Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review: Discord's Apple

By Carrie Vaughn

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items.

But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done. And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

This is the first book since I started my blog that I decided not to finish. Since we were just talking about why we don't bother finishing books,  I decided to post this review to expand on my reasons. For future reference, all books that I don’t finish earn One Star (and that’s pretty much the only way a book will ever receive one star from me.) These reviews will basically list all the reasons I stopped reading.

With this book, the main reason was the sexual content. At first it just mentioned rape in passing and I thought that was okay, because, after all, it was talking about the fall of Troy. Then one of main characters gets raped. Then that character has sex with another character. Then I stopped reading. I have read books with sex scenes (mainly just implied sex scenes) before, when they actually had a reason for the plot, or if it’s treated as bad. In this book, the sex had no point whatsoever. It was just because the author wanted to write a sex scene. If that’s the kind of book it’s going to be, it’s not the kind of book I want to read.

Vaughn’s writing also annoyed me. In another of her books, Voice of Dragons, I was constantly annoyed by her poor action scenes. This book was similar in that any scene that had any action whatsoever managed to confuse me.

The plot also moved a little too quickly. There’s so much strange stuff going on and the MC accepts it all right off the bat. And can I say bizarre? There are random snippets from the fall of Troy (I did appreciate the classical references to Homer and Virgil) some bits from pioneer days, there’s an ancient Queen who needs to get inside a treasure trove… and guess what. This treasure trove is in the basement of the MC’s father’s house. People come, and the MC randomly gives them things… I know this isn’t very clear, but it wasn’t very clear in the story, either. It felt like a mishmash of a whole ton of genres.

The only thing I really did like about the story was how Vaughn creates a semi-futuristic world that feels really close to our own (cars, cell phones, etc…) but with a couple notable differences. There are checkpoints pretty much everywhere, grocery stores are kind of empty, Russia and China are at war… I love that sort of futuristic society, so I was disappointed the novel didn’t concentrate on that more. I also liked that the MC was a writer for a comic book series. I thought that was pretty cool.

All in all, I can’t exactly judge the book b/c I only read six chapters. Those six chapters, though, were enough to convince me that I didn’t really want to read the rest. From a Christian perspective, this is certainly not worth reading. Others may enjoy it, but I’m not going to recommend it. 

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