Friday, May 13, 2011

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

Discord's AppleI've really come to enjoy Vaughn's series about Kitty, and was hoping for something new and exciting here when I saw it at the library. The story begins when Evie Walker, a woman with no discernable magical talents, returns home to small town Colorado to take care of her father, who is possibly terminally ill. Things are just slightly different in her new world - it appears that there have been some successful terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction, and Evie's mother was killed a few years ago in one of them, leaving her and her father alone. The only effect this really has on the story is that a very light form of martial law is in effect around the country, and the police appear to have grown both checkpoint and power hungry, in some cases.

Evie notices some strange visitors at her father's house, and begins to find out a little bit about the mystery held there. It turns out that the gods didn't really just fade away because people stopped worshiping them, but that Zeus, fearing his rivals, called all of them to a meeting on Mount Olympus and destroyed the majority of them. There were a few left to wander the world, immortal. Prometheus, fearing what might happen if some of the more potent magic artifacts fell into the wrong hands, went around the world gathering them all into a bag of holding (you D&D fans remember how that works) and then giving them into the possession of one trustworthy but unremarkable family, to keep safe forever. The only time they've released any of them was when the enchantment surrounding the collection determined that the person who came looking for the artifact was pure of heart and all that sort of thing.

While Evie's dad is dying, some of the power hungry leftover immortals decide it would be a good time to try to get possession of the items, and this story is about Evie and a few of her friends resisting their wiles. Vaughn is a good writer, so the book is readable, but the premise is not exciting, the characters mostly unsympathetic, the new slant on old legends nothing to get excited about. I'd give it a pass, quite frankly.

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