Friday, June 3, 2011

The New Iliad


Written by: Josephine Angelini

Released: May 31, 2011 by HarperTeen

Summary: How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Ok, I’m going to admit that the completely obvious similarities to Twilight turned me off of this book. The “pretty-ugly” girl, the obsessive ‘boyfriend’, the overprotective family, the people in charge wanting the main characters dead, the clueless single father, and the whole “I would live you, but then I would have to kill you” bit. In fact, this turned me off so much that I almost didn’t read past the first few chapters. But I hate to leave a book unread – especially one I have for review – so I battled through my distaste and tried to put all the Twilight nonsense out of my head.

About half way through I finally started to really get into the novel and the story. I think it was the loose retelling of The Iliad that got me. In my high school world history class we covered the epic throughout the year and it was just so entertaining. I loved the battles and the love and how petty the gods were. It was fun to see that all slightly mirrored in this novel. Plus (maybe this was just me) but it had the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet slightly woven in there as well and by the end of the novel I just wanted to know what was going to happen next.

Still, as curious as I am about what’s going to happen in the next instalment, the only characters who really stood out for me were Cassie and Claire aka ‘Giggles’. Cassie it was interesting to read about because of her being the Oracle and Claire was just this amazing spitfire to read. Sure, the romance between the two main characters Helen and Lucas was sweet, but they were individually kind of boring. I got really tired, really fast of Helen’s whining and Lucas was just blah. I hope that they are better in the next novel.

In all, I’m a sucker for these sorts of novels. I adored the Percy Jackson books and this is sort of on the same wave length as far as Greek mythology goes. And as much as it may sound like I didn’t, I really did enjoy this novel. By the end I couldn’t read the pages fast enough in order to find out what was happening.

This was a great debut and a great start to a trilogy (I’m pretty sure) of novels and I can’t wait to read the next novel. I’m giving it a 7/10.

Many thanks to HarperTeen and netGalley for allowing me to read this eARC version of this novel.

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