Saturday, September 4, 2010
Rocks My Socks: In addition to re-telling the myths of Perseus and Andromeda there is also a lot of interesting information about ancient Greek politics and society. It reminds me of Mary Renault, but for children. I also love the female characters in this book; they are strong and layered and full of life. I always enjoy it when, during re-tellings, famous romantic couples are allowed to actually meet and get to know each other and fall in love over a longer period of time than it takes to kill a dragon and steal a kiss. There's also some good substance to the book and commentary on current events using the lens of the past that are rather thought-provoking, which I always enjoy.
Rocks In My Socks: There are some more modern elements and view points incorporated into the text which are a bit annoying in that they are anachronistic, but seem to be done intentionally. Mostly it's in a more modern perspective, which I don't really mind being incorporated into historical fiction. Others are obviously just meant to be jokes, though, like the 'invention' of various modern foods by the chef at the tavern. It also doesn't sit right with me that the lovely, intelligent Andromeda resigns herself to her fate, but I guess Halam had to get her to her proper place in the story somehow.
Every Book Its Reader: I'd recommend this book to teens who enjoyed the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Although set in ancient times, there are enough similarities in pacing and subject matter that fans should enjoy this story about Percy's namesake. There's great, strong characters of both sexes, so both boys and girls will have great characters to identify with, and the romance is pretty understated. Adults who enjoy fairy tales and myths re-told will find plenty to satisfy them as well.
Snakehead by Ann Halam