REVIEW: Go the Distance by Jen Calonita

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“What if Meg had to become a god?

After Hercules proves he’s a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can’t be with Hercules because she’s, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus–as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest.

The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex’s current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?”

REVIEW:

Go the Distance is a part of the ongoing Twisted Tales series published by Disney-Hyperion. Hercules is my favorite Disney movie and Meg is my favorite character. I loved that she was complicated heroine and my love for her has grown as I’ve gotten older. So naturally the minute I heard about this book, I pre-ordered it.

Go the Distance picks up right where the movie left off, except Zeus doesn’t take no for an answer when Hercules turns down his godhood to remain with Meg. Meg is heartbroken, because Hercules is the first real good thing in her life. Hera approaches Meg with the opportunity to spend eternity with Hercules, giving her a trial to become a god herself. This won’t be a simple task, Meg will have to come to terms with her trauma while also trying to bring back a soul.

Go the Distance flushes out Meg’s backstory. We learn that she didn’t have an easy childhood. Meg’s father abandoned her and her mother, then Meg loses her mother when she is a teenager. We obviously know that things didn’t go well in her love life either, with her selling her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend’s life only to be abandoned by him. Throughout the story, each task helps Meg work through her past trauma and realize that she can rely on other people. The whole cast of characters is back for the story, which is nice. I do wish there was a bit more time with just Meg and Hercules, but ultimately this is Meg’s journey. They also throw the Hades and Persephone myth in there for some fun.

Spoilers for the book in the next paragraph.

I did grow frustrated with a couple scenes in this book, they felt very out of character for Meg. One was her insistence on grabbing a forbidden apple to take as a bargaining chip for Hades. It causes everyone to nearly die. It just felt so incredibly random and out of character. Meg is smart but also always expects the worst of any outcome, so she should have expected them to be booby trapped. This leads to a fight with Hercules for swooping in to save them. Obviously, Meg always feels like she can take care of herself, but she completely loses it at Hercules and it feels very out of character.

Overall, if you love Hercules you should check out Go the Distance. It is a fun, quick read that adds some backstory to a wonderful Disney heroine.

RATING: 3/5

Have you read any of the Disney Twisted Tales? Should I check out some more in this series? Let me know in the comments!

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