Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (May 31, 2011)
Source: ebook from NetGalley
How do you defy destiny?I have a new favorite. Wow. What a complicated incorporation of the classic Helen of Troy story (with other mythology added in). Even if it seemed a little Twilight-ish at times, I overlooked all of that because the concept behind the story was so amazing.
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
"The face that launched a thousand ships" belongs to Helen Hamilton and Helen of Troy. A curse every woman in their family must endure. But Helen H. is nothing like Helen of Troy. This Helen hates attention, doubts her talents, and relishes in the concept of free will. How can you not love her?
Then there is Lucas. *sigh* I wish there were guys like him when I was in high school. He was dreamy. And totally devoted to Helen. But my favorite characters were Claire and Jason. Claire was normal. No super human strength or demigod blood. Just a regular spunky brainiac. I loved that her nickname was "five two" (for her height). She may have been small, but she was a feisty thing. She was also a great friend, even if she did push Helen off the roof when they were 7 to see if she could fly and (maybe) accidentally on purpose stabbed her with a fork in second grade to see if she would bleed. Seems like Claire figured out Helen's super powers long before she ever had a clue.
Jason is so much like Claire. He's deeply devoted to his family and to protecting people. I don't know why he made such an impact on me, but he did. I just loved him!
Obviously the plot was great and kind of complicated. There is way too much mythology to mention in a review. It is potent in this story. I can't help but wonder though if I'm the only person that thought of Twilight when I read this book. Lucas = Edward; Creon and The Hundred = The Veltori (not sure if I spelled that one right); single dad (Jerry) raising a daughter that stays out all night and acts all mysterious but he's okay with it because he's super dad? Any of that seem familiar? I found it a little thick at times. Of course, I guess we find ourselves comparing most paranormal romance type books to Twilight in some way or another, right? Even with the familiarity with the plot (at times) I still thought this was a great read.
The ending leaves this one wide open for the next book. So glad it will be a series. I just know Helen is going to do something awesome. I feel like i have so much invested in their stories that I'm itching to know what will happen next.