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Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest    by A. Lee Martinez order for
Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest
by A. Lee Martinez
Order:  USA  Can
Orbit, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A. Lee Martinez writes very funny romps through the world of adult fantasy, for example In the Company of Ogres, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now he gives us a YA novel with the same comic irony, Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest.

Helen, despite her name, is not a goddess in appearance - she's an Enchanted American, a Minotaur (height, horns, hooves and all!) But she sure has character. Troy suffers a different enchantment - he's an overachieving, handsome, athletic, Asian American. They are friends of sorts, both working at the same burger joint. They become allies after their elf boss tries to sacrifice Helen to the Lost God. When Troy shows up and almost ends up as the sacrifice, Helen saves him.

However, the Lost God sends them on a quest, to 'gather the relics and bring them to the place of power at the appointed time' - failure will result in death. The Lost God gives them a sword and a wand (but no instruction booklets). With their parents' blessing, they set out in Troy's 'electric-blue Ford Chimera', acquiring a small dog along the way. They also acquire adversaries, the Wild Hunt motorcycle gang (all Orcs), who might seem like the bad guys, but only at first glance.

Agents of the National Questing Bureau intervene from time to time, not always helpfully. Helen and Troy defeat a Cyclops; consult the Three Sisters (the Fates); brave the North American Wild Dragon Preserve; barely survive the Mystery Cottage (and the deathless witch inside it); and foil the Lost God's foul plan at the Lands of Adventure amusement park ... 'Eat, drink, ride roller coasters. For tomorrow we die.' But they're never quite sure who is the hero(ine) and who the sidekick.

Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest is a hilarious, tongue firmly in cheek fun ride about two young people who seem to be as different as can be, but end up discovering that they have a great deal in common.

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