Friday, March 18, 2011

All in the Family: A Look-It-Up Guide to the In-laws, Outlaws, and Offspring of Mythology

What would Apollo's online profile look like? What would Aphrodite say if she had her own blog? Greek mythology hall of famers meet the modern age in a new series that brings the superstars of Greek myth to life with stories that put them in the pantheon. Complete with profiles, headshots, family trees, fascinating sidebars and irreverent surprises, Mythlopedia is for readers who love action, romance, power struggles and more.

This entry in the Mythlopedia series isn’t quite as exciting as the above promotional material makes it out to be.

All in the Family is directed at a young adult audience and profiles the lives (and usually deaths) of several non-Olympian heroes and mortals. At times, Otfinofski tries so hard to sound hip (Midas: “Aw, snap! Check this out, player—anything I touch turns to gold!”) that I found the narrative both irritating and distracting. Most of the relevant information, though, is provided in a concise, easy to understand format.

This book is a good resource for anyone trying to understand basic plots of Greek mythology, but despite its attempts to make family connections clear, I still find the Olympian family tree a muddled mess.

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