Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

This book brought together several genres that I didn't necessarily think would come together nicely. The world is ending, every country is at war with each other but Evie is more concerned with going home to see her father who is dying. Once she arrives she starts learning about the store room in her father's house. It's filled with magical items from every world mythology and fairy tale. It is now Evie's turn to become the caretaker. Meanwhile Hera is trying to take advantage and get Discord's apple so that she can use the world's strife to make the world the way she wants it. Weaved into this story there are short tales of how Evie's family acquired some of the items in the store room and Alex's story. Alex has been alive since the Trojan war and the reader learns how he became immortal and what his time was like after the war. There is also another story being told. Evie is a graphic novel writer and you also get the story that she is writing about a military team.

All of the stories, including the stories within the stories are beautifully written. Normally I'm not a big fan of the story within a story because it can be difficult to keep them straight but it was always very clear which story was being told. The world building in this book is wonderful and I really loved all of the characters. I felt invested in how things were going to end with them. My favorite character was probably Alex, at first his story annoyed me because I wanted to know what was going on with Evie. However as she got more and more wrapped up in her sadness and panic about dealing with the store room his story became the more interesting one. I was especially intrigued by his meeting with Oddyseus after forty years. I also liked the fact that Alex was tied to the storerooms beginnings, and I liked how parts of the end were tied to Evie's graphic novel and the beginning of the Trojan war (won't explain how cause that would be a big spoiler).

The part where the world actually ends is skipped. I appreciated that because it would have made the book drag on too long, but I kind of wonder if it would be interesting to learn how Hera was able to reshape the world with the apple. I think it might have been a good topic for another book, except then Hera would have to be the heroine and I'm not sure that she is likable enough to be a main character.

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