05.17.09

Bad Hair Day of Mythical Proportions

Posted in Mythology at 9:28 pm by Janet

I’m still waiting for The Last Olympian. I have been waiting for MONTHS. I am getting extremely impatient.

Uhhh…I guess I’ll keep blogging about other books with mythological ties… I think the market is saturated with these books right now. Like the vampire books that abound these days, these books vary greatly in quality. I have to say, I read a few bad ones. I discovered I’m not a fan of certain overt rehashings of myths in modern settings or wordy teen myth problem novels. Not naming any names here.  

One of the good ones is Dusssie by Nancy Springer. Dusie wakes up one morning to find she’s got snakes for hair. Yep, she’s a gorgon, she learns, named after her aunt Medusa. Dusie tries to hide her snakes, like her mother the “sculptor” does. But she doesn’t get very far–on her way to school, she accidentally turns her crush to stone. Dusie sets out to find a way to get rid of her snakes and rescue her crush. Along the way, she finds that her snakes talk to her (!) and that she just might be able to live with them. But will she have to live with them? Like most books of this sub-genre, it’s totally far-fetched. But it’s also really fun. And you get to learn about various snake-related myths and legends. One warning: I for one don’t like snakes and started to rush through this so I wouldn’t have to look at the snakey cover. Ultimately, I decided it was worth it to slow down and try to ignore the icky snakes. I mean, at least they weren’t attached to my head.

05.12.09

Excuse me, Myth? I think you dropped something.

Posted in Mythology at 9:40 pm by Janet

Tap tap tap. Do you hear that? It’s me fidgeting while I wait for my copy of The Last Olympian. Hellllooo interlibrary loan department, would you please hurry up and bring me my book?

Hmphf. I don’t think they heard me. Well, since I have to wait for the last Percy Jackson book, I might as well blog about some other books with mythological tie-ins to make the time pass. With any luck, Bridget and some fabulous guests will join me.

One of my favorite myth-related books has its own specially made-up mythology. The gods in this book have nothing to do with Zeus or Thor or what have you. Scott Mebus’s Gods of Manhattan has got its own gods–Gods of Manhattan. There’s the God of Sample Sales, the God of Things Were Better in the Old Days, and the God of Excess. These gods are the incarnations of prominent (and sometimes not-so-prominent) departed New Yorkers. Young Rory encounters this hidden world after he starts seeing cockroaches riding rats and other oddities and discovers that he’s a Light–a living person who can see what’s going on in this alternate New York, known as Mannahatta.  Rory and his bad-ass sister Bridget soon find out that there’s trouble in Mannahatta. The gods are sparring and the Munsee Indian tribe is trapped in Central Park due to centuries-old injustice. It’s up to Rory and Bridget–and a cast of oddball characters–to set things right.      

Fans of The Lightning Thief will love this. It’s got a similar break-neck pace, bits of humor, and lots of adventure. I’m not sure it’s good enough to go on my list of Favorite Books about New York City that Are Read By Children, but it’s a darn good and fun read.

« Previous Page « Previous Page Next entries »