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Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

I was always drawn to fantastical tales. When I was a little girl, my mother had bought for me a copy of Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was one of my favorite books. I was more familiar with the Greek legends than the Roman legends, but the older I got, the more diverse my reading became. I would look for collections of folk tales from around the world, fairy tales, mythology, chivalrous tales, anything I could get my hands on.

So when I found Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, I was intrigued. The cast of characters included The Furies or The Fates and that was enough. There have been other stories about the gods offspring. There is Oh.My.Gods and Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs, the Percy Jackson series, Avalon High by Meg Cabot to name a few, but it is an old story. Starcrossed, to me, was a new take on an old story.

Book Description:
Publication Date: May 31, 2011 | Series: Starcrossed

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review:
The gods have ever interfered in the lives of mortal man. Being lesser beings, man is seen as the playthings of the gods. But there are times when the gods may become enamored of a mortal and a child would be born of the union. While the gods have since removed themselves from the world of man, their offspring still survive with each generation getting stronger with more godlike powers.

Helen has always been different. She has superhuman abilities that she has to hide from the people around her, which is difficult as Nantucket is a small island and everyone knows everything about everyone. She is successful at hiding her full abilities until a new family moves into town. They've moved to the island from Greece and they are the talk of the town, but Helen doesn't really seem to care much until she runs into Lucas at school and tries to kill him. She is visited by The Fates who seem to spur on her fury with their wailing and she can't stop herself. She is dragged off to the office as well as Lucas to explain herself, but how do explain the desire to kill a total stranger? She decides she just needs to stay away from him, but that seems easier said then done. He seems to turn up around every corner and The Fates won't leave her alone. It's not just her, though. He also seems to want to kill her. However, through a selfless act, Helen and Lucas save each other and that seems to break the hold The Fates have on them. They stop seeing the visions of The Fates and can no longer hear their wailing or feel the bloodlust.

Now that they are not trying to kill each other, Helen learns of her ancestry and Lucas's. She is descended from a god and part of one of the four households. Each household is descended from a different god and the scions of the house are imbued with the powers of that god, though not all scions have the same range of powers. The bloodlust felt in the presence of The Furies dates back to the Trojan War. They appeared then to avenge the sins committed by the Houses during the long, bloody war, setting house upon house and have been doing so ever since, until it seemed that the Houses were all but eradicated with the exception of the house Lucas belongs to.

Helen and Lucas may not be at each other's throats, but somebody is trying to kill her, but the assailant's identity is unknown. The Delos family offers her protection and training so that she can learn how to use her powers and defend herself in the face of an attack. The two of them are slowly drawing closer together, but will tragedy rip them apart?

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