Set in modern times, it features the major arcana of Greek Gods updated for the twenty-first century. It stars Hermes (Declan) and Ares (Tadd) who consider themselves married and they’ve been lovers for a long time. The marital bliss ends up destroyed a bit in the opening pages as somehow Athena (Sofia) is murdered in her own museum. Zeus (Bront) orders Declan to solve the mystery and for Tadd to protect his lover.
A real clock is put on the action as the body count begins to rise and no one is particularly eager to help. As you may remember, the Greek Gods often didn’t much like each other. Declan and Tadd are behind the eight ball as the killer keeps on killing, they can’t get a viable suspect and their heavenly kin alternatively blame them and refuse to help.
I wasn’t quite able to figure it out because I didn’t feel the motive was clear enough (all right I did figure it out but I didn’t imagine I would be right as others had far better motives). I did find the names a little confusing (I just didn’t think a few of them fit the characters so it was a problem for me) and I’m no fan of present tense. I did however like the novel. I think, oddly enough, I would have liked it better without sex in it if only because I kept wondering why they were slowly down at that point for sex when people are dying left and right (that’s always a problem with erotica and action/suspense books. Sometimes it doesn’t feel logical to stop for sex).
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This retelling of Rapunzel’s story was a lot of fun. The cover caught my eye at the library with Rapunzel in a southwest scene, done up like a cowgirl and using her hair as a lasso. The story opens with Rapunzel being raised like a princess by Mother Gothel, who has some kind of green magic (and the story claims that Rapunzel is a type of lettuce. I’m not that up on lettuce so I’m not sure of that but it becomes a running joke). She’s rather neglected, hanging out with the guardsmen who teach her how to lasso stuff.
Naturally, Rapunzel finds out she was stolen from her parents because her father broke into Gothel’s garden to get some lettuce for his pregnant wife’s cravings. Rapunzel also sees that Gothel is using her magic to make things grow or wither to pretty much rape the surrounding lands, enslaving the people. She demands her real mother’s freedom and loses her own.
Instead of the traditional tower, Rapunzel is put in a boll on a tree that magically feeds her and Gothel’s magic seems to have an effect on her hair since it’s 25 feet long in under five years. Rapunzel needs no prince charming to save her. She escapes on her own. She does meet Charming but he’s a chauvinistic moron and she deals with him easily.
Later, Rapunzel meets Jack who is something of a thief (and given the Southwest feel, either Mexican or Native American in looks). They team up along with his goose that he won’t let be eaten, Goldy. Jack pretty much embodies all the Jacks in fairy tales. Together they face many adventures as they traverse the country trying to get back to Gothel’s palace to stop her.
It was fun. There is nothing new in the retelling of fairy tales for the modern girl, making the protagonist much more self-sufficient than women would have been during the days of the tales origins. That said, it was fun seeing Rapunzel reimagined that way. However, I didn’t really care for her talking like a cowgirl using all the Lingo Hollywood has told us cowboys use. Being raised as a princess – whatever her start in life was – she probably wouldn’t talk that way but it’s a minor quibble. It was a fun graphic novel.
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