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Discord's Apple Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Taking a break from the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series, Vaughn melds a near-future world torn by war with the legend of the fall of Troy in this brilliantly structured, beautifully written stand-alone. Evie Walker is a comic book writer who leaves behind a strife-filled Los Angeles to care for her dying father in the smalltown of Hopes Fort, Colo. Evie soon inherits the responsibility of guarding a magical storeroom and its contents as the country becomes hyperdefensive about possible terrorist threats. Intermingled with Evie's story is the tale of Sinon the Liar, who persuaded the Trojans to bring Odysseus's horse inside their walls and wound up cursed with immortality. Vaughn brings together mythology, fairy tales, and very human lives, immersing readers in the stories these complex characters tell themselves to make sense of their war-torn worlds. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Comic book writer Evie Walker bases her stories roughly on the political upheaval occurring around the world. With her father dying, she returns to Hope's Fort, Colorado, where she grew up. She has never really thought much about the storage room in the basement of the Walker family home. Now she does. Taking a page from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Vaughn creates a tale in which the storeroom is a gateway to another realm that contains such fantastical items as Excalibur, Cinderella's glass slippers, and the Apple of Discord that touched off the Trojan war. Set against a backdrop of coming apocalypse, the story jumps from glimpses of the ancient Greek past to Evie's world that is being torn apart by politics and war, then to the history of the Walker family through the ages. Those strands are woven into a tapestry that may satisfy both the reader who enjoys emotional depth in characterization and those fascinated by world mythology and fairy tales. --Rebecca Gerber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076536459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765364593
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Campanella on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have a hard time not writing simple plot summaries as reviews, but I feel like if I spoil even a single secret in this book I will be doing a disservice. It is epic in scope yet deceptively simple.

I can understand why Publisher's Weekly gave this book a Starred review. It is written in simple and clear language that lets the depth and complexity of the story sneak up on you. The nested timelines allow the story to reveal exactly as much background as you need to let the story progress without spoiling suspense. The scope of the story, from the bronze age to the ... see I almost let fly with a spoiler there ... is daring, dazzling, and perfectly crafted to make this an epic worthy of the poets of old.

I loved the characters, especially the ones I was clearly meant to hate. One character is the embodiment of pure chaos, and his wanton acts of love and destruction side by side made him the most delicious villain since the Joker, and I am only sorry he didn't get more "screen time." The Good Guys were really honestly good guys, and there was an optimism to them that made me set aside the cynicism that I usually reserve for such characters.

Overall this is an epic masterpiece. In my opinion, this is the authors most cinematic and picturesque work to date, and I hope that we get to see a dozen more like this.

...but no sequels. I hope this gets to live as a standalone. It's perfect as it is.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been following Carrie Vaughn's work since she started publishing the Kitty series and I can delightfully declare: Definitely not a Kitty book! To make this clear: I found the Kitty series well written and entertaining, but I do have something of a knee-jerk reaction to all the recent Vampire/Werewolf genre overload and associated crazes. This is, admittedly, a remark angled at some of previous comments which seek the lines of association to the author's already established book series where there are none to be found - or no reason to go looking for them.

I consider Discord's Apple to be Vaughn's most mature and most engaging piece of work to date - it is wonderfully multilayered and enagaging, and it did a magnificent job of pulling me straight into the depths of the tale. It may have something to do with the manner in which it builds upon the established "real world" mythos creatively but not presumptiously; she certainly does exhibit both in-depth familiarity with and respect for the mythologies she builds on. Or it may be the masterful breath of life in all of the characters that carry the story along so fluidly and naturally - though it's most likely the case of both. I found this book to be a real treat and, having read it once already, I find myself already re-reading it for the sheer fun of it.
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Format: Hardcover
Plot Summary: Evie Walker is a comic book writer living in a Los Angeles we wouldn't recognize. Countries are at war, cities are ruled by militias, and Evie makes her living penning a military adventure comic series, until she gets a call from her father. She drives back home to Hope's Fort, Colorado and learns that he has a terminal disease. Furthermore, strangers keep knocking on her father's door with specific requests for items in his basement. The storeroom has always been off limits to Evie until now, and she learns that her family serves as custodians of magical objects. One man in particular, named Alex, seems to be stalking Evie and her father, but the real threat is a long-disposed queen who wants to sow chaos across the world.

If the heroine was a teenager instead of an adult, I probably would have liked this better. Discord's Apple would have made a perfect young adult novel, and that would help me out with this review, because this book didn't go far enough for this adult reader. Oh well, there's no point in griping about it, right? It's an ambitious story that tries to connect all of the magic, myths and legends since the beginning of time with a present that is on the verge of war. It's a cool concept, but it started to fall apart for me by the end, and worse, it became utterly predictable. That's a sin that's not easy for me to forgive.

I thought the structure of the story was well done, with the action shifting between three parties: Evie in the present, Alex in the past, and Evie's ancestors. It takes a good writer to pull that off, and Carrie Vaughn made it look easy. Unfortunately I don't feel like I got to know Evie, or see her evolve. She was surprisingly passive throughout the story, and I expect more from the lead in a fantasy novel. There was virtually no romance, and the bit that was included felt token and tacked on.

It's an interesting stand-alone, but nothing is going to stand-out in my memory.
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Format: Hardcover
I was ready to love this book. I'm a long time lover of Greek mythology, I thought Carrie Vaughn's previous book, Voices of Dragons, was excellent, and I'm a fan off her Kitty Norville series too. By all accounts I should have loved DISCORD'S APPLE, instead I found a flat protagonist, a confusing world, and too many separate stories that failed to come together in a satisfying way.

The description of DISCORD'S APPLE leads you to believe that the plot is about a woman, Evie Walker, who discovers "a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again." The reality is that that is only one of four stories told in this book.

DISCORD'S APPLE jumps randomly from these four stories throughout the book. Beginning with the most interesting: a retelling of the Trojan War and the event that caused it (Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena squabbling over an apple `for the fairest') leading up to modern day. The Greek gods are all well represented (specifically Apollo), fickle and willing to sleep with any and everything: male and female, willing and unwilling. Most of the sex occurs in this story. It's not graphic, but there is a lot of it in all forms and it is not always consensual.

The two other stories include a graphic novel that Evie writes about a covert military assault team overseas, and the many generations of Walkers who previously guarded the Storeroom. All of these stories are connected in various ways, but they are so different in tone and style that any emotion or connection that I started to built with a specific character got lost as I got thrown from story to story.

I hate that I didn't like this book, but I really struggled with it on almost every level.
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