200p. ebook available. HMH. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544610606.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—In this retelling of the Greek myth of the Minotaur, the familiar characters illustrate their viewpoints in verse. The story begins with Poseidon as the powerful mastermind behind the famous events that are prompted by King Minos's hubris: Minos's wife is impregnated by a bull and gives birth to Asterion, half-man/half-bull. Once Asterion reaches the age of 17, the narrative shifts to present tense, when King Minos orders that a labyrinth be built to imprison Asterion. Asterion's 15-year-old sister, Ariadne, attempts to rescue him, but instead she succumbs to attractive Theseus, who has been sent to kill the Minotaur. Elliott's contemporary take on the classic myth incorporates modern slang, profanity, and a bawdy sense of humor into an accessible, highly entertaining, and original novel. The characters are given a sense of humanity not found in the original tales; the young adults, for example, are afforded impetuousness, ignorance, easy trust, arrogance, and quick infatuation, all of which make them easily identifiable and relatable to a current teen audience. The use of varied poetic forms and negative space on the page conveys urgent emotions, including instability and madness, anger and self-righteousness.
VERDICT Recommended for most large collections, particularly those in need of engaging interpretations of classic myths.

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