Title: Curse of the Sphinx
Author: Raye Wagner
Publication Date: August 11th, 2015
This review is being done for NetGalley. I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for posting an honest review. Enjoy!
Raye Wagner’s novel titled Curse of the Sphinx is quite a unique story that revolves around Greek Mythology. We follow the female protagonist named Hope as she moves to the small town of Goldendale after her mother’s death. She has been taught her entire life to remain invisible and simply blend in as much as possible because she is under a curse. She carries the curse of the Sphinx, which forces her to turn into this creature once a month. She must stay hidden because many evil beings are after her and seek to harm her. Even after her strongest efforts to fly under the radar she is unable to keep away from a very handsome young man, Athan. Their love blossoms and soon becomes dangerous for both of them.
I enjoyed this novel because as I said it is very unique. I found Hope to be a very strong character in the sense that she overcomes loss and loneliness all while still living her life. Wagner’s name choice for her protagonist who seems to have a very difficult road ahead is very clever and uplifting. The concept of hope in all the darkness that she will most surely face is a nice contrast. I also found Athan’s character to be interesting. He is a demigod and he does carry around a kind of chip on his shoulder through out the novel, however, he is able to let his guard down when he is with Hope. The relationship that they share is one that readers know will bring trouble later but Wagner makes you sincerely hope that things will work out for them.
The amount of emotion that is conveyed in this book is great. After Hope loses her mother she does go through a grieving process that the readers get to be a part of. The loss of a young girl’s mother is portrayed very effectively. When Hope sees pictures of her mother or unpacks her mother’s things, she talks about how much she misses her and how much she wishes she was still there with her. It almost makes you want to call up your own mother and tell her how much you love her.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, however, there are some things that the readers should know. If you are not familiar with Greek mythology then you may feel a little bit confused at times. Certain Gods and Goddesses are not explained well enough to completely understand the situations that are being put forward. There is a legend of the various Gods and Goddesses used, however, I think that this information should have simply been put into the story instead of having to go to the back of the book for the information. Also, in the book many characters say things like, “Oh my Gods,” or “By the Gods,” meaning that they are referring to the Greek Gods because of the plural. However, it was never explained as to why regular humans in the small town of Goldendale refer to them in their everyday lives. These humans are also well aware of the fact that demigods exist and they openly admit to knowing some of them. I was a little confused because again the reason behind them knowing this information was not explained. I wish I was given a little bit more information about the town and it’s role in Greek Mythology, their beliefs, etc. Lastly, I felt like this novel was really leading up to something. I got the feeling of a kind of “bridge” novel and then the end came and nothing truly substantial happened. I was waiting for a big battle or a big happening of some kind but it never came. I was a little disappointed with the anticlimactic ending.
Having said all of that I would recommend this novel because it was an interesting read. I definitely learned some new information about Greek Mythology and I would read book number two.