Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: King of Ithaka - Tracy Barrett

Synopsis: Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother keeps the peace even though the land has been without its, his father, since the Trojan War began many years ago. But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home.

"Return to the place that is not, on the day that is not, bearing the thing that is not. On that day the king will return." With only this mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.

Review: My opinion on this story is divided, so I'll give the pros first. It is well written and very interesting - especially if you're familiar with The Odyssey. It isn't historical fiction, for Tracy Barrett keeps the mythical creatures like centaurs and mermaids in it, so it's more like a myth. However, it still has many rich historical details that flesh out the landscape and sometimes makes the Reader forget that it's not a true story.

And that, I am afraid, is where the pros end. While it is well written, the dialogue is so modern that it made me clench my teeth in frustration. And that wasn't the only thing that made me irritated. Telemachos has got to be one of the most aggravating adolescent heroes I've met. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration - but he bloody well comes close to falling into that category. He's whiny, he spends all of his time ogling girls and getting drunk, he cannot fight or do anything useful, and he's always making stupid decisions. Hmm, nope - it's not an exaggeration after all! Telemachos's centaur friend - Brax - is okay, if only because he doesn't narrate the story like Telemachos does, and Polydora is not nearly as annoying as I was expecting her to be. In fact, she wasn't annoying at all - just kind of . . . bland. I could not have cared less about what happened to any of them.

There isn't really any sexual content, but the guys spend plenty of time talking about girls and ogling girls, as I mentioned above, but it's more of just a nauseating element than anything else. Probably what ticked me off most about this book was how Odysseus was portrayed. The only decent hero in Greek legend and the Author turns him into a wife-beater. Literally.

All in all, King of Ithaka was interesting and I don't regret reading it, but I probably won't be adding it to my collection. If I do, it's at the bottom of my list.

Overall Rating: 

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