right for most of those times. This didn’t ruin the story for me! It just made me pause in reading to make sure I wasn’t missing something or managed to flip the wrong way on my e-reader pages. These little things tend to stick out way more for me since I am such a voracious reader. This little thing could very well be nothing for other readers out there, so don’t be worried or turned off from giving this story a shot!
There was a TON of pop culture references in this story. You have everything from current TV shows and movies to Taylor Swift and her songs all of which are sprinkled throughout the book. This made it a lot of fun to read and see come up in Kalani’s thoughts or conversations. You get to be included on some inside jokes while reading. I always get a little scared for the author when I see this many pop culture references in their books. It is a lot of fun when writing and reading them during those years, but it can really age a book and sometimes not in a good way. I think Jade did a really great job at choosing moments that will stay relevant for quite some time and in turn keeping her pop jokes and references still strong in her novel.
I would say that this book is a Hunger Games and Percy Jackson hybrid. From Hunger Games you get the whole competition and the winners get to live while the losers are exterminated or killed during the Trails. There are even moments where holograms are showing above the competitors while in the arena just like the dome they have above their heads in the games. The Percy Jackson side not only comes from these people being descendants of the gods, but all of the competitors and kept together to train together, to eat together … you get the picture. Instead of an outside Camp Half-blood full of teenagers with adults and simply train to keep busy (I know this isn’t entirely true but going for simple explanations), they are kept inside, have zero supervision, train to kill/survive, and are all like 17-25 years old. Not going to lie, I only finished the 1st book to each of those series because the way they ended the first book I was content with. There didn’t have to be any more if the author wanted to just stop. Same kind of goes for this one too. I would probably be more likely to read the next book for the series, but if Jade decided to just pause this, it wasn’t a bad ending. I certainly had questions about some stuff that popped up, but those questions aren’t burning my insides for answers.
I had a really good time reading this one once the story started to pick up. I flew through the last third of the novel pretty easy. This one would have to be a New adult for some of the aggression and just the pure fight till the death mentality that happens a lot in this book. But if you are looking for the next Hunger Games style book this is going to be your jam!
Time to get lost in the next story!