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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

AtalantaAtalanta by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This might be a case of having read too many modern interpretations of classic Greek adventures. Or perhaps it's because I've read too many really good ones.

But as it is now, this particular PoV retelling of Atalanta, a devotee of Artemis and for a while, the only female who joined Jason and the Argonauts on their fateful quest (before Medea) IS filled with a good handful of great scenes and important messages, but it is also somewhat filler-y. I lost a bit of my patience with some of the scenes that should have been solid characterization WHILE propelling the plot, so in the end it was kinda watered down.

There ARE some good scenes in it. When she's fighting, she shines. Unfortunately, a lot of the other bits suffer from a lack of original sources, or rather, it's all whole cloth. Interpolation. Even the old legends relegate her to a token, and that's even addressed in this book, but honestly, it's like taking Arwen from LotR and giving her a full novel from her PoV and only from the records we have in the original text. The movies was already a huge extrapolation. In the end, it's all just a wild yarn that FEELS like fan fiction. Maybe it's good fan fiction and it pushes the right agenda for the day, but a lot of it just feels... off.

In my opinion, if it was shorter and sharper, like an arrow through a number of hearts, I'd be whooping and crying with joy and relief. Unfortunately, this wasn't that kind of novel.

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