In Greek mythology the goddess Demeter is presented as a victim. Her beloved daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and required to spend six months each year in the underworld because she ate six pomegranate seeds. During that time, Demeter mourns and refuses to let anything grow. But what if Demeter wasn’t really the wronged party? What if she was really the mother-in-law from hell with a grudge that lasts several millennia? And what if the Greek gods weren’t really gods, but aliens with special powers, incredibly long life-spans, and they aren’t really gone, just changed to fit the times?
That is the set up for Nance’s story The Seeker. Zeus now goes by the name Zeke Jupiter and runs a fireworks company. Hera is Harriet Juneau and runs a cosmetic company. Both have gone their separate ways for centuries, but now are joined in the common cause of helping Zeus’ mortal descendents find true love. The only way the women of Zeus’s line can find happiness is if they couple with a man descended from another member of Mt. Olympus. Their current candidate is magician Dia Trelawny. At first they plan to fix her up with her assistant, a descendant of Apollo, but then they see how Hugh Pendragon, a descendent of Hades, looks at Dia and know he is her soul mate.
Dia is starting a summer tour of the Midwest with two weeks of shows in Chicago – plans which are interrupted when her sister Liza abandons her four children on Dia’s doorstep. Dia needs to find her sister, and a friend directs her to Hugh. Hugh retired from finding missing persons when he lost his psychic gift six months earlier. Only when Dia comes bursting into his life his gift flares up again, so he agrees to try and help find Liza.
Dia and Hugh are immediately attracted to one another, but their goals in life clash. She has little maternal instinct and wants a career that will have her travelling the world. Hugh, on the other hand, is a homebody and wants family and privacy. But the big roadblock to happiness is that, during a performance at a museum six months ago, Dia was tricked into helping Demeteria Cesare (a.k.a. Demeter) steal some gems, which just happen to be ancient heirlooms passed down from generation to generation in Hugh’s family. Dia fears what will happen when Hugh learns of her involvement in theft.
There’s a sort of role reversal here, in that Dia is the character with the troubled past who is reluctant to trust. Hugh’s your basic beta hero: pretty laid back, but always there to support, help, protect, and comfort Dia when she needs it. It’s hard to watch Dia push this nice guy away and distrust him at every turn when he’s given her little cause, but it’s effective.
But it’s the secondary characters of Zeus and Hera that shine. They add a touch of humor to the story and keep the mystery with Demeter on track. They know why Demeter hates Hugh and wants to destroy him, but they can’t quite figure out where Dia fits into her scheme.
The main drawback to the story is Dia’s irritating four nieces and nephews. They come on too strong and only when convenient. Maybe if there’d only been one set of twins instead of two or one kid instead of four, they could’ve been more developed as characters. As it is, they serve as an annoying plot device.
The Seeker is a fun, light read, and good for a weekend afternoon. Even though it’s clear that some of the secondary characters have stories of their own it isn’t necessary to have read their books to enjoy this one.