Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

From Goodreads:
When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done. And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

First, I must give a shout-out to Dana from Reading Amidst the Chaos for sending me this book (her review here); she knew how much I was looking forward to reading it and kindly offered me her copy. Thank you Dana!!!

I am a huge fan of Ms. Vaughn's Kitty Norville series. I knew, however, that Discord's Apple was going to be nothing like her Kitty series, and that's important to know before diving in. Knowing that didn't stop me from being confused at the beginning though...I eventually did find my groove and enjoyed the book. I had no idea it involved Greek mythology or that it was dystopian; I'm not sure why but I wrongly thought it was going to be a ghost story.

There are actually 4 stories taking place:

Evie, the main protagonist, who has come home to care for her ailing father. She's a comic book writer; she writes a military-themed comic called Eagle Eye Commandos that has a female heroine, Tracker, who embodies what Evie wants to be. As her father is dying, the pull of the basement becomes stronger in Evie. When a woman comes to her and asks Evie if she has something in the basement for her, Evie knows the answer is no. She does not know it is the goddess Hera, who has been searching for the apple of discord, and Hera does not intend to let it go.

Tracker's story runs through the book as well. There has been some sort of political upheaval in the world (Evie's mother was killed during this time) and Evie's comic is related to current events. Things like checkpoints and town militias are in full effect but as the reader we don't know exactly what happened. As political machinations happen in her world, Evie must change the comic to reflect what's going on in the world and, more subtly, changes in Evie's life.

Alex/Sinon is an immortal mortal (he can't die but he is human, not magic). He's come to the storeroom to see if he can find something to kill himself with. He ends up staying to watch over Evie and protect her from Hera, who has come to claim Discord's Apple. His story of Troy and the events to follow was interesting.

The fourth storyline is the story of the basement itself. Starting with present day, we get brief glimpses of her ancestors who watched over the storeroom until finally we are gifted with the identity of the original guardian.

At first I was a bit confused by the different storylines and the mythology, but as I continued to read I became more and more curious to find out what happened next. Evie ends up with some impressive allies in her fight to keep the apple away from Hera. I enjoyed Evie's story, Alex/Sinon's story, and the basement's story. I kind of felt like Tracker's story was filler. Also, Evie's illustrator, Bruce, appeared a few times and he felt out of place - especially when he abrubtly exited the story; he also felt like superfluous filling.

All in all I liked Discord's Apple. It was short and I didn't get answers to all the questions I was hoping to have answered, but the ending was satisfying and left me with a smile.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition
Release Date: July 6, 2010
ISBN-10: 0765325543
ISBN-13: 978-0765325549

My Rating:


  1. Nice Review Patti. I love Vaughn's Kitty series too but I had seen some mixed reviews of this one... I don't really think it would be a book for me hehe sounds interesting, but maybe a bit too confusing =/

  2. You're more than welcome for the book Patti! I was happy to send it off to another Vaughn fan and I'm glad I wasn't the only one a little confused by the plot!

  3. Immortal mortal...ok why did I stop at that, I totally forgot what I was about to say now ;)

    Great review, sounds like an ok one

  4. Fantastic review! Sounds like a book that could make a reader dizzy, but in a good way :) I might have to check this out since I love Dystopian.

  5. Hmm. Intriguing premise, but the unanswered questions thing would bother me.