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Curse of the Sphinx
by Raye Wagner
Release Date: August 11th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?
Seventeen year-old Hope Nicholas has spent her entire life on the run. But no one is chasing her. In fact, no one even knows she exists. With her mom, she’s traveled from town to town and school to school, barely staying long enough to meet anyone, let alone make friends. And she’ll have to keep it that way. It’s safer.
When her mother is brutally ripped away from her, Hope’s life shatters. Is this the fulfillment of Apollo’s curse, murder from the shadow monsters of the Underworld, or have the demigods finally found her? Orphaned and alone, Hope flees again, but this time there’s no one to teach her who to trust—or how to love.
Set in a universe where mythology is alive and well in the modern world, Curse of the Sphinx irresistibly blends action, suspense and romance.
I’m always intrigued by a premise which includes Greek mythology so I immediately wanted to read this omce I realised it was centered around Greek mythology. This also promised to have a slightly take on this fairly popular ya genre since it was more of a magic realism sort story. The world is cognizant of the existence of God and Goddesses and demigods and other mythological creatures and they are a part of society, so definitely not in hiding as such, although not so public that everyone knows their identities.
Some of these creatures however are feared and thought of as monsters, and the Sphinx is one of those viewed as monstrous. It just so happens that our female protaganist, Hope, is a Sphinx and the only other Sphinx she’s known is her mother. Her grandmother was also one. She and her mom move from small town to small town, trying to avoid capture and a ‘curse’. Hope is told very little but is well-prepared for any eventualities. They have a trust fund left by her late grandmother which enables them to relocate rather easily. With Hope having to change form a couple days a month , she is very wary of making friends and moving ever so often doesn’t really help with that either, plus the knowledge that if they were to find out she was a Sphinx, they would want her dead.
For some time, she is resigned to this lonely existence until her mom is killed. She believes it to be the Skia, immortal assassins , but was it? With all this uncertainty and fear for her safety, as soon as she is emancipated, she moves to another small town where she is soon making friends to her surprise since she is not exactly welcoming. One such friend who perhaps wants to be more than friends is Athan. He is quite persistent in his proposal of friendship but who is he really and what is his real purpose for being in Hope’s town?
Curse Of The Sphinx had some good elements. I like that the Sphinx is cast as the ‘bad guy’ instead of the chosen one. The author also seems very knowledgeable about the different Gods and Goddesses. It was a bit of a struggle to keep track of them since there are quite a few, so I appreciated the breakdown of these and their functions in the glossary.
I liked the characters for the most part but wasn’t too fond of the whole mean girls high school drama that took place sometimes, but that’s just personal preference. I daresay persons of the same age group would appreciate this better. Hope is a strong , capable protaganist and far from a Mary Sue. Her strength really shines in the wake of her mom’s sudden death. She had moments where she lost control, which further served to endear her to me and further humanised her in my eyes.
Athan is a mystery I had figured out due to a hint earlier in the book but it was still interesting watching him ease his way ito Hope’s life and in a way that was totally unexpected. I also enjoyed their interactions and felt that their dialogue was by far the realest.
I did have a couple issues with this though which prevented me from rating it higher. I felt the lack of action was detrimental to the overall impact of this novel. Most of the novel read like a tease, like it was building up to some big fight or big reveal but the ending when it came was abrupt and anti-climatic. It did leave me very curious about the upcoming sequel however and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Sphinx will definitely appeal to young adults who like Greek Mythology mixed with high school drama. All in all, a good start to a series and a solid debut with some good elements, an interesting take on mythological fantasy with a splash of mystery,intrigue and romance.
Raye Wagner and the Greek Gods
About the Author
Raye Wagner grew up in Seattle, the second of eight children, and learned to escape chaos through the pages of fiction. As a youth, she read the likes of David Eddings, Leon Uris, and Jane Austen. Inspired by a fictional character, Raye pursued a career in nursing, thinking to help the world one patient at a time.
One summer afternoon, when her then young children were playing in the pool, a plot dropped into her head, and she started writing.
She enjoys baking, puzzles, Tae Kwon Do, and the sound of waves lapping at the sand. She lives with her husband and three children in Middle Tennessee.
Origin of the Sphinx, a novella detailing the story leading up to the creation of the mythological creature, is her first publication. It is the beginning of the Sphinx series.
Curse of the Sphinx, the first book in the series, is completed, and set to be released in August 2015.
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