This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner
Published by Self-Published on August 9, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy
How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?
Seventeen year-old Hope Nicholas has spent her entire life on the run. But no one is chasing her. In fact, no one even knows she exists. With her mom, she’s traveled from town to town and school to school, barely staying long enough to meet anyone, let alone make friends. And she’ll have to keep it that way.
When her mother is brutally ripped away from her, Hope’s life shatters. Is this the fulfillment of Apollo’s curse, murder from the shadow monsters of the Underworld, or have the demigods finally found her? Orphaned and alone, Hope flees again, but this time there’s no one to teach her who to trust—or how to love.
Set in a universe where mythology is alive and well in the modern world, Curse of the Sphinx irresistibly blends action, suspense and romance. Curse of the Sphinx is the first book in the young-adult Sphinx saga.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
Note: As of June 2018 (when this post was edited for review index archiving), Curse of the Sphinx has been rereleased as Cursed by the Gods.
Compared to other books focusing on mythology, Curse of the Sphinx is different: Wagner tells the story from a monster’s point of view rather than a demigod. Hope Nicholas is a sphinx, and her family (females only?) is cursed to fall in love with no one but Apollo. Should she fall in love and have a complete family (marriage?) with someone other than Apollo, she will die.
Curse of the Sphinx is just a breath of fresh air in the myth world. I don’t know much about sphinxes and I really liked how Wagner decided to write her novel from the other end of the spectrum while keeping elements found in other mythology books in the book as well. Gods, demigods, and monsters are all involved just like many mythology books, but I’ve never read a book with a mythological monster as a main character.
As a sphinx, Hope is always on the run with her mother – the moment someone seems to be getting onto Hope or her mother, Hope is whisked away into a new life, and the author establishes this by keeping track of how many days since they last moved, how many days before the change, and so on. There’s really no time to settle down, make friends, or establish relationships, and it remains that way until Hope finds out her mother is murdered. With her mother torn violently away from her, Hope leaves and finds a remote town where her true identity isn’t likely to be discovered.
Hope’s new life is where I feel a little iffy about. Despite the fact Wagner keeps track of Hope’s life, I just ended up being really confused in some of the many transitions presented throughout the book. Curse of the Sphinx drags a lot, and it is especially noticeable in Hope’s new life with typical high school drama and petty revenge. She is constantly battling with her feelings and restraining from establishing relationships with others. Her attempts to restrain herself fails epically and Hope finds herself becoming fond of the small town she didn’t intend to stay long in.
The first book in the Sphinx series is a slow start, but Wagner brings on a fresh new take to the myth world with the potential to develop in future novels.