Well, I could talk about why I haven’t posted anything in a million years… but I won’t. Instead, as threatened, here’s ‘Starcrossed’
Condensed GoodReads Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/706453701
Not too sure about this one—I saw the beginnings of one review for it, it sounded awesome(ly bad), so I decided to give it a shot. This time we’re in for deity paranormal romance, something I have seen reviewed before in a quite well-known Persephone-retelling story, which from what I hear of it is also a great contender for the Karataratakus show.
But for now, something which I believe is less well-known…
A girl named Helen and her father argue about her having a car. Exciting!
Helen infodumps her backstory of maternal abandonment, and then her annoying best friend Claire shows up to be the most irritating character since Sandy from ‘XVI’. We’ve got some good clichés here, everyone; looks like a smooth ride. Do we have time for some good old-fashioned godawful stupidity?
Helen has considered suicide because she’s tall. There we go.
Claire tells her that there’s going to be some new hot man-flesh at their school, and they’re both going to fall in love with them because her tarot cards said so. I wonder if the DEATH card will show up?
Later on some other boring people tell Helen that the last name of the new family that’s moved in is ‘Delos’, which Helen finds really meaningful because someone whacked her over the head with a foreshadowing stick. More useless information about this family is infodumped, and they’re all named after characters from Greek mythology. Subtle.
Then her father drops by to offer her some drugs. If only he could have offered some to the readers as well!
Oh! You know what we’ve been missing from the last two books? That’s right—a Dawn character! And here we have Gretchen, who hates Helen and calls her a freak for no reason. Well, there is a reason, but it’s stupid enough not to really count as ‘reasonable’.
We’re also introduced to a guy called Zack, via exposition dump about him being a competitive douchebag, and a guy called Matt; who’s a nerd. Will they have a point in this story? Only time will tell…
(Spoilers: the answer to that question is ‘no’).
Gossiping about how outrageously gorgeous the Cullens—uh, I mean ‘Delos’ family are ensues. Helen is berated by her coach (a track coach, not a basketball coach, so we should be safe), for being a loser, more gossip, Helen overreacting to the gossip, Helen going home to have a FORESHADOWING dream about blood and stuff, and lots of boring conversations!
After some great pages of nothing, Helen meets Lucas for the first time. Crazy visions ensue, she insta-hates him for some bullshit reincarnation reasons, shit gets real. Real dumb. She tries to kill him and gets sent to the nurse’s office, good thing we had so much build up to this.
Helen’s dad and Lucas’ dad meet and engage in small-talk. As you do when your children try to kill each other for no reason.
Ooh, saw a trailer on YouTube or something for this book. Made it look extra bland!
Anyway, Helen feels bad about trying to kill Lucas for no reason, especially given how hot he is, and makes the keen observation that his ‘eyes look OUT—rather than back at himself’. I know I always love to find a guy whose eyeballs aren’t the wrong way round in their sockets.
Helen then goes to the doctor, who tells her she went homicidal because she wasn’t wearing a hat or something. MAKES SENSE TO ME!
Claire drops by to tell her that all the preps have been talking trash about her, and Lucas has been defending her. I guess he already has Stockholm Syndrome. The next day she goes back to school so random strangers can point and gawk, and that evening some woman tries to abduct her.
Thanks to having shoes that fall apart (?) Helen escapes. No, wait—Lucas rescues her. Whoop-dee-doo. Helen sees some visions of the Fates or something, tells Lucas she really still wants to kill him for no reason. He tells her the feeling’s mutual.
Ah, twu wuv!
Oh, and apparently she’s always had superstrength?… But isn’t willing to use it to help her friends because people might think she’s a freak! Pa Kent would approve!
Then she goes to Lucas’ house so they can try to kill each other again, and he can imply that the Furies are going to kill her if they find her at his house, so she has to get da fuk out. Helen goes home to research the Furies on good ole’ Google, and completely misunderstands the Oresteia.
This really long chapter continues so Helen can go to the store and overhear some more of the Cullens having a Kryptik Konversayshun. Ah, I’d missed those so much…
And the chapter goes on, but I’m really bored by it now…
Well, it’s difficult to find something that actually happens in the chapter, apart from a rundown of life at ‘woe-is-me’ High, wherein Lucas and Hector (I’m sure he’s… someone) have a fight over Helen and get kicked off the football team, so now everyone hates Helen. I guess since I hate her too, I’m now in with the popular crowd! Huzzah!
Then Lucas attacks her, or possibly Hector does? I’m confused; there are so many characters due to the Cullen family having about a million members, and only one of them has a semblance of personality–and that’s the Dawn character. They try to get more of the Cullens to chase after Helen, but she takes a page out of Xerxes’ book and expects the sea to bend to her whims and hide her. Because the author apparently wrote herself into a corner; it does.
With some good old magic fog. Odysseus would approve!
After a weird vision Helen finds herself having fallen out of the sky on top of Lucas, and they speak in caveman talk to each other. She doesn’t want to kill him anymore; apparently the Furies left for some reason, and I guess that means they’re in love.
Lucas tells her she’s a ‘scion’, and that her mother’s name wasn’t really Jane Doe, like she always thought it was, or something like that. Also, Helen can fly. Also, he’ll protect her from Hector. Since when was Hector a threat?
Anyway they were apparently seriously injured, but the Cullens come by to help them out. Boring conversations ensue.
The quarter-way mark. Finally. I don’t know what exactly it was about this one, but it’s been more than four months since my last review and there has to be a reason that I’m sure no one actually cares about. I know I don’t!
In this chapter Boring Conversations precede some good old Exposition about Greek mythology. Or, the Iliad and the Odyssey anyway. That’s pretty much all of Greek mythology, right? Anyway, the Cullens are the descendents of Greek gods, and they get stronger with every generation, because of reasons, and that’s why there are millions of super-powered Greek Gods around today, except for how there aren’t. Helen is also a descendant of a Greek god, whoop dee doo.
Anyway, the Furies stopped attacking because Helen and Lucas saved each other’s life, or something, freeing them from the cycle of vengeance set up by the Trojan War, even though the Furies weren’t started by the Trojan war at all. And now the Furies make the descendants kill each other to avenge their ancestor’s blood debts, even though that’s not how the Furies work either.
But who cares? It seems the Cullens are the last of these families left, except, apparently, for Helen and her mother, who abandoned her because it would protect Helen… somehow.
Anyway, then they go back to Boring Conversations. Also some other Scions are after Helen even though the Cullens were supposedly the only ones left alive apart from Helen’s mum. Maybe her mum is after her then, I don’t know…
Whoah. Suddenly we switch to Lucas’ POV. Weird.
Well, we’re pretty much a third of the way through after all that exposition. So it’s time for more exposition!
It turns out that the Cullens are a splinter of the ‘Hundred Cousins’ of the House of Thebes, and they suspect the people who are after Helen are from another part of the family, which is lead by ‘Uncle Tantalus’.
Yes, really. Why not just call yourself Satan McHitler?
So Helen has to be taught how to use her powers to defend herself (I sense a training montage!) What powers?, she asks Lucas, even after already having demonstrated her flying and super-strength abilities. “You really don’t know anything,” he replies. Because even he realises Helen is a moron.
But forget that shit; we have HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA to contend with, and everyone hates Helen because she got a ride to school with Lucas and they’re all jealous bitches. Dawn and Aphrodite approve! Also it looks like the Dream Team is on its way to being broken up over this jealousy, so sad…
No, wait, Claire says that Helen can make it up to her by sabotaging Lucas so she can take his place as valedictorian. Ah, friendship.
Also, Kate (remember her? I don’t) apparently fails at feminism by ogling Lucas. I don’t think the author knows all that much about feminism…
Hector beats the shit out of Helen during their training session, creating tension among the Cullens, and a grin on my face.
Ariadne (whoever she is) explains that Hector doesn’t like the fact that they fractured the family with their escaping the Hundred Cousins (stealing from Watership Down?), and that Uncle Tantalus believes that if the Hundred kill all the other Scions, they will be able to raise Atlantis, find the Holy Grail, and destroy the One Ring of Power. Or at least the first one.
Helen is aghast, because she always thought that Atlantis was a myth! You know, like Greek gods and shit!
Ariadne goes on to explain some more bullshit about the Trojan War, and how it (somehow) almost wiped out civilisation. Zeus told everyone to quit their bullshit, or he’d go a-thunderbolting, and that the four houses who united against the Trojans must never unite again—wait a minute, if the four houses are all descended from the Greeks then where the fuck did the blood debt come in to it?
Also the Odyssey apparently took place over a few months, and there was no wooden horse because Helen of Troy let the Greeks into the walls all along, which is why the Scions hate her for being a traitor… to the other side? I don’t know.
Helen reads some of the Iliad, even though it’s apparently all a bunch of crap, and starts hating on her namesake and on Achilles, and then Hector shows up (Hector Cullen, that is) to reveal he and Lucas have been watching her house all this time. How sweet.
And now for something completely different.
In Spain, a guy called Creon meets a reporter, while being obviously evil. She’s investigating his dad, Uncle Tantalus, because apparently a reclusive billionaire… existing… is big news. Also, Uncle Tantalus hasn’t spoken to anyone but his wife in twenty years. Also, Creon straight up murders her for asking stupid questions.
And now he’s on his way to the main plot, such as it is! Oh noes!
Meanwhile, back with Helen and the Scions, members of the Dream Team apparently can no longer sit with Helen at lunch, as she’s far too popular. Helen realises it’s been months since she spoke to token guy!friend.
Wait, months have gone by?
Anyway, Helen drowns out the pain of this tragedy by using her flying powers like an idiot. Creon spots her—sure didn’t take him long to get there!—and then vanishes in a puff of pointlessness when Helen gets a cramp.
It seems Helen’s mother cursed her to get cramps when she used her powers because she was a woman or something… I don’t know. We also learn that Creon is a ‘Shadowmaster’ and therefore evil. Then we learn that men cannot get cramps, because they’re MEN!
Pages and pages of boring flying lessons ensue, and Pallas returns. Who’s Pallas? I don’t remember, that’s who. He found out nothing useful so likely his character is a waste of time anyway. He came back following Creon, who is obsessed with Hector or something. Foe yay!
But it’s time for some more exposition. We learn that Tantalus’ brother Ajax was murdered by ‘someone’, causing Tantalus to become a recluse, and probably evil, giving orders through his wife Mildred—who is surely also evil. Her name’s MILDRED for crying out loud!
A stupid dinner ensues, and Pallas acts coldly towards Helen, so Pandora (remember her? I don’t.) tells her that that faces get recycled in Scion circles and apparently Helen looks just like Daphne from Scooby Doo. Or Daphne the woman who murdered Ajax, one of the two. Helen feels the need to exclaim loudly that she didn’t kill Ajax, because she’s desperately vying for the position of Captain Obvious, and assumes that Pallas blames her for Ajax’ death because why else would he be uncomfortable around someone who looks just like the person who murdered his brother?!
Helen then overhears Lucas tell Pallas that he would never touch her, and flounces.
CONTINUED IN PART II