Sunday, December 09, 2012

Killing with the Edge of the Moon

Killing with the Edge of the Moon
A. A. Attanasio
Fiction 160 pages
Prime Books. 2006

Would you go all the way to Hell just to get a date? Chet does, but not entirely willingly. He makes the trip partly due to a very convincing witch, but also because he has a crush on Flannery.

Long ago, Orpheus made a similar trip. However, when he tried it, things didn’t work out so well. Of course, the Otherworld isn’t exactly Hell, and Flannery, unlike Orpheus’s wife, Eurydice, isn’t exactly dead. But, the situation is similar, and if Chet isn’t able to work the Fetch, Flannery will be both dead and dragon food.

While Flannery dances with fairies in the Otherworld, her body lies in a hospital bed connected to life support equipment. For Flannery, the Otherworld is far more joyful than the one she has known all her life. But Arden, the fairy prince, hasn’t told her everything, and Flannery doesn’t know how much danger she’s in. Even if her witch grandmother, Nedra, is able to convince Chet to work the Fetch, Flannery and Chet will face great danger before their story is done.

The Orpheus myth is a prime example of what Joseph Campbell calls the hero’s journey. Chet’s hero journey is faithful to the mythic archetype, yet modern and unpredictable. Filled with reversals and surprises, Attanasio’s story pits the uncertainty of contemporary adolescence against the ageless themes of Celtic myth.

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