Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Lee Martinez "Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest" (Orbit, 2013)

Helen is a normal teenage girl.  She’s smart.  She’s funny.  She’s got some mild body image issues.  And she’s a Minotaur (or Enchanted American, in the parlance of their times).  Troy’s your average overachieving, handsome, athletic, likeable Asian American guy.  

When their boss at their after school job tries to sacrifice Helen, Helen & Troy are thrust together on a quest by the Lost God.  They are aided by the shadowy agents of the Questing Bureau, as well as an assortment of oddball characters they meet along the way.

The plot thickens when the Wild Hunt motorcycle gang is compelled to stop them.  Don’t hold the fact that they are Orcs against them.  Most of the bikers are office workers during the week, and only get out riding on the weekends.  Nevertheless, they have their heritage to live up to, and will stop at almost nothing to stop Helen & Troy’s success.

Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest is an absolute joy.  Martinez manages to balance character and plot exceedingly well, while keeping his tongue firmly planted in cheek.  You want action and adventure?  You’ve got it!  You want emotional growth or a will they or won’t they romance?  You’ve got it!  You want laughs and winking references to a myriad of genre & related items?  Well they’re thrown in as well!

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