Much like Quiver, Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner is a retelling of various Greek Myths in the form of a young adult novel. This time the central character is Hermes.
Quicksilver starts out rather lightheartedly as Hermes runs various errands for his father Zeus and cracks jokes along the way. It takes a darker turn when discussing the Trojan war, but soon returns to happier times as it tells of his falling in love with Calypso.
As I noted with Quiver, these books are interesting and entertaining as sort of fictional tour guides through the world of Greek mythology. Spinner has crafted a very accessible way to become familiar with the characters and stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.
But for me, the stories never quite take on a life of their own. Quiver at least had a strong heroine and the plot surrounding her marriage suitors, but Quicksilver’s plot is less focused because Hermes is not a central character in the myths. The result is story line that jumps from one episode to another without a central plot.
But these books are not likely to be read for their action or suspenseful plot. Rather, what Spinner does well is imagine the gods and goddess as people with all the emotions and challenges that involves. For example, Hermes desperately wants to please his father and misses his brother Apollo when they are separated for extended periods. He feels guilt and jealousy, love and desire, despite having supernatural powers. Spinner does a good job of brining the pantheon to life.
I don’t mean to be to harsh here. Not every book you read can be in the “wow” category. All in all, these books are well done re-tellings of classic myths in an accessible – if unsophisticated – format.