Two-and-a half millennia after it was created, Homer's Odyssey remains one of humanity's most memorable adventure stories. In this re-creation of Homer's classic as a young adult novel, we see the aftermath of the Trojan War through the eyes of Alexi, a fifteen-year-old Trojan boy. Orphaned by the war and enslaved by Odysseus himself, Alexi has a very different view of the conquering heroes of legend.
Despite a simmering anger towards his captors, Alexi gradually develops a grudging respect for them. As the Greeks fight off the angry Cicones, weather a storm that pushes them far beyond charted waters, and nearly succumb to the blandishments of the bewitching Lotus-eaters, he realizes that they are not the demons they were said to be, but people like himself.
At the same time, Alexi's quick thinking, bravery, and the healing skills that he learned from his father prove to his captors that he is no ordinary slave. His key role in their escape from the Cyclops earns the respect of his master, Odysseus, and a striking discovery during their escape gives his life a newfound purpose.
Straddling the boundary between historical fiction and mythology, Torn from Troy is written in a hard, realistic style and brings to life the travails of a bronze-age slave of the Greeks in a form that will appeal especially to teen boys. While this book is the first volume of the author's Odyssey of a Slave trilogy, it is a compelling and fully-realized work on its own.
"Screw up your courage and screw on your sea legs - there's a wild ride ahead!" Torn from Troy is a kid's view of one of the best adventure stories ever told."
(Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Rex Zero, The Great Pretender)
©2011 Patrick Bowman (P)2013 Post Hypnotic Press
Some narrators have an intangible star quality. Their voices say, "Listen to me! I have a wonderful story to tell." Gerard Doyle is such a narrator. His facility for accents and characterizations and his ability to set time and place by just the slightest vocal nuance make it almost impossible not to listen to him. The morning after the Greek invasion of Troy via the Trojan horse, 15-year-old Alexi is enslaved by Odysseus and brought aboard his ship. With a slave's vision of the legendary heroes, Alexi tells of the ship's foundering, of coming ashore to the land of the Lotus-Eaters, and of meeting the monstrous Cyclops, who likes the taste of Greeks. A delightfully original introduction to Homer's ODYSSEY, read by a master craftsman. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2013]
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Many have used Homer’s Odyssey and told the tale differently – focusing on different aspects of the tale or changing the time period and place. Patrick Bowman takes the tale of Odyssey and tells it from the viewpoint of a fifteen year old boy named Alexi.
Alexi sees his sister killed and then he’s captured and enslave by Odyssey who claims Alexi as his own and thus begins Alexi’s adventure. Like most 15-year-old boys, Alexi must learn to curb his tongue or it means certain death. Faced with life as an orphan and a slave, Alexi learns quickly to think on his feet and in doing so impresses Odyssey. Alexi witnesses first-hand the clash between the Cicones, experiences the deadly storm that knocks their ship beyond the boundaries of any known map; he tastes and almost surrenders to the enticing Locust eaters and helps the Greek soldiers and his master escape the mighty Cyclops.
Alexi is a captivating young man; his talents are brought to the forefront by his constant need to survive and the situations he finds himself. His fast wit and bravery is fascinating. Bowman takes Alexi and makes him real to his audiences. While the adventure is based upon apiece of historical fiction and mythology, the listener can lose themselves in the telling of the story as it spins out thus connecting with Alexi.
Bowman uses rich vocabulary to describe the battles and chaos. He does not rush through the telling of the Odyssey, he takes time to show the relationships within the Greek army, the other slaves and Alexi. The style in which it is written is fast paced, action packed and will appeal to most. I was delighted to learn that this is but volume one in a short series.
Gerard Doyle, narrator, did a delightful job of telling the story. His voice was soothing and reflected how I envisioned a 15-year-old boy who has not yet gone through puberty would sound. Immersing himself in the story, Doyle gave a captivating performance. He was like the icing on the cake so to speak.
This is a superbly done story by both the author and narrator. Its appeal is to a wider audience, although young adults will love it more so. This is one of those “don’t miss” adventures.
There were no production issues, everything was clear and smooth.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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