Book Review: Telemachus and Homer by Scott Locke

21233098Title: Telemachus and Homer
Author: Scott Locke
Genre: YA Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions on exchange for an honest review.

For every boy who grew up in his father’s shadow and every girl who has been underestimated, there comes a time to look within themselves to see if they have the strength to meet the challenges of the lives.  For Telemachus this time arrives soon after Odysseus returns from his twenty year absence, when Telemachus comes to appreciate that his own life needs to be about more than waiting for his father to guide him.  On the verge of embarking on an adventure, he learns that his community has been threatened and realizes that he does not know how to help.  Swallowing his pride, he recognizes that Homer, a young blind woman is a necessary ally.  Homer, like Telemachus has something to prove, for although she is respected for her knowledge, she feels unfairly defined by her community.  Together, as the people of Ithaca’s last hope, they begin their quest.

Back when I took Latin and Greek, I first heard the sotry of Odysseus, heard the mention of Homer, and I became enamored with the stories of tragic heroes, incredible journeys, the war on Troy, mythology and gods, and everything else these stories had to offer. Telemachus and Homer is a retelling of the ancient stories. Telemachus is Odysseus’ son, and when the latter comes home after twenty years, Telemachus must decide if he’ll keep on wasting his life, doing nothing more but wait around for his father to guide him, or if he’ll start to control his own life. Homer is a young woman – which is a clever twist – who proves an useful ally for Telemachus. Although blind, she has knowledge of all kinds of things, and the two of them must go on a quest to save Ithaca.

The premise is clever, and surprisingly, it works. The story and plot are engaging, and although some things are familiar (names, characters and settings) the story itself is original. Both main characters had their own strength and weakness. Homer feels undervalued, as does Telemachus. Both of them are searching for something more, a way to prove themselves to others, and to themselves.

While the plot and characters were great, some small details brought the book down from a five to a four star rating. The frequent use of adverbs, frequent use of the passive tense, and telling the reader how the characters feel instead of showing their emotions. These were minor details though, and I did enjoy the book, and would recommend it to other YA fantasy fans.

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