Friday, October 30, 2015

Carrie Vaughn - Discord's Apple

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she will inherit. Hidden behind the basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again.
Of course, this legacy is not without its costs: There are those who will give anything to find a way in.
With the help of her father, a mysterious stranger named Alex, and some unexpected heroes, Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, and protect both the past and the future even as the present unravels. Old heroes and notorious villains alike rise to fight on her side or to do their best to bring about her defeat.
At stake is the fate of the world and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

Comment: I decided to read this book based on a review I've read and that seemed intriguing at the time. I eventually got the book and it has been waiting in the pile since august last year. I was in the mood for some myths/paranormal and this the perfect blend. My biggest complaint has to be how incomplete it seems to be.
In this book we meet Evie Walker, a comic stories writer who lives in a reality where the world it at war and nations are fighting one another. That helps with her (and her artist business partner) comic book series because the stories tend to go with the flow of the current events in the world. But Evie leaves her house to go home to her father because he's dying. Her father has a house in Colorado and he is the keeper of countless artifacts in the basement. Apparently each artifact has an owner and only the right person can get the objects. Evie experiences that one day when a lady asks for a pair of shoes and Evie feels in her soul which ones and gives them away.
Suddenly Evie meets Alex, someone who apparently wants something too but Evie knows there's nothing in the basement for him. Then other people want things but there's nothing for them either. What is happening, why is her father the keeper of those things, why cant people take whatever they want and what will happen when someone tries to get an object by using force?
The beauty of this book is how it meshes contemporary settings with classic tales of adventure and mythology. This is one element I really like in paranormals. 
I think the setting wasn't very obvious. We get an inkling something's wrong in the world, there's war about to start, some scenes happen and give that idea but nothing is ever said or explicit. I suppose the purpose is to let us think about it and draw our own conclusions but I felt the lack of precision.
The second issue I found wasn't done the best way was how things ended. It felt to incomplete, there's stuff missing, even having a great imagination isn't enough I think, to fully create an image of what would have happened. I would have loved an epilogue or another final chapter just telling me what they were doing and how. Things were left too much in the open for my taste.
The plot was intriguing, we have the chapters about what is happening in the present, and there are other chapters about a certain character from the myths of Troy and the Trojan Horse and the two things will meet up at some point. I think the author writes easily and in a fluid manner that makes the reader want to keep reading. The author also includes other characters and it was fun to see them all. The idea of this book is quite good and my only regret about the plot is how short it was and how certain elements seemed to be rushed or not given the proper attention. My opinion, of course.
The paranormal elements, like how the house hosts such a basement and how everything magically happens is very interesting and I liked reading about that. I think this would be a great series if the author would feature an adventure based on specific artifacts... it was just something that crossed my mind. the fact the weird/magical aspects of the house pass on to the next of kin has a good explanation but it was another item I would have loved to see more of.
There's a main relationship between Evie and Alex. Well, nothing ever happens, all is very subtle and in a way I would have liked to see things a bit more explicit. I don't mean sex, but something more between them to give me the idea of how they really felt. It was lukewarm at best.
The other characters' interactions obviously were important to the plot's development, some provided interesting subjects, others not so much... I think a bit more control would have been nice or a bigger book to explore more characters.
The human descriptions were interesting enough but very close to the mythological ideas we learn in school. I would have loved this more developed.
This was my first book by the author. I liked it yes, but the two main things I think should be improved and that weren't developed would have given this story a bigger punch in terms of narrative and that would have certainly have helped in making more people like it, me personally included. It just felt incomplete in some parts, despite the positive aspects of the others. Nevertheless, I did read this book in one day, so...
Grade: 7/10


  1. I was curious about this one so thanks for the review Sonia!

    1. It's something you read easily but it does have elements that could have been improved, I think.