Book Review: The Odyssey (Hinds)

December 27, 2010

*ARC Alert*

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds (based on the epic by Homer) was published October 12th, 2010 by Candlewick Press (hard- or softcover, full-color, $14.99 soft, 256 pages).

No surprises that this one is up for a Cybil–actually, there are two Odyssey retellings on the nominations list, but the other one isn’t as pretty.  And oh, this book is pretty.  I’m fairly sure that Hinds does his art digitally, but it looks like watercolor and he handles it well.  His linework is expressive, his colors set a great mood, and his pacing lays the story out quite nicely.  His text adaptation is modern enough to make comprehension easy, but retains the resonance and power of its mythic origins, and besides that he does a great deal to humanize the characters through dialogue–Penelope, especially, is given more emotional screen time than in other translations I’ve read.

Because of Hinds’ page count and some gore, I’d recommend the other Odyssey graphic novel for younger readers.  This one, however, is great for reluctant teens; in my experience the old stories are among the most accessible, and graphic interpretation and contemporary writing make them more appealing still.

 


Abbreviated Review: Zeus: King of the Gods (O’Connor)

October 17, 2010

This first volume of what will be a twelve-book series covers a span of time which begins (literally) at the beginning of everything, brings us through the birth of the Titans and other proto-Olympians, then the Olympian gods, ending with Zeus’ war upon and conquerance of his forebears. A wonderful, thorough, and well-researched collection of Greek mythology that can be understood by any age on some level. O’Connor obviously knows what he’s talking about, and presents the gods as they really were– highly flawed characters who stand somewhat apart from concepts of morality. Wonderful, expressive artwork, as well. Highly recommended for interested kids and adults alike.