Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

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 stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old 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. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

It turns out I had no idea what I was getting into with this one. I thought I did, but I really - really - didn't.

Vaughn creates in Discord's Apple an intriguing look at a scarily possibly post-apocalyptic future, with terrorists and road checks a part of everyday life. Evie is just another woman there, trying to eke out a living as a comic book writer when she gets the worst new: her father is dying and she's needed back in Colorado. Once she's there everything changes, as she learns more and more about the legacy she's heir to.

But the story is more than just that; in addition to Evie's journey to help and care for her father, readers are drawn in the world of Sinon/Alex, the man who convinced Troy to open its doors to the horse. With him comes Hera, Apollo, and the whole pantheon of Greek Gods from myth and legend. Magic is being released back into the world, no longer under the guard of the Keepers of the Storeroom. What that magic will do, how it will be used by man and Gods alike are the questions.

Vaughn writes the story flipping between quite a few different characters' viewpoints. It took me a few chapters to get the hang of it, because it wasn't always obvious who I was reading about, but by the end it I was quite happy with her choice. Leading me as a reader to see things from different people allowed Vaughn to explain and explore the post-apocalyptic world she'd created without 'telling' me about it. I still don't know why exactly the US has roadblocks and you need a permit to drive with oil - the explanation for that particular disaster isn't explained. But what Evie and her creative partner Bruce experience as inhabitants of this future world do all the work of letting me know that bad things have and still are happening.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. It was not at all what I was expecting but it's a very well written novel combining old magic, fable, technology - and the end of the world.

Series - None