Meet some of the characters from Zeus the Mighty: The Quest for the Golden Fleas.
Zeus is a golden hamster with a cloud-shaped patch on his cheek. Zeus believes he’s the king of all the other animals that live at the Mount Olympus Pet Center. The favorite rescued pet of Artie, the shop’s owner, Zeus genuinely cares about his fellow Olympians but also sees them as minions that should follow him on nightly adventures, which often go awry. When humans aren’t around, he often scrambles down from “Mount Olympus,” the highest shelf in the shop where his enclosure is, and pictures himself wearing a white chiton—a fine shirt people wore in ancient Greece—and a crown-like gilded laurel wreath.
Demeter is a small grasshopper with a big heart. Once a resident of the rescue center’s Bugcropolis (the city of insects), she’s now Zeus’s constant, loyal companion and loves to explore the shop’s world. She wears a sash of lettuce over her shoulder and a laurel wreath on her head to represent the Greek goddess of the harvest, for whom she’s named. The youngest and fastest of the Olympians, Demeter can fly in short bursts. But don’t let her size fool you—this is one courageous grasshopper!
Athena is the wise gray tabby cat that lives in the front window of Mount Olympus Pet Center. Named after the goddess of wisdom, Athena often tries to keep Zeus out of trouble when he starts dreaming up wild adventures. Her quick and clever thinking helps settle arguments and solve problems. For instance, she figured out how to steer the Argo, a robot vacuum, which she now captains around the pet center. In the human world, she wears a gold collar with an owl charm, but the other Olympians see her wearing a laurel crown and two thin gold bracelets that wrap around her front paws.
Ares the pug is the strongest of the pet center Olympians. Courageous and impulsive like the god of war, Ares is the first to jump into an adventure and face any monster. But his excitement can sometimes get the better of him. (One time he accidentally sat on Poseidon’s hose and almost suffocated the pufferfish!) Ares loves to be called a good boy and can eat an entire handful of Mutt Nuggets in one sitting, which probably contributes to his “meatloaf-ish” body. He wears a spiked collar and, among the Olympians, a bronze Spartan helmet.
Poseidon is a white-spotted pufferfish that lives in the fish tank at Mount Olympus Pet Center (known to the animals as the Aegean Sea). From his saltwater throne Poseidon rules over his fishy minions and challenges Zeus’s authority over the center. The two regularly argue over who is the better ruler. Poseidon can leave his aquarium by swimming into a plastic diving helmet that has a long hose connected to the tank. He wears a tiny gold crown and carries a trident, just like the Greek god he’s named after.
Artemis “Artie” Ambrosia is the owner of Mount Olympus Pet Center. In Greek mythology Artemis isthe goddess of hunting and wild animals—so it makes sense that Artiehas rescued the animals living at the center. It also makes sense that she named all her rescued animals after Greek gods, since she loves Greek mythology. She even listens to Greeking Out, a podcast that retells the famous myths and gives the animals crazy ideas for their adventures. Artie plans to open a rescue center next door to Mount Olympus so she can find fur-ever homes for more animals.
Phineus is a grizzled old gray hamster that Zeus believes is the blind soothsayer from a Greek myth called Jason and the Argonauts. Living in the dark, abandoned shop next to the pet center, Phineus meets Zeus after the mighty hamster saves the old critter from a colony of harpies. (In the human world, they’re actually bats!) His long whiskers look like a beard and he uses an old toothpick as a cane. The wise but mysterious Phineus once knew Artie and speaks in riddles. So who is he really, and how does he know Artie?