Book: Curse of the Sphinx
Author: Raye Wagner
Rating: ★★★★ / 5
First description of the book that you see on Goodreads is:
“How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?”
This one question already grips your attention and makes you wonder about what kind of monster they might be talking about.
Hope Nicholas is just a seventeen-year old girl who has been moving from place to place her entire life, keeping herself safe and staying low so her existence wouldn’t be noticed by unwanted personas. However, no matter how low of a profile you keep, just one mistake and they will know about you, they know where you are and they will come after you. This is what Hope had to learn from a very early age and it is what her mother always taught her to be, Careful.
Despite all the precautions, Hope’s mother was “brutally ripped” from her and she had to run and hide, not knowing what exactly happened to her mother and who, from the various hunters, did it.
Hope (a very suitable name) was described in a way that made me believe she was a real person (maybe she spent too much effort on doing her homeworks, but that reminded me of Hermione Granger and I was more than happy about this fact obviously). She was strong enough for a teenager in her situation, but she wasn’t a superman, having just as many struggles and worries (or even more) as I foresaw.
I have to say that Raye Wagner’s writing was just on point! Not overly juvenile even though the book is directed to a younger audience, mostly teenagers; not overly mature and complicated that it would drift you away from the storyline. Once you were in the story you would stay there no matter what. Partially because of the engaging plot, but a significant credit goes to her writing style and techniques.
She was able to create such an alluring world where people were not strangers to Greek Gods and actually had to learn Mythology in school as a part of their history. It wasn’t a surprise that people spoke about demigods, sons of Gods and humans, or monsters created by Hades or other mythological creatures. I am ashamed to admit that it actually took me a while to realise that. I know what you all are going to say: “But it is written in the description on the back of the book!” Yes, I know that now, but I don’t usually read them or even if I do sometimes I just end up forgetting what it says. For some reason Mythology as a school lesson and people’s talks about Gods didn’t raise my suspicions that we might be looking at some different world and not exactly our own. Can I just use my busyness at work and school as an excuse for this? Or that I enjoyed the main story so much I didn’t pay too close of an attention towards the world around it? Just pick one and don’t blame me for being inattentive.
A character, besides Hope, that I absolutely loved was Mr. Stanley with his riddles. I am interested to see what role Raye Wagner has prepared for him in this series, I really hope she will reveal more about him in the next books. Mr. Stanley seems caring and soft, someone Hope could really use as a friend or a parent figure. But! What if Ray Wagner has some surprises prepared for this seemingly friendly character (only my speculations here, don’t go crazy yet) Although, it would be an unpredictable turn of events!
And of course Athan. There had to be romance in the story. Romance always makes everything better. That is true and you all know it! It was written in a way that didn’t make it mawkish or sugary sweet which I tend to dislike in YA novels, but still keeping it
and sweet, with the right proportion of different emotions.
Why I am giving this book four stars? As you can see from all the above I enjoyed it a lot but I felt like it didn’t surprise me enough, some parts were predictable, which obviously didn’t ruin any of the fun for me, but that is my reason for the four star rating.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I definitely want to keep reading this series, so many questions were left unanswered and I absolutely need to know what happens to the main characters. Any fantasy lover will adore this book and I’ve already recommended it to all of my close friends.
Just a small note here, once I have finished the book I just sat there and stared at my bookcase for minutes, not completely okay with the fact that the story was over. I had a serious book hangover and on that day I refused to start any other books or watch any movies. I wanted to preserve this story in my mind for a little longer. (If anyone wonders what I did for the rest of the day, I finally started a puzzle that I’ve head for few month and never really felt like it was a right time for it).