The ever-mercurial Martinez (Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain) offers up a sweetly charming, gleefully entertaining tale of two teens traveling across the country, one mythic encounter at a time. Helen Nicolaides, a young woman suffering from minotaurism (hooves, tail, cow head, and all), and her coworker Troy Kawakami, who’s almost distressingly normal, are cursed by the long-forgotten Lost God to collect certain items of power, or else. (“Because that’s the way it is,” the god explains when Helen protests that quests are “arbitrary” and “stupid.”) With a little help from the National Questing Bureau, they set off, dealing with sleeping dragons, hungry witches, and a combative cyclops while a murderous pack of orc bikers follows in hot pursuit. Martinez is a master at making the fantastic so mundane it’s fantastic again. While too many familiar mythical elements may occasionally encourage readers to skim, sympathetic characters and a fast-paced plot filled with magic and adventure build to a rousing success from an author who reinvents himself with every new release. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013 Release date: 07/16/2013 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.