Bookshelf: Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest

517NW9Z3dtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest is Percy Jackson written for adults with ironic senses of humor.

Helen is a minotauress, with the usual challenges: she’s big, she’s awkward, she breaks things, she sheds. Troy is her annoyingly perfect (although, in a knowing nod to the movie convention that identifies the hero by showing him petting the dog early in the film, Troy dislikes dogs) coworker at a fast food restaurant. When their manager, a middle-aged elf, tries to sacrifice Helen to his dark ancient god (incarnated in a puddle of hamburger) and gets himself destroyed instead, the god turns on Helen and Troy and imposes on them a quest to gather an unspecific number of ancient relics and take them to an unidentified place of power.

If this sounds like an irreverent smart-ass send up of fantasy and mythology, it is. If it sounds hilarious, yeah, it’s that as well. Our heroes get tangled up with a Men in Black-style magical agency, an orc named Nigel Skullgnasher on his own god-commanded quest with his motorcycle club in tow, and a series of obstacles that will ultimately lead them to … somewhere. Maybe.

The setting is an epic fantasy version of Bob Dylan’s Old, Weird America, with funhouse rides and gas-guzzling convertibles and dead-end towns in the middle of the Nevada desert. Readers of fantasy, humor fans, and connoisseurs of America alike should all love this book.



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