Discord's Apple


Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

Blurb:

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope's Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she will inherit. Hidden behind the basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again.
Of course, this legacy is not without its costs: There are those who will give anything to find a way in.
With the help of her father, a mysterious stranger named Alex, and some unexpected heroes, Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, and protect both the past and the future even as the present unravels. Old heroes and notorious villains alike rise to fight on her side or to do their best to bring about her defeat.
 At stake is the fate of the world and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

Review: 

Merlin grumbled under his breath for a moment. "A scouting mission, eh?" 
"A short one." 
Exhaling a long-suffering breath, the old man said, "All right." 
Evie swore Arthur did a little celebratory arm-jerk, like a teenager who'd gotten the car for the night.

Frankly, I hated this book at first. However, that was mainly for a nitpicky reason which I eventually came to terms with and I ended up not really having any kind of prominent emotion towards Discord's Apple. It pretty much bored my emotions away.

Before I go on, I quickly have to acknowledge the sheer ambiguity of  this book. It tries to cover everything one could think of including in a book: it presents a dystopic preview of our current society, it looks back at legends/mythologies/fairy tales, it has a storyline devoted to a comic (with excerpts from said comic/book), it has two different kinds of reoccurring flashback plots, as well as an entirely new idea for mythological development. Kudos to trying to encompass all that in only 340 pages.

But, bluntly speaking, it just doesn't work. Yes, all these different themes and ideas are covered but it's all so superficial that I got bored with it. I didn't care about any of the storylines, least of all about the whole Tracker-comic-book-adaptation-thing which was just so unnecessary it put me to sleep (literally). Actually, a quite significant amount of the book is outright pointless, which is ironic because the story generally just didn't have enough space to develop. 

Generally, Discord's Apple reads like a very boring mash-up of ideas that don't really work together. The writing is fine but not good enough to make up for anything while some of the plot points are upsettingly bad dragging the whole book into a rather negative light.

Speaking of which: The thing which upset me most about this book was the fact that Apollo captured Sinon as his sex-slave. Like, yeah, all male greek gods were rapists to a certain extend, I know, but having a sex-slave really isn't how any of them went about it. I know my fair share about greek mythology and that just sounds plain wrong to me.

Moreover, even if I were able to look past the entire "Apollo has a sex-slave" thing that doesn't excuse how lazily Sinon's turmoil was described. There is an entire chapter dedicated to describe how Apollo abused Sinon which is concluded with: 
Apollo untied him and left him exhausted, humiliated, confused. He had no way to track the time. 
WTF? Yeah, I can totally see how that's a reasonable description of a warrior's feeling after being captured for he-doesn't-know-how-long and continuously being raped. Urgh.

Finally, leaving that whole ordeal aside, there were a lot of other changes to mythology I didn't really like but they didn't make me as angry as the former. (Except maybe for the reveal at the very end because that was just plain lazy and so stupid I actually started laughing at its ridiculousness.) And I generally thought that it seemed kinda boring to focus on western culture so much considering how much other stuff Vaughn tried to incorporate. Yes, she did mention Egyptian mythology once or twice but what about Chinese Mythology and legends? Or Aztec Mythology? What about Hindu, Persian, Mayan...? Sure, it's easy to go with what everyone already knows but if you claim to cover it all then at least try covering as much as possible. It's not like Chinese Mythology isn't extremely prominent or anything.

Rating:

Obviously, I didn't like this book. For the first 100 pages I was torn between simply not finishing the book or being determined to give it 1 star just because Apollo has a sex-slave (yes, I am very sensitive when it comes to representing Mythology) but eventually I did get over it and boredom ensued. Still, 1.5/5 stars is all I can manage for Discord's Apple

Details:

Name: Discord's Apple
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Pages: 339
Where?: Amazon

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