Bray has a great idea, but the book is plagued by curse words. Apparently she thinks that all teens must talk that way. She is also stuck in the 80s. This is supposed to be a contemporary book, yet there are references to Star Wars and video arcades (which hardly exist any more). She seems hung up on MTV, with a thinly veiled Carson Daley as a chief annoyance.
The idea, however, of a kid launching on a Quixotic quest while having Mad Cow Disease is great. I also loved having the god Balder stuck in a yard gnome. However, with this set up, the bad guy is obviously swiped from Star Wars (read Luke vs Vader in Degobah) and the ending is a serious let down.
I had high hopes for Robbins. This was my first of his books. The first third was amazing. I really dug Switters's journey through South America, dragging a parrot the whole way. His encounter with the English anthropologist and End of Time was hilarious. Then he came back to the U.S. and there were pages (too many) of him writing a report for a jail-bait step-sister that he wanted to jump. At that point I got bored and jumped away from the book myself.
Only the first story, the Man in the Black Suit, is worth the price of admission. This is a taut King tale with a devil as only King could write it. The other three stories were forgettable, and hardly worth the price.
I'm big mythology fan and this poem fit the bill. I loved it so much that I went out and bought the text so I could read along. Ovid has some stunning tales. Many that I already knew, and some intriguing new ones. There is plenty of blood and gore. The only downside might be books 9-11 which can get a bit raunchy. Otherwise, this is a must for any myth buff.
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