Amanda's Reviews > Elphame's Choice

Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast
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Aug 04, 11


I was a little surprised at first to see that "Harlequin Teen" published this book. The existence of a teen division of the popular romance novel company is news to me, and since Harlequin is traditionally associated with steamy romances, I wondered how the teen division fit in. I figured that these novels would focus on the current popularity of teen paranormal romance, but found that I was a little off the mark on that assumption.

First, I noticed that Elphame's Choice was placed in the adult science fiction/fantasy section at Barnes & Noble rather than the teen section, where some other Harlequin Teen novels have been placed. Then, when I read the book, I found that it was much steamier than I thought it would be. While probably not as explicit as some of the other teen novels out there, it seems like this novel is pushing some of the traditional ideas of what is appropriate for a teen novel. Part of the reason why some adults, such as myself, read teen novels is because they are simpler and, generally, tend to skirt around explicit material. That is not the case with Elphame's Choice -so reader beware, this is not your typical, Twilight-like teen romance!

Despite this, Elphame's Choice was an entertaining read. It follows the adventures of Elphame, the daughter of a human and a centaur, who is believed to be the chosen of the goddess Epona, and in a fantasy world that worships Epona, this makes Elphame practically a goddess herself. One would think that it would be pretty cool to be worshiped and adored, but Elphame finds it very lonely and wishes to be free -and to find someone she can romantically connect to.

Cast's writing is easy to follow and does a decent job of painting the fantasy world of Partholon. However, I frequently became confused by the mechanics of the world itself -they weren't explained very well, and Cast seemed to throw items out and assume that the reader know what she was talking about. Once I got past the confusion, it became easier to get into the story, but I quickly became more interested in the secondary characters than in the main ones.

I also have to admit that I feel a little cheated by Elphame's Choice -not so much by the story itself, but by the promises made on the book's cover. On the cover, it states that this is "A different world from P.C. Cast..." -which is very true, but implied to me that this was a brand new book. As I read the novel, however, I started to get a little suspicious. I looked up Cast on Wikipedia, and discovered that this is not a new book, only a re-issue of a book that was first released in 2004 (guess I need to do my research next time). While I know this is perfectly legal -it just made me feel a little cheated. My assumption is that Harlequin Teen is re-publishing these books due to the popularity of Cast's teen House of Night series.

While not a bad book, it's not a great one either. The plot and characters felt a little flat and just didn't suck me in enough. Also, reader beware -do your research before picking this one up!
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