>>> Nº 39 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book with magic <<<
“A stunning reimagining of Homer’s Odyssey set in post-Apocalyptic Los Angeles, written by A master storyteller.
Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait.
In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.”
*Warning – there will be spoilers*
Full disclosure, I picked this book up because of its cover, it’s just gorgeous. Then it said something about a modern day retelling of the Odyssey and I thought “well, this sounds interesting”.
It is! Interesting and slightly weird, but let’s stay with interesting.
If I had to pick something immensely positive about this book, it would be that all of the 4 main characters are LGBT, Pen, the main character, is bisexual, Hex, her boyfriend, is transgender, and the other two boys are gay. I found this quite refreshing and it was definitely different from everything else I read.
About not so good stuff, I would, unfortunately, say the plot. The retailing of the Odyssey is fine… there’s this big earth quake and subsequent tsunami that wipe out much of the people of LA (and let’s assume the world, because we all know how the US in so representative of everywhere else), the remaining people though are being eaten by giants, unless you have some kind of power.
So far so good. The problem I had is that they explain that the giants are man made creations, a scientist made genetic experimentations and “fabricated” a couple of giants and then cloned them, storing them somewhere until they grew so big that they caused this massive earth shaker… first problem here: have you read the title?! The premise of this book starts by explaining how we destroyed our planet and how the earthquake was the result of global warming… but then they have manmade giants… it doesn’t add up.
So you have a man made cause for the destruction, the giants that grew too big, so how do we account for the powers?! And the other mythical creatures?! I think it would have been best or to explain it all as a cause of human intervention, or not explain one fact and not the others…
The silliest thing for me though is Pen giving up her eye for no good reason. Nothing good comes of it. She gives it away, her mother still dies, her friends go MIA, and she has no idea what happened but her enemy still wants revenge… pointless I say.
Speaking of friends, how does the truck end up at Tara’s oasis?! Where if Hex and the others? Who took the truck and why?! “Find Pen”, who wrote it and did they not went looking for her?! So many damn questions…
I will be reading the second book though, more than anything because I’m really invested in Pen and Hex’s relationship, and because I can’t start a series and not end it.
Rating: 2.5 stars