I thought the concept was great, and I thought it made some valid and relevant points, even more than a decade after it was written. But it was dull and a letdown.
I've been giving this book more thought. I'm not sure I'm ready to change my initial rating. Critically speaking, I thought the author executed the concept well. The way he layered a Greek motif over modern life was excellent. I think the thing that disappointed me so much in this novel was the expectation of following the Hero's Journey. But this was really the Hero's Anti-Journey. Merlis blatantly rejects the Hero's Journey in the end, and that didn't set right with me. Maybe that's because of my familiarity with the Hero's Journey, or my love of Greek myth. Maybe it is because I subscribe to Joseph Campbell's teachings that the mythic form is something that comes from our basic psychology and the commonality of human experience. To reject that seems almost like Merlis is rejecting our very nature.