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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlene
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 09-27-13

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 02-17-14

Gods and Monsters (Go Monsters!)

There was a time when I would never recommend this type of audiobook to my wife. Fantasy and sci-fi were just not her thing, no matter how good I thought it was. Then she tried one by accident and loved it. So I recommended another and she loved that one too. I can't recommend everything to her -- one wrong move and she'll revert to her initial position of not liking the genre. Helen and Troy, however, I will heartily recommend. The humor helps -- the good humor inherent in the writing and narration.

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 our reality, peopled by magical or supernatural or mythological beings (cf. of course Harry Potter). Helen and Troy live in such a world, where Helen can have the familiar problems an ordinary young woman but also be a Minotaur, sent on a magical quest by a god (one of many) that she meets at the burger stand where she works with Troy (a regular guy), recruited by a covert 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 likable -- humor is one thing, something that makes you laugh, a frequent occurrence while listening to this book; good humor doesn't mean that the laughs are good, it means that it's all done with a jovial spirit that is irresistible.

Helen is a wonderfully empowered young woman, not least because she has Minotaur blood. Her youthful sarcasm never bites. But then there is 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 narrator Khristine Hvam gives him and the other Orcs.

The idea of placing magical, mythical beings in a normal human setting is not original. Beyond the obvious Harry Potter and its successors (copiers) like Twilight and The Magicians, Neil Gaiman's American Gods imagined our contemporary world with the pantheon of ancient gods living ordinary lives among mere morals, Christopher Moore's entire body of work (mostly) takes them one at a time (as indeed does much of Martinez's catalog), and on the big and small screen, and in comic books, we've seen X-Men, Heroes, True Blood, etc. etc. etc.

The last time I went for something in this sub-genre, I was sorely disappointed, feeling that the territory was too well trodden. But Martinez, mentioned often alongside authors I like (like Moore), has a reputation for making it work beyond its well-worn territory through the use, as I've already said more than once, of humor and character and tone. I would go on to learn that he repeats himself too often for comfort in other similar books, but this first time around, this was pure gold.

There was a lot of snow in the Northeast US when I listened to Helen and Troy. I had to shovel the sidewalk three days in a row at one point. Not just shovel -- scrape the ice off my heavily trafficked sidewalk. I listened to much of this book while doing that -- a big help in getting through a tedious chore.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Judy
  • WAUKESHA, WI, United States
  • 03-19-14

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 03-13-14

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States
  • 03-19-14

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • chuck
  • kettering, OH, United States
  • 10-20-13

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.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story!

I absolutely love this book! I have listened to it over and over and the writing paints such a visual picture that it is like watching your favorite movie over and over. Kind of like The Princess Bride- you catch something new every time you watch it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Nope

I really wanted to like this book, but it never drew me in. I could not connect with characters or the story.