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Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest | [A. Lee Martinez]

Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest

Witness the epic battle of the cyclops! Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying. Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare! Buy some knickknacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later. On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don't catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world.
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Publisher's Summary

Witness the epic battle of the cyclops!

Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying.

Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare!

Buy some knickknacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later.

On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don't catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world. Or at least a state or two.

A minotaur girl, an all-American boy, a three-legged dog, and a classic car are on the road to adventure, where every exit leads to adventure. Whether they like it or not.

©2013 A. Lee Martinez (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (273 )
5 star
 (100)
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3 star
 (45)
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Overall
4.0 (257 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.2 (255 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (32)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Charlene Seattle, WA, United States 09-27-13
    Charlene Seattle, WA, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
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    Story
    "A little twee but very funny."

    It's a ridiculous plot written so that it is amusing and the reader just accepts, "Sure - it's a minotaur who just, y'know, has to go through regular high school life being gigantic with horns." It's a little bit about the way narrative arcs tend to follow patterns; a little bit about personal agency; a little bit more than pretty good. It's got a bit of a pat ending, but there are worse things.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy WAUKESHA, WI, United States 03-19-14
    Judy WAUKESHA, WI, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Fun fluffy read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Humorous romp with a enough human compassion to keep it grounded in the fantasy world.


    Have you listened to any of Khristine Hvam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Excellent narrator.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer San Francisco, CA, United States 03-13-14
    Jennifer San Francisco, CA, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "totally silly....and that is a plus!"

    Just plain fun, this story takes you on an updated ride through ancient quests. The notion that beasts mythical in our normal world are just regular folks pokes good fun at "diversity" in gender, racial and ethnic politics. The gratuitous fighting is not so violent and the moral to "be yourself" is not too heavy-handed. A fun listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 02-17-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 02-17-14

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
    ratings
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    Story
    "Gods and Monsters (Go Monsters!)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    At first, I would not recommend this type of audiobook to my wife. Fantasy and sci-fi was just not her thing, no matter how good I thought it was. Then she tried one by accident, and loved it. Then I recommended another, and she loved it. I can't recommend everything to her -- one wrong move and she'll probably revert to her initial stance of not liking the genre. Helen and Troy, however, will be one that heartily recommend. The humor helps -- and the good humor inherent in the writing and the reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subject matter is not original, but the charismatic characters and cheerful tone make it stand out as unique. Others have imagined our world, as it exists in reality for us, peopled by magical or supernatural or mythological beings (cf. of course Harry Potter). Helen and Troy live in such a world, where an ordinary young woman like Helen can have familiar problems but also be a minotaur, and she can be sent on a magical quest by a god (one of many) that she meets in the burger joint where she and Troy work, and she and Troy can be recruited by an FBI-CIA-type agency to carry out that quest.

    On one hand, the consistency of the world created by A. Lee Martinez makes it work, but on the other hand it's the humor and good humor that make that world and its characters so likeable -- sorry to be repetitive, but humor is one thing, something that makes you laugh, which is frequent while listening to this book, but good humor doesn't mean that the laughs are good, it means that it's all done with a jovial spirit that is irresistible. And it is.


    Which character – as performed by Khristine Hvam – was your favorite?

    Helen is another wonderfully empowered young woman, not least because she has minotaur blood, and her youthful sarcasm never bites, as performed by Khristine Hvam. But with all due respect, my favorite character was Nigel the Orc. An accountant in a world of gods and monsters that has been thoroughly updated to 21st century civilization, he first buys into the traditional violent villainy of being an Orc, but then discovers that it is more heroic to be an enlightened creature. Wonderful stuff, especially with the cockney accent Hvam gives him and the other Orcs.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    There has been a lot of snow in the Northeast US this winter. I've had to shovel the sidewalk three days in a row now. Not just shovel -- I've had to scrape the ice off my heavily trafficked sidewalk. I listened to much of this book while doing that. So not one sitting -- just a tad too long for that -- but definitely a big help in getting through a tedious chore.


    Any additional comments?

    As I said, the idea of placing magical, mythical beings in a normal human setting is not original. Beyond the obvious Harry Potter, Neil Gaiman's American Gods imagined our contemporary world with the pantheon of ancient gods living ordinary lives among the mere morals, Hard Magic peopled the film noir world of the gangster era with people possessing magical powers, Christopher Moore's entire body of work (mostly) takes them one at a time, and on the big and small screen, and in comic books, we've seen X-Men, Heroes, Alphas, The 4400, etc. etc. etc. (not to mention countless vampires and werewolves, which I mostly hate).

    In this context, I'm not sure why I even decided to try Helen and Troy, since the last time I went for something in this sub-genre (Hard Magic), I was sorely disappointed and felt that the territory was too well trodden. But I'd seen Martinez mentioned often alongside authors I like (like Moore), so I gave it a shot, and am glad I did, because Martinez makes it work beyond its well-worn territory with, as I've already said more than once, the humor and the characters and the tone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    twinsmom 02-12-14
    twinsmom 02-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful, absurd fun"

    There is no better way to describe this book than to say that it is absurd but a lot of fun. Where does this author get his crazy ideas? This is the second book I have read by A. Lee Martinez (the first was "Monster") and both were bizarre and fun. I have to admit that I enjoyed this book more than the other, as at least with this one I knew what the point of the book was (strange though it might be). This book was just pure fun from beginning to end and Khristine Hvam does a FANTASTIC job narrating! Suspend your disbelief and go along for the wild ride. This book is well worth an audible credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 03-19-14
    Eric SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "American Gods "Light""
    What did you like best about this story?

    This was a fun story. My best attempt at describing it would be a "light", younger audience version of American Gods. The narrator did a great job and the story has few slow spots.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada 12-09-13
    Gina Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada 12-09-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun as always!"

    I've read a few A. Lee Martinez, and this one did not disappoint. Lightweight and silly, they are definitely worth listening to if you like humor. There are better books out there that will really have you rolling on the floor laughing, with characters and a plot you can sink your teeth into. However, if you are out of those to read, Martinez will get you through until you find something better.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chuck 10-20-13
    chuck 10-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Not up to standard"
    Would you try another book from A. Lee Martinez and/or Khristine Hvam?

    Yes


    Would you ever listen to anything by A. Lee Martinez again?

    Yes


    Have you listened to any of Khristine Hvam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    What character would you cut from Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest?

    Troy and probably Helen too


    Any additional comments?

    Really didnt enjoy it, the characters were boring, their romance was forced and the plot plodded along without ever giving me a surprise. Not as good as his other work, which on the whole I adore.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spitfre WA 05-01-14
    Spitfre WA 05-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "Started skipping parts, couldn't stick with it"

    Maybe it's just my mood today but I could not get in to this book. It looked and sounded like something I'd enjoy, especially for a little light hearted fun, but I just couldn't get interested in the characters. The narrator did a fine job and was pleasant to listen to.

    For me, the story was too predictable and characters were too blasé. I like characters with quirky personalities and I like to get into their motivations. I'm not sure if it was that the characters seemed too shallow and not dimensional enough, or if it was because the plot kept dragging along. I kept thinking it would speed up and get more interesting. Maybe it did but I missed it because I started leap frogging pages etc. I finally gave up and bounced to the end just to see what happened. Even that extreme tactic didn't make me want to go back and find out how things got to the final endpoint.

    I'd give the author one more try if I find another book that looks appealing. Othes have enjoyed his books so we'll see.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 05-13-14
    Anne 05-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fast food for your ears."

    Maybe it's just me, but this one just didn't grab me on any level. I was mostly just bored, bored, bored. Poorly plotted, poorly written, poorly read. Perhaps if the author had grabbed me more effectively at the beginning I might have gotten into it and stuck it out. After all, you'd think a story about a minotaur in a burger joint would be "compelling."

    Unfortunately, in the case of this one, the burger joint" aspect won out and, well, is there anything more predictable, flavorless and boring than a fast-food restaurant? This is a "fast-food book." I'm giving this one back to Audible.

    Not recommending.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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