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Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,853 ratings  ·  362 reviews
Witness the epic battle of the cyclops!

Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying.

Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare!

Buy some knick knacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later.

On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill the
ebook, 300 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,853 ratings  ·  362 reviews

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Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A. Lee Martinez is hit and miss for me; two of his books are ridiculously fun (Gil’s All Fright Diner, Emperor Mollusk), a couple absolutely aren’t, and a few are enjoyable but one-time reads. This, while decently done, I suppose, didn’t work for me. It should have, as a road trip centered around Heroic Quest, and containing Martinez’ oddball humor, but there was a strong New-Young Adult theme that just didn’t work for me.

Helen is an Enchanted American, and one of the only fully-minotaur females
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, 2018-shelf, fantasy
Totally enjoyable humor, AGAIN, from A. Lee Martinez. :)

Great tongue-in-cheek premises, such as the local minotaur girl working in a BURGER JOINT getting almost sacrificed by the Hamburger God (Chernobog) by her manager, leads directly to a QUEST. :) Bring along Helen's cute co-worker Troy, get Quest licenses from the local board, tell their parents they'll be going on a roadtrip, and off we go, running. :)

Martinez always rather rocks. :) It's not always the premises that are best, but the way t
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really good!!
I love those books that I pick on a whim just bc not many read them, if they are bad then it's expected and if they are good they are really good.
An Asian MC (who probably would hate that I said that bc he's annoyed that's all people take from meeting him, but I had to XD) and a girl suffering from Minotaurism (who probably would like that I said that instead of tiptoeing around it) go on a road trip/quest. I mean what else you want.

Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wish i could just sit down with A. Lee Martinez over a meal, and a road trip, and just pick his brains. Probably one of my favorite authors. Every book of his is chock full of great, zany characters, wild and bizarre situations, and just crammed with wit, charm, heroism, puns, and more.

A Locus critic wrote about one of his books, and I agree and think it pertains to all of his oeuvre : "[Divine Misfortune]reads like a mash-up of Neil Gaiman, Monty Python, and a sugar-bombed nine-year old."

"What the hell was that?" asked Troy.
"A god of yore." she replied. "But I think it's dead now."

Helen, one of a pseudo-race of beings known as Enchanted Americans, is eighteen years old. A good student, a Marvel Comics fangirl, a non-preachy vegetarian and high school graduate well on her way to a good college, Helen is also a Minotaur.

She'd always thought the tail was kind of cute.

Minotaurism is nothing more than a family trait to Helen, passed down by some ancient curse laid on an ancestor. Her
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
After narrowly avoiding being sacrificed to a god in the form of a mound of minced meat, Helen and Troy are coerced into undertaking a quest for it. That's when things start to get a little weird.

I loved this book. Since I first saw it, I had it on my radar as a possible perfect match for my tastes. I had tried another of Martinez's novels though, and it didn't do much for me, so there was a bit of niggling doubt but I'm pleased to say that this one lived up exactly to my exp
Helen and Troy are just your ordinary, average young Americans who work together at minimum wage jobs in a fast food restaurant.

Well, except for the small detail that Helen is a minotaur and the two have been given an epic quest by a hamburger god. And while details of the quest aren't exactly forthcoming, the duo still sets out on a epic road trip/quest in A. Lee Martinez's comedic fantasy novel Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest.

Along the way, they'll meet a cyclops who will only do battle with
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013, fantasy
Helen is a normal teenage girl. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s got some mild body image issues. And she’s a Minotaur (or Enchanted American, in the parlance of their times). Troy’s your average overachieving, handsome, athletic, likeable Asian American guy.

When their boss at their after school job tries to sacrifice Helen, Helen & Troy are thrust together on a quest by the Lost God. They are aided by the shadowy agents of the Questing Bureau, as well as an assortment of oddball characters the
David Katzman
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun light-hearted book, a palate cleanser after the tragic Anna Karenina. Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest is a tongue-in-cheek adventure story, set on an alternate Earth where mythology is real and magic and magical creatures are commonplace. The story follows high school students on a quest that was cursed upon them by a god who embodied himself in a ton of raw beef at a fast food burger joint. They reluctantly head off to recover various magic relics that may or may not bring about the end ...more
Beth Cato
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban, netgalley, 2013, humor
I received this book through the publisher (Orbit) via NetGalley.

I thought the premise of this looked rather fun, but I really had no idea what to expect. I've done my share of road trips and I like road trip stories, and something about a minotaur girl as a lead character really appealed to me.

The verdict? I adored this book. I've been under a lot of stress this week, and Helen and Troy was perfect--light, fluffy, and carefree with its humor. It made me laugh out loud more than once, and made m
Palatine Library
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-reviews
Helen is just your average minotaur teenager, working at a fast food joint for money, crushing on boys, making sure that her horns don't get in the way of the other people around her. When an after-shift sacrifice to an ancient elven god curses Helen and her work friend Troy, they must go on an across-state adventure to please the gods.

This is a Funny, lovable book with amazing characters, action that blows your socks off, and humor, loads of humor. I would recommend this book to someone looking


How do I begin to describe this book??? This is a one-stop service. An all action-packed story with witty lines worth chuckling and pondering over throughout the course of (200-ish) pages. A Terry Pratchett-esque absurdity. This is one of those books that doesn’t sound that promising but turned out to be one of the best read ever. Imagine Eleanor & Park but Percy Jackson and if Eleanor was in fact a 7-feet-tall Minotaur and Park was an overachiever, divinely charming Ja
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This was great in places. Hm. How to describe it? Oh! You know that part in Neil Gaiman's American Gods, when Shadow is led through the woods by a raven, ostensibly one of the famous two ravens from Norse mythology and after some time Shadow says: "Hey, Hugin or whatevery you're called!" And the raven goes: "Yeah?" And Shadow: "Say 'nevermore'." And the raven croaks: "fuck you." Remember that? I suppose if you didn't before, I basically just told you the whole thing now anyway, so either way...

Antonio Urias
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading two of his books now, A. Lee Martinez has become one of my favorite authors. He doesn't offer anything deep, or terribly original, but rather pure unadulterated, clever entertainment. Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest is no exception. The world of Greek gods,heroes, and quests is transferred into a weird, and always amusing road trip across America. There are ogres, three-legged dogs, witches, orcs, old gods, secret agents, and, of course, our titular heroes: Helen the cursed minota ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, fantasy
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be: good, lighthearted, casual fun. It's a road trip story and a mythological quest! Those are both fun things to read, and apparently when you combine them the fun does not cancel out. The plot is fairly predictable, which if you don't like, I can see where this book would turn you off. The characters are likeable enough, though, and I'm not sure I'll ever get sick of modern interpretations of classic mythology. It was nice to find more than just Greek ...more
Pamela D
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Pamela by: Netgalley
This review copy was kindly donated by Orbit Books.

Helen and Troy are just two regular teenagers. Okay, well Helen is a Minotaur and Troy is as close to a hero as you can get (he doesn't like dogs). Anyway, Helen and Troy are just two regular teenagers who almost get eaten by a god and then are forced to go on an epic road quest to get an unknown number of unknown relics in an unknown period of time. As you can imagine, Helen and Troy aren't so excited about this quest. Luckily, the National Que
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The characters are teenagers, but I am not sure if I would characterize it as a YA book. It is more of a fantasy book with many humorous aspects.

Helen and Troy both work at the same burger place. Helen is a minotaur and lacks full confidence in her ability to be appealing to others. Troy seems to be an All-American boy with a heart of gold. Their boss? Well, he decides to cause a god to rise by sacrificing the two teens. After the boss receives his just
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable! There are the tropes but also the moments that attempt to twist the genres usual plot contrivances and who can really fault a story with a lady Minotaur as the lead? If you enjoyed Jim Hines' series with Jinx the Goblin you'll enjoy this one with it's "race to collect the magical macguffins to save the world" and the non-traditional "heroes". Some quick and nice moments of diversity as well with a gay orc and the secondary main character as a Japanese American boy. A fun romp! ...more
Oct 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty much what I expect from a Martinez book, a fun relatively-effort-free romp pairing a couple (or sometimes a group) of mismatched characters who are easy to root for, that mixes humor and fantasy, ala Christopher Moore, but maybe not quite as well. Still pretty entertaining nonetheless. A female Minotaur and a handsome perfect hero. Many references to the Odyssey and fables. Young adult readers will identify with the romantic elements.
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars.

This book was just so fun! Epic magic quest with all of the most lovable characters you could ask for. Even the bad guys! I thought it ran a little long, but then again that's my complaint about most books.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As far as audiobooks go, this was fairly strong. In fact, I think I definitely got more of a sense of the characters and their idiosyncrasies from listening to it vs. reading it.

But seriously, I love this book so much, for so many reasons. Mainly, it's a prime example of books that are alternate reality but are real as F*ck. Helen could be pigeonholed as a stereotypical super-insecure analog for teenage girldom--the hackneyed "I'm so insecure" sort of fantasy character that has a dark secret. Bu
I loved this. Absolutely loved it. There are a few reasons why, some relating to me on a personal level and the rest due to the quality of the writing itself.

I'll start with the novel itself - first and foremost, this novel does not try to be more than it is. It's a zany adventure with mythological creatures. It's not an story that will pervade until the end of time, it's not going to win a Pulitzer and it doesn't aspire to some higher meaning. But this is what's so great about it. Its raison d
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fun and charming. Not too thematically deep or touching, and where it approaches deep and touching it also approaches — but, admirably, doesn't quite arrive, achieving Zeno's paradox by personalizing the story — at cliche. Honestly, the sort of thing I wanted to write in my younger years, but done better.

(If you want something with a similar slice-of-life-meets-genre spirit, but with more distinctive and developed themes, check out the Night Vale novels.)
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
“Danger was a part of questing. Perhaps some quests were dull and safe affairs. Go to the store. Pick up some eggs. Return henceforth with said eggs and thou shalt be rewarded with the sacred omelet of justice."


Gently funny, gently romantic, gently epic and full of orcs. It never fully boils, but maintains a nice simmer throughout.
Katie Hamilton
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
That was darn fun! Probably my favorite by this author. It’s been a while since I powered through a book in 2.5 days. This one had all the things I love. Fast pace a bit of magic and a lot of humor and sass.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great adult Percy Jackson like tale. The dialogue was witty and the quest was a fun read. The writing was a bit odd at times when details were sometimes left out (ie: going from a conversation to driving away without any actual detail to explain they were leaving). Overall a great fun summer time read.
April Thompson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted this adventure to be epic, but it was only mildly entertaining. I suppose my love for Percy Jackson set higher standards for mythology adventure books.
Jacob J.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had chosen this book because it popped out to me. After reading the back I realized that it is like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson combined into one. Being two of my favorite series I decided to give it a try. The title and front cover was extremely eye catching with big bold red letters that read, “EPIC ROAD QUEST”. After seeing these catching elements I was eager to read the book.

The book starts out with Helen and Troy working together at a hamburger restaurant. Troy is an high school age ki
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was such fun, a really unique blend of modern-day ideals (diversity, girl power, breaking down tropes) and magical realism, mixed with a dose of Douglas-Adams-style timing and quippy humor. (I saw those 42s...)

Helen is a minotaur girl who works at a burger joint. Troy is her perfect-in-every-way All-American (and Japanese American) coworker and former classmate. They're accidentally cursed by a hamburger god (who is not always a hamburger, it was just convenient at the time) to underta
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Welcome to the modern world! Here, we have the United States as we know it now, complete with kitschy roadside attractions, cell phones, the National Questing Bureau, and Enchanted Americans like Helen, a seven-foot tall Minotaur. So, yeah. "The modern world."

In Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest, Martinez takes us on a zany road story along something similar to Route 66. Both have been conscripted by an ancient god who took his form from a pile of old hamburger to complete a quest. Neither of them
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A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels. Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil's All Fright Diner, was published. His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting. Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he's in the car by himself. ...more

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