2 Mar 2016

THE DOUBLE AXE.



THE DOUBLE AXE (BLOOD & FIRE #1) by PHILIP WOMACK.

BACK COVER BLURB: Dark forces are at work in the House of the Double Axe. Stephan, the thirteen-year-old son of King Minos of Crete, stumbles across a terrifying conspiracy. Is the Minotaur, a half man half bull who eats human flesh, real? Or is something even more dangerous threatening to engulf both the palace and the world?

Stephan must race to save his family from a terrible fate and find out what really lurks inside the labyrinth...

You think you know the story? Think again.

SOURCE: An Advanced Reading Copy (hence the lack of the 'First Sentence and my 'Memorable Moment') received for review from Alma Books, you can read an extract here.

MY THOUGHTS: The first instalment in a series of books that, re-imagining some of the classic myths from the point of view of their teenage protagonists, gives today's young readers an introduction to 'classic mythology'.  

Doubtlessly well written. It isn't heard to imagine The Double Axe, a re-working of the minotaur myth as seen through the eyes of thirteen year old Stephan, son of King Minos of Crete, being relayed around a fire, and yet, for me, there was something missing. 'Something' that I can't quite put my finger on.

Whilst, generally speaking, I have mixed feelings about 're-tellings', all too often finding them pale interpretations of the original. Not that this is of concern here as the author does an impressive job of putting his own unique spin on the story. Nor is there a problem with the mythology which I can see piquing the interest of young readers. And as for the characters? Stephan and his sister, Ariadn are both admirable heroes, 'witch' Myrrah, a suitable foe. As I said, something I can't quite put my finger on.

A novel I'm sure my younger self would have relished. Despite any reservations I may have had about this particular instalment I'm intrigued to learn where future books in the series will take us.


13 comments:

Natasha Hill said...

Oh this sounds right up my street! Will definitely have to give this a go at some point. Thank you too for the kind words on my last post! - Tasha

Suko said...

As usual, a terrific review! I am intrigued by the idea of the labyrinth in this retelling of a classic myth.

carol said...

Sounds like one my daughter would have liked when she was just a bit younger.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I like the creativity of retellings but I know that not everyone does. So, if you, who doesn't like them usually, enjoys this one... that says a lot! Brilly review.

Kelly said...

As long as it stays true to the myth it re-tells, I think this sounds like a great idea for a series.

Perhaps the next installment will clarify your doubts, one way or another.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I'm all for keeping the myths and legends alive and relevant to a modern generation of young people. However personally,this simply isn't a genre of writing I either enjoy, or basically even understand most of the time.

As ever, your reviews are constructive and informative, giving me a solid base on which to reflect my own decision as to whether or not this is one I need to read.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week :)

Yvonne

The Bookworm said...

I know re-tellings can be hit or miss but this one sounds worth the read.

Alexia561 said...

Sounds like an intriguing premise, as I love re-imaginings of old myths and legends! Sorry to hear that something felt off to you. It's annoying when something doesn't feel right, but you can't quite put your finger on it!

Hope you have a lovely week!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! I don't know a lot about mythology, but books that take those myths and make new stories are interesting. Glad you enjoyed it.

Gina R said...

Ooh. Color me intrigued! I must admit though, the cover reminded me of THE RED PYRAMID (UK edition)...not in a good way either. I suppose it's a good thing we don't judge merely by appearance then... ^-^ Thanks for the share!

Brian Joseph said...

I am also very skeptical of modern retellings. With that, such efforts can work. For mr, they have to look at the stories or characters in a different way from the originals.


I really like the cover art of the edition that you posted.

Melliane said...

It sounds fun, I'm curious for you to see where it will go!

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

That is a great idea for a series. I wonder if what's missing is something that adults pick up on but kids wouldn't, in other words not so much need to include it.