Friday, February 25, 2011

Discord's Apple

Discord's Apple
By Carrie Vaughn
Published by Tor

I am a big fan of Carrie Vaughn due to her Kitty Norville series (see my review of Kitty's House of Horrors) and I was anxious to read this newest book. Vaughn leaves the world of werewolves and enters an even darker universe. In this universe, keepers of a special place called the Storeroom keep objects of power from falling into the wrong hands. Their task and the magic that goes with it are passed down from parent to child. The problem is that the whole world is falling apart around them and one of the last of the Greek gods desperately wants Discord's apple in order to fashion the world into her image.

Vaughn does a good job with her main characters and find creative ways to help the reader learn (or relearn) Greek Mythology in order to follow the narrative. Other mythologies enter the picture here or there throughout the book. And the main character, Evie, spends part of the book writing a book which is also a very fun read. Glimpses of past keepers of the storeroom are introduced in separate chapters throughout the book, working backwards from the present until the first keeper, who was also known by one of the current characters.

There are several long-lived (and perhaps also resurrected) characters who enter the narrative. The most important is Alex, a strange character who wants something from the Storeroom that does not exist, and Hera, Zeus' widow who plans her own kind of world domination.

In Discord's Apple, the gods were extremely powerful humans - sorcerers or magicians who learned how to turn people into their worshippers. God is not present at all. In trying to recall the explanation for this, I think there was some indication that God had left this universe for more interesting prospects. So, with no real divine assistance, it is up to a handful of humans to save the world. Needless to say, they don't really do a great job but in the end the reader gets the impression this is how it should be anyway.

Although there is very little romantic man/woman interaction (a couple of kisses and a threatened rape) there is way too much time spent on descriptions of a relationship between two men. This could have either just been hinted at or left out altogether. In fact, there really is very little love (romantic or otherwise) expressed by any of the characters at any time besides between Evie and her dying father.

My own faith and this book came into conflict through Vaughn's depiction of a Godless universe. There was way too much dependence on magic rather than faith, brawn rather than empathy and Greek myths over Biblical principles. Even Jesus was depicted as a high level magician who followed Zeus' own example of self-sacrifice.

Although I can recommend this book, I don't think it is Carrie's best work. The really good news is that it doesn't seem possible to make it into a series!

Happy Reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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