cover image Anticipation


Paris Hall, James Ed. Hall. Pocket Books, $5.5 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74759-6

Vacationing on the Greek island of Mykonos, Josie and her best friend, Helen, compete for the affections of Tom, the handsome English bartender. Their rivalry is made considerably more complicated by Josie's discovery--midway through the novel--that she and Helen are not really teenage girls at all; instead, their bodies are being used as mortal vessels for two minor goddesses, Sryope and Phthia, who have been put on earth with a score to settle between themselves. The narrative meanders along and includes--among many, many other things--several pages' worth of appealing descriptions of Mykonos and neighboring Delos; a trial conducted by a judge of the underworld; a flashback to Helen's goddess-induced suicide attempt; a seaside sex scene (``I wanted to give him just a taste, so that later, when I gave him the real thing, he would want to marry me''); and a blood-drenched battle-of-the-deities atop a holy peak. As daughter of the muse Thalia, Sryope/Josie devotes much time to inspiring works of art; no doubt this explains why the novel features a detailed summary of the SF screenplay on which Josie's writer father is hard at work. Thanks to a combination of twisty plot lines, shallow and scheming characters, and easy-to-read writing, Pike has garnered a notably loyal following. But the silly and contrived quality of this hardcover debut, the first title in Archway's new line of dual editions, may dismay even Pike's most devoted readers. Ages 12-up. (July)