Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Hardcover, 496 pages
Released: May 31, 2011
Other places to find the book:
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
I had a love hate relationship with this one. I should start off by saying that the book is full of elements I love... Greek mythology, angst, love, fate, an object with magical powers just to name a few. In fact, if I were to write a book, I would have thought that it would contain many of the same elements. So why did I not love this book?
The story is loosely based on the Greek characters Helen of Troy and Paris whose actions are what sparked the Trojan War. The Fates are determined making the demi-god descendants repeat history. In Starcrossed, Helen has grown up with her father on a small island. Her mom suddenly up and left them when she was young, leaving no trace, not even pictures of her, behind. Helen tries to blend in with the crowd, knows that she can do some things too well, like running, and struggles to appear normal. It is when the Delos family moves in that the pieces of the puzzle really begin to make sense. With the help of Lucas, she discovers her family secret and that she plays a key role in keeping the world alive.
Starcrossed incorporates variations on the myths we know. The Trojan War did not end with the wooden horse, but rather a deal was made. The character names Helen, Cassandra, Hector etc left little to the imagination, but a couple of my many annoyances were that it took Helen forever to realize her role in all of this and that she is basically Helen of Troy reincarnated. Also Cassandra's foresight is never doubted. I actually think that the book may have been even more enjoyable had the story been in its own world, rather than borrowed from myth. I loved seeing the story veer on its own course.
One thing I noticed is that trying to write characters tied together by fate is hard! Helen and Lucas begin the story about to kill each other. This is out of character for Helen, who is trying to be a wallflower and she has no idea why she feels so much hatred. It's not an easy task to make a character come alive when their actions are being forced upon them and for this reason I found them flat, even the romantic connection between her and Lucas.
Once Helen discovered who she was and was no longer trying to push back her special abilities, she was a great, kick butt character. The middle of the book, where they are teaching her to fight is fabulous. This is where the book gets good, pages were quickly turned and we learn all about the real story of the war. This is also where I was hoping to have the story take off. I knew going in, this was book one of a trilogy, so I was expecting a major cliffhanger but rather it ended without a bang, more of a WTF.
Oh how I wanted to love you Starcrossed :(