Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Snakehead by Ann Halam

If you haven't read Siberia by Ann Halam, you're missing out. I think this author has a fun, unique voice in teen literature, and I hope other people get a chance to read her newest deviation from the norm, Snakehead.

When Perseus first meets the beautiful, North African princess Andromeda, she's busy hiding her identity, and he's trying to live a normal life as a half-mortal, half-god. Both teens are feeling a little lost, and their predetermined fates weigh heavily upon them. Will they sacrifice everything for the good of civilization, or just to humor the gods?

Halam winds back and forth between historical fantasy and historical fact (Perseus and Andromeda hitch a ride on the Argo, but all the girls on Serifoes bare their breasts in public, as was customary at the time), mixing modern and antique language (Perseus's peer group is made up of "yacht club kids" but Andromeda's false name is Kore, or Girl in Greek ). This one is fine for the 7th grade and above. The rape of Medusa is mentioned without description, and there is a reference to "rejected sacrifices" referring to the loss of virginity, but that's about it. There is no description of the bare breasts other than their existence.

There are a few problems with the book: uninspired cover art and somewhat slow start are the easiest to point out. I set it down for several weeks after the first few chapters, but once I picked it up again, I finished relatively quickly, racing towards an expected ending(I know the myth), but looking forward to finding out how the author was going to twist it. Strange to say, I really felt the author could have used some pointers from Stephanie Meyer and explored the teen romance with a little bit more detail. After Twilight, wicked looks and jolts of excitement just aren't enough.

YAY, but I'm looking for other opinions.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I'm maybe on this one. It does start slowly but I really enjoyed the contemporary mixed with ancient. It made it very readable.