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Discord's Apple

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When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope's Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse. In the same month, along with this all-new hardcover, Tor will publish a new novel in Carrie Vaughn's popular, New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series featuring werewolf talk radio host, Kitty Norville. Kitty Goes to War will be the eighth book in this successful mass market series.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 6, 2010

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About the author

Carrie Vaughn

270 books4,359 followers
Carrie Vaughn is the author more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories. She's best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. In 2018, she won the Philip K. Dick Award for Bannerless, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery. She's published over 20 novels and 100 short stories, two of which have been finalists for the Hugo Award. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.

An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado, where she collects hobbies.

Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com

For writing advice and essays, check out her Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/carrievaughn

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 483 reviews
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,144 reviews1,849 followers
November 16, 2016
This is one I'd call a "potentially good book". We've talked about it before, a good idea with poor execution.

Let me say here that these are my impressions and feelings about this book. Some may like it more than I but all I can do here is give you my take and recommendation....or lack thereof.

The book disappointed me. As I started it I liked the idea behind it and it started to draw me into the story. But, as I read the book slowly slid down "my own scale" from a 4 to a 3 and then a 2... by the end I really didn't care to finish it. It simply lost my interest. So, I'll discuss a couple of gripes below a spoiler warning, but if you want to get just my "in general take" and avoid any information about the book's story line here it is, disappointing and 2

*****Some Spoilers Below Line *****

Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
September 6, 2015
This is my 3rd Carrie Vaughn book, and although I liked it well enough, I don't know if I will continue with more of Vaughn's work. I really enjoyed After the Golden Age, which was the first book of hers that I'd read, but I wasn't a fan of her first Kitty Norville book, or this one. To be fair, I think this book was decent, but it needed a fair bit of polish.

This is something of an epic book. It's got a LOT of ideas, and a lot of history and mythology backing it, but the length of the book required that a lot of that wasn't fully fleshed out. We have a setting that is a kind of "what-if" alternate America, where China and Russia and the US are working towards a 3rd world war, and on top of that we have graphic novel script writer, Evie, whose father is sick and who comes home to care for him, and then on top of THAT we have a magical/mythological stew of a lot of really interesting things that just... fell a bit flat for me.

I would have liked this book much better, I think, if it had been about 100-150 pages longer. Give it a little more breathing room and let the story tell itself, rather than cutting corners and leaving the reader confused about the world you're creating. For instance, Evie's graphic novel series is steeped in current events, meaning that they have to keep up on events and work quickly to get out editions that are still relevant in a world she's created where these governments are poking sharpened sticks at each other to see who flinches first. But, aside from her writing partner calling her with updates, Evie pays no attention at all to the world around her, except to mention her small-town checkpoint stops. We get our world news through Bruce (the partner), and through the graphic novel that Evie is working on... though honestly, that route gives us more info about Evie's graphic novel's characters than anything else. Which is supposed to parallel Evie's situation, I guess, but just, again, feels rushed and unfinished. I would have preferred that time be spent on Evie coping with Evie's changing situation, rather than being spent on throwaway story-in-story character stand-ins.

Another issue that I had with this book is the way that it jumped around through time and history, as well as between character perpspectives. These side stories are critical to the main plot, so they had to be included, but I found myself wishing that they'd been handled better.

One set of side stories, which I'll call the Family Story, starts with recent history and moves further and further back through time, so that by the end of the story, you understand the tradition of this Storeroom and the family that protects it. These are italicized vignettes, and I actually would have liked them more if they were included differently. Perhaps as section intros, or something.

But the Greek/Troy sections bothered me even more, because they were not differentiated at all from the "main" modern day story. This was a book badly in need of chapter headings, or some sort of way of identifying that we're changing gears. THIS side story is just one character's story (as opposed to the Family Story being a vignette each focusing on a different heir, at different eras of time), and it flows from ancient history onward.

So to recap, we have 3 storylines:
1) Now.
2) Ancient history moving forward
3) Modern times jumping backwards.

In addition to that, the perspectives change. One minute we'll be reading Evie's perspective, and then Alex's, or Frank's, or Robin's. It's a lot to keep track of, which isn't as much a problem as it would seem, BUT it does lead to the feeling of things being missed and skipped in the narrative since it's so jumpy and all over the place.

Then there are the writing quirks that just stuck out to me like a sore thumb. For instance, every time someone was shocked or surprised by something, they "winced". I dunno about you, but I wince when I stub my toe, or when I hit my elbow on the corner of my desk, or if I give myself a paper cut, or in some other way superficially hurt myself, or if there's some sort of flying insect dive-bombing my face. If I'm shocked or surprised, I might gasp, or jump, or flinch or something. But every time I read that someone winced, it just seemed awkward and the wrong reaction to me.

Also, there was a dog that was distinctly undoglike. GAH! I am really beginning to hate when people include animals in fantasy, because it's never a realistic dog. It's always a human in furry form, a throwaway defender character who will die for the human if necessary... blah blah blah.

Also too, Arthur and Merlin were here. Because why not?

The story itself wasn't bad, but again I wanted more time for it to be fully and properly told. The ending especially felt incredibly rushed. We cut back to one side character and then there's a flash of light that we're supposed to interpret as a nuclear bomb, I guess, and then cut back to our main story. Then people step through a door and... arrive somewhere else... and time is supposed to have passed? And things were supposed to have happened? Some mail was sent? There was an apocalypse or something?

The whole plot of the book is to get the apple of Discord and sow fucking discord. But, it seems to me that discord has been sown already from page one of the book, and the apple wasn't really... necessary. Surely someone as powerful as our antagonist could manage to turn people against one another without going to all this trouble, couldn't she?

So, this leads me to the conclusion that the whole story is in fact just a romance with the rest of it written around it to provide the means of getting to the happy ever after. They had to walk through fire and gain the honor-bound promise and respect of the one person powerful enough to effect the desired result, and who was in a charitable mood because they'd gotten their way. *sigh*

I was less than impressed, on the whole. I wanted to like this a lot more than I ended up actually liking it. Story of my life, these days.

OH! I almost forgot the thing that pissed me off the most! Carrie Vaughn spoiled another book for me, completely out of the motherfucking blue. A book that had nothing at all to do with this book, or history, or mythology, or any of the characters or anything at all. It was just included because of a SETTING where Evie finds herself. So actually, for that, I'm one starring this book. I hate when authors do that.

Newsflash, Carrie Vaughn, just because something is a classic, doesn't mean that everyone's read it. What a shitty thing to do.

So, people, if you haven't read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and don't want to know what happens to the title character in a throwaway reference, skip this book.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
352 reviews9 followers
October 14, 2010
Evie Walker is a writer, a graphic novelist, living in L.A. in a world where militias run the cities of the U.S. and the world is on the brink of nuclear destruction. When she receives word that her dad, Frank, is sick, she climbs in her car and races off to Colorado to take care of her last surviving parent. Her mom was killed in a terrorist attack at the Pike Place Market in Seattle five years earlier and Evie is terrified of losing her dad.

Upon arriving at Franks's home, previously the home of her grandparents, Evie comes face to face with various strangers, each coming to the house to ask her father if he has "something" for them. And the really odd thing is, in most cases he does. Frank is the caretaker of the Storeroom, a place where magical items have been stored for centuries. The job has been passed from eldest child to eldest child for over three thousand years. And Evie is next in line for the job.

I wasn't sure how to classify this. It's sort of urban-fanatasy but it's based on mythology, magic, wizardry, politics, hell, even King Arthur shows up! All in all, a very creative and new take on fantasy and legend which I enjoyed thoroughly. Is this going to be a new series? I hope so.
Profile Image for Wealhtheow.
2,447 reviews548 followers
August 8, 2012
After her mother's murder, Evie Walker left her small hometown and began writing comics. Her stories about a US military ops team are very popular, particularly since they feed into the culture of paranoia and armament that the US has become in the wake of repeated terrorist attacks. But when her father is dying of cancer, Evie returns to the home she left, and finds it is far larger than she remembers. Because underneath her house lies the Storeroom, the repository of mythic items from all ages and places. From the Golden Fleece to Cinderella's slipper, it's all in a Midwestern cellar guarded by a dying old man. Now Evie is the Storeroom's keeper, and she must protect it from the greed of all manner of monsters, fairies and gods. Her only ally is Sinon, the Greek soldier who convinced the Trojans to open their gates to the horse. For his lies, he was cursed with eternal life. After generations spent wandering the earth, his only goal is death--but in the meantime, he's willing to help Evie.

This book has too many ideas, and doesn't expand on any of them for long enough. Evie and Sinon's love affair ramps up ludicrously swiftly. Most annoying of all, however, were the sections of Evie's comic book script. Characters tell her its brilliant, and she was awarded a medal for it, but the script itself is terrible. Not only is it clunky and obvious, but the script takes up a huge portion of the book that would be better served by getting more of Sinon's tale, or anecdotes about how other mythic items got into the Storeroom.

Discord's Apple is disorganized and unpolished, obviously a beginner's attempt at a book. But I'd rather read a book with a lot of poorly-executed ideas than a book of cliches, so I'm glad I read this one.
Profile Image for Jess.
441 reviews80 followers
February 21, 2016
When choosing books to read, I'm less picky about genre than I am about certain other criteria. First and foremost: good storytelling and originality. A lack of originality has all but turned me away completely from certain genres (high fantasy), and the presence of originality has made me love certain books in genres that run the risk of getting repetitive (post-apocalyptic fiction). It's rare indeed to find a book so incredibly original and so well told despite the fact that its whole premise literally draws from some of the most famous stories ever written. Discord's Apple, in short, was a fucking treat.

Missing from this book were all the cliches and rote beats of "this kind of story." And partly that was because the pacing was such that there was no time for that kind of trope-filled writing. The narrative weaves multiple timelines--the present day, the events in the comic book Evie is writing, what Evie's friend Bruce is currently experiencing in LA, Sinon's life immediately following the Trojan War, and the history of Evie's family, told backwards over the course of 3,000 years or so. The result is that there are no extraneous details. There just wasn't room for them. Every event on the page, every thought the characters have, is absolutely necessary to the story. This kind of tight, compact storytelling is a relief. The author wastes none of my time. She gives me the information I need to be mentally stimulated and entertained simultaneously without ever lapsing into boredom or predictability. Respect, Vaughn.

I also can't express how grateful I am at the lack of exposition. It isn't needed. The secret of the Storeroom, Evie's family, and the strange visitors that keep showing up at her father's house is part of the story. It's revealed organically as the plot unfolds. File this one under "unputdownable."

But I'm digressing from my central point of praise: originality. Odysseus, King Arthur, and the entire pantheon of Greek Gods are all characters in this book and yet it manages to avoid feeling hackneyed. Vaughn chooses a relatively minor character from the Trojan War story to be her secondary hero, and it works in a way that doesn't feel contrived or reminiscent. Her protagonist isn't some blushing young country girl overwhelmed by her love interest's manly worldliness. She's a fucking comic book writer living in LA who writes military fiction under her initials because she doesn't want to be judged by her male audience. That's real as shit. And even while being one of the few characters devoid of magical powers, she manages to maintain her agency, her brains, and her compassion through the whole book. Arthur might have been magnetically lovable and charming and attractive, a born leader of mythical proportions, but Evie was someone I wanted to watch Netflix and chill with. I wanted to go to Comic-Con with Evie and drink a couple beers with her while talking about how great Deadpool was.

And can we please talk about the setting for a hot sec? This was published in 2010, but Vaughn's vision of a martial-law-ruled, terrorism-filled world led by demagoguery and fear was... uncanny. It felt foreign and surreal even as it was unpleasantly familiar.

While this is a standalone novel (a startlingly rare breed in genre fiction these days), it's definitely the kind of book that makes me want to go out and read the rest of the author's work post-haste.
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
580 reviews219 followers
August 5, 2015
A compelling story with some interesting twists, told in the light-hearted manner of Carrie Vaughn as she also does with her Kitty Norville series.

That said, I enjoyed it. She had some great ideas in this book and it was a quick paced read. I just felt it could have been much more epic. The ideas would have worked in a larger scale and done so nicely. This was a good taste of what that could have been like, and it was worth reading.

I found myself thinking of American Gods often, and The Passage on occasion. Just in a much lighter vein. To me, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the author could write, if she ever set in mind a goal of writing a big fantasy doorstop.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,213 followers
August 5, 2010
This is my first time reading one of Carrie Vaughn's books, and it wasn't a bad start either. It wasn't what I expected, but then, I didn't know what to expect so I was bound to be surprised.

Evie Walker leaves the city - which, like all the other cities in America, has been divvied up by local militias who have started fighting each other instead of terrorists - to go home to her family's house in the country, to be with her dad who's dying of cancer. From the moment she arrives, she detects something odd about the place - or, rather, something odd about the random people who appear at the door, asking for something or other from the basement.

All her life, Evie has never stepped foot in the basement. Off-limits when she was a child, she now learns that the basement has a storeroom where all the magical and mythical artefacts of the world have slowly piled up over the years - and her family are the guardians. Now, with her father dying, knowledge is beginning to pass down to Evie, and the storeroom seems to speak to her, or at least, to her gut instinct.

So when a beautiful woman knocks on the door wanting something from the basement, Evie tells her there is nothing for her there. But this woman is no mortal woman: she is Hera, a Goddess and once wife to Zeus, and the object she seeks is Discord's Apple, a magical golden apple that has the potential to sow chaos and destroy the world. And Hera isn't about to let Evie get in her way.

There was plenty to enjoy in this short, deft novel: the premise, for one, and the execution, for another. If you heard that this is a novel about fairy tale and warring gods and magical attacks, you probably wouldn't be all that impressed. You may even roll your eyes. But even though Vaughn writes like a pulp writer - with her background in Urban Fantasy, which is often just one step sideways from Romance with the lower standard of writing inherent in that dismissive statement, this is hardly surprising. But she writes with cheerful confidence, knows exactly where she's going with the plot, and doesn't have the kind of authorial ticks commonly found in Romance and Urban Fantasy that drive me crazy.

Before I get ahead of myself, though, I have to mention the other side of the plot. One of the unsavoury characters hanging around her dad's house is Alex, whose story is quite interesting as it is revealed, alternating chapters with Evie's in the present. Alex was once Sinon, the Greek who tricked the city of Troy into opening it's gates and letting the giant wooden horse in. Yes we're all familiar with that story. How he comes to be stranded in modern times - or slightly in the future, as the case may be with Discord's Apple - I'll leave that for you to find out. It wouldn't really be spoiling things if I told you, but I don't want to overdo it.

It does present some variety to the structure and pacing of the story, though. There aren't really any surprises in Sinon/Alex's story, but since the present-ish-day side of the story is told only from Evie's perspective, it gives us a chance to get to know Alex, understand him, and care about him. I really liked him a lot, the most of all the characters.

I do wish for more detail in genre fiction (Fantasy comes in the detailed form, but the other genres, not so much), but it was easy to get swept up in the telling. Perhaps it's because I've been reading similar books in the space of the last couple of weeks, but the apocalyptic edge was very noticeable. This is one of the things I love about genre fiction, how it can take current events and play out a hypothesis, or follow the path of our fears (either collective or individual) to an imminent conclusion. Here, Vaughn takes the current climate prevalent not just in the US but globally, exaggerates it only a little, and follows through - leading to a situation where global war is imminent and countries are doing deals with each other.

While the "real life" situation is downplayed in the story, Evie's career as the writer of a comic book series called Eagle Eyes Commandos allows for it to be fleshed-out: her comic book characters and stories reflect current events and play out scenarios - just as Fantasy and Science Fiction and other genres do. So the story-within-the-story adds another layer, and in the end we actually have four interwoven stories in Discord's Apple: Evie's, Sinon's, the Eagle Eyes Commandos, and the snippets going backwards in history that detail the passing down of the storeroom in Evie's family. Without these extra layers, the main storyline would have been flat and unoriginal, and it would have been harder to invest in the characters.

There were a few points where the story lagged a touch, but it soon rallied. Hera was no megalomaniac villain, and there was plenty of humour in the story - especially with a sprite named Robin around, who we remember more familiarly as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The story of Troy and Odysseus made me want to try reading The Odyssey again (I didn't get far with it in First Year Ancient Civs, I confess). I balked a bit at Arthur and Merlin, but actually the hint of cheese made it quite palatable ;) Vaughn obviously loves mythology, the classics and fairy tales and she's clearly well-read.

Overall, while this was an easy, even light read in terms of writing style, the story itself is fun, entertaining, well-written and did give me a little something to chew on.
Profile Image for Stephen.
29 reviews2 followers
November 16, 2011
Discord's Apple is a solidly written book. The protagonist is well characterized and has an interesting background. I found the near-future sliding-into-chaos setting very interesting. The storeroom which is central to the book's plot is also a nice idea and worth writing about.

Despite all of that, the book didn't seem to come together quite right. I never found myself drawn into the story; the events of the book felt more like a play than an accounting of real events in another time/place. Most problematically, the story ended up feeling small. I'm not sure quite why - the setting is large, the events epic - but the emotional resonance of the story didn't match the scale of the events for me.

All in all, I would say that this book is good, but not great. It would never top any of my lists of recommended books, but it was a short read and I enjoyed the time I spent reading it.
Profile Image for Crystal.
157 reviews1 follower
July 13, 2010
I won this book through First Reads and couldn't wait to read it. I actually finished it awhile ago but have been struggling with the review. I have read Carrie Vaughn's work before and overall I like her storytelling. This novel was very different than her Kitty series-very different.

This novel is in a dystopian setting. The whole world is on the brink of war. America itself has seen so much terrorism that regional militias have been created and they sometimes war with eachother. You must have ID with you at all times and security checkpoints are set up all over the place. People carry gas masks with them-the world is very different than the one we know. The main character, Evie is an author for a military graphic novel series and she is leaving her California home to nurse her dying father in Colorado. When she gets there she finds out that he has an unusual inheritance for her-it's a magical storeroom that contains all types of historical magic objects such as Excalibur and the famed glass slipers. The storeroom's guardian intrinsically knows everything that is in the storeroom, what it does and whom it belongs to. So when someone comes looking for an item, they know whether to release it or not.

Hera, the once mighty Greek goddess survived the destruction of the other Greek gods and seeks to re-make civilization and to return herself to godhood. In order to do that she needs something in the storeroom-Discord's Apple, the golden apple inscribed with the words "For the Fairest" which was the true cause of the Trojan War. However, Aphrodite was the true owner of the apple-so Evie can't give it to her. Hera is not about to take no for an answer, and Evie must accept help from a mysterious man Alex, Merlin and Arthur(yes,the sword in the stone Arthur and Merlin)

Here's the thing-I couldn't like this book no matter how much I tried. It was very depressing, the overall feel to the book was dark and depressing with not much to counterbalance it. There were way too many storylines going on and it just got way to confusing-quite honestly I felt that the only character that didn't feel one dimensional was Sinon the Greek-even Evie the main character didn't feel real to me. There was supposed to be a romantic theme between Evie and Alex/Sinon quite honestly I felt that the relationship between Sinon and Apollo was illustrated more clearly and evocatively than the one with Evie. I couldn't understand the relationship between Evie and her father-they felt like strangers instead of a father and daughter struggling with terminal illness. The ending I didn't care for at all it felt rushed and anti-climactic. Overall I think she had a great idea but maybe trying to tell a story that large in under 300 pages is impossible.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews617 followers
July 6, 2010
Review courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com

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. Carrie Vaughn is a good writer, but I think she tried to do too much in DISCORD'S APPLE. If she'd focused on the main story more, I might have responded to the character of Evie, but I can't even really describe her because I feel like she was only ever superficially represented. I unfortunately, can't recommend this book.

Sexual Content: (most of this is part of the sexual exports of the gods) References to rape including the description of a girl post assault. A man is tied up and raped by another man (not described). A man attempts to rape a woman. A brief heterosexual sex scene. A non graphic homosexual sex scene. References to sexual slavery.
Profile Image for Christine.
6,673 reviews489 followers
May 4, 2011
Good idea, but it just doesn't work.

I like Carrie Vaughn, but I don't like this book. At times, this book is trying to weave together too many plot threads - immortals, gods, Arthur, Troy, end-of-the-world, comic books, and a secret room. It's just too much and nothing really seems to gel. The characters are shadows. Even the comic book plot, which is supposed to stand in for Evie's development and be homage to an old sci-fi show from the 1980s. (Honestly, it wasn't that bad of a show, but Jessica Steen's best sci-fi show was Earth 2) - though it was nice to see homage to the show, even if it made the comic book plot too predictable.

I have to give Vaughn credit for trying to branch out, but I must ask, what is wrong with writing funny with serious mixed in? This is what makes the Kitty books so fun, and there is nothing wrong with that. This book is all serious, but it doesn't work because there is waaay too much going on. It almost seemed like Vaughn wants to write a "grown up" fantasy book, but that is what the Kitty books are. You can do funny and be taken seriously (think Terry Pratchett). Serious is fine, but serious is not mixing too much, too quickly.
Profile Image for Heather T.
1,026 reviews52 followers
July 22, 2010
Discord's Apple uses the story of Troy as a basses for a modern day tale. As the magic of old leaves the world artifacts from the gods and heroes end up in one place, a storeroom that is watched over by the same family throughout the centuries. The story brings in bits from different fairy tales, but the overall focus is on the Greek Pantheon and Hera's quest to finally gain possession of the apple of discord, despite the fact that it does not belong to her. Evie must protect the storeroom with the help of a few great characters from the past. It made me want to reread The Iliad.
Profile Image for Benjamin Thomas.
1,966 reviews282 followers
May 2, 2020
This stand-alone novel combines a lot of intriguing ideas, many of which cater to my own areas of interest. Mythology, magical relics such as Excalibur, glass slippers, magic carpets, and of course, Discord's Apple, as well as the keepers of those relics. The main characters interact with fictional beings like Zeus, Hera, Apollo, King Arthur, Merlin, etc. The primary story line is interlaced with sequences from history (Trojan War), vignettes from an ongoing comic book being written as well as real world global political conflict in the form of an increasingly threatening nuclear war. It's a lot to absorb but it fit together well for the most part and the author makes it work. Clearly, she poured a lot of passion into this project.

The first three-fourths of the book really sucked me in. Lots of thought-provoking ideas here. Unfortunately, the finish sort of petered out towards a vague and ultimately disappointing ending. I feel like the author was taking a bit of a chance with this one, something I always applaud with authors. Her writing skills are clearly evident and while there is much to appreciate here, I recommend readers new to Carrie Vaughn's work, look to her other stuff before reading this one.
Profile Image for Casey.
103 reviews30 followers
October 14, 2022
1.5 This book had so many cool ideas jammed into it that it failed to deliver on a single one of them. Had there been any two of the concepts, I think this could have worked. But as it stands, none of the pieces worked well together and it felt disjointed and underdeveloped
Profile Image for Giovanni Gelati.
Author 32 books883 followers
August 12, 2010
I really don’t think Vaughn left much out of this novel. I felt a bit overwhelmed as I have not read her work and didn’t know what to expect, and by overwhelmed I mean it in a good way. The story goes all the way back to the time that gods were formed and ruled the Earth to present day. How does she carry that off you may ask, she does very well, thankfully.
Here is what the inside jacket of the book has to say: “When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope Fort, Colorado, is not just the legacy she will inherit. Hidden behind the basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legends are kept safe until they are needed again. Of course, this legacy is not without its cost: there are those who will give anything to find a way in.”
I really enjoyed the read. It had surprises galore and was fun to try to follow and figure out where she was going next with it. The plotline was fun, the subplots were many and not distractions. Carrie Vaughn brought it all together in the end in a very cohesive way. I totally enjoyed the paranormal; sci-fi theme running throughout the novel. Not to give anything away, but these were the elements she had in here novel: Homeland Security, King Arthur, Merlin, Zeus and his group of Greek gods, Russia, China, comic books, werewolves, Jesus Christ and a dirt basement. Sounds like your normal fun and frolic. I for one totally enjoy it.
Discord’s Apple has an amazing range of emotion in it. There is plenty of action and adventure, humor, fantasy, mystery, and magic for anyone’s tastes. I think I forgot to put romance in there also, more than what I had anticipated, but I don’t add that in a bad way. What else can you expect during an impending worldwide nuclear war? I think I may have covered all the bases, at least Carrie Vaughn did. I don’t hesitate to say to put this in your Goodreads or Shelfari –to read- lists, why not both?
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Profile Image for Justin.
79 reviews29 followers
July 28, 2010
Evie Walker is a comic book writer who is to inherit a magical storeroom from her terminally ill father. Unbeknownst to her, it has been the duty of her family for thousands of years to keep this storeroom safe. The storeroom contains artifacts from myth and legend, such as the Golden Fleece, Cinderella’s slippers, and of course Discord’s apple. Not only is Evie about to inherit these objects of legend, but she is also about to inherit the attention of powerful beings that would love to obtain them.

Discord’s Apple is a straightforward tale featuring the classic themes of love, friendship and sacrifice, played out by classic characters drawn from sources ranging from the Greek mythos to Arthurian legend. When I first read the back cover I was expecting to find worn-out clichés within. I figured there would be timeless true love, sacrificing heroics, and predictability of the kind one might expect of a story that contains several legendary heroes. I was sort of right — I did indeed get everything I expected — but the classic tropes were employed in a refreshing and unexpected way.

Carrie Vaughn breaks up the narrative into multiple storylines. In addition to Evie’s plot arc, there is a plotline following Tracker, a comic book character created by Evie. Tracker is everything Evie never could be, and Evie lives vicariously through her adventures. A third strand focuses on Sinon of Ithaca, or Sinon the Liar, the man who convinced King Priam to bring the Trojan horse within the walls of Troy. Sinon is a legendary character who has not had much face time in modern fiction, and it’s fun to see Carrie Vaughn’s portrayal of him.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Discord’s Apple. Carrie Vaughn is a talented writer and she did very well in her first adult foray outside of the KITTY NORVILLE series. I must emphasize that Discord’s Apple is very much an adult novel. There is nothing overly graphic in the novel, but the sexual themes might prove unsuitable for younger readers.

I listened to this on audio CD produced by Brilliance Audio. The story is read to us by Angela Dawe and Luke Daniels. The majority of the story is told from Evie’s perspective, and Dawe’s smooth youthful voice is perfect for her. Daniels, who voices Sinon, is also excellent. I enjoyed listening to this a great deal, and highly recommend the audio version.

Profile Image for Kelley Anne.
135 reviews50 followers
July 11, 2010
Just won this in the first-reads giveaway! I have been a fan of Carrie Vaughn's for a while, so I'm looking forward to this!

Carrie Vaughn never fails to intrigue me with her ideas. I am a great fan of hers. First she added a fun new twist to the standard werewolf novel with her Kitty series. Then she broke into the Young Adult scene with a great novel involving dragons. The first book that I had ever read about dragons! And now she has hit it out of the park with Discord's Apple. I don't think that I will ever be able to look at an old storage room in quite the same way again!

I loved the world building that was done throughout this novel. It takes place in an alternate/postapocalyptic modern day. Evie Walker has come home to the small town to spend time with her father who is dying of cancer. He's the only family that she has left, and will inherit the house where her grandparents, and now her father have lived. The last thing that Evie expects when she comes home is to be drawn into a world and conflict that she's never imagines were real. In the basement of this old house is a Storeroom that contains items of great historical and magical importance, from glass slippers and crowns to King Arthur's sword. The items are kept safely there until they are needed again. But what if someone tries to get their hands on something that they shouldn't possess?

Vaughn hit on a great recipe for a phenominal novel. Main characters that you can identify with and want to cheer for, action that grabs hold and keeps on holding, a villian that you love to hate, all mixed in with so much mythology, legends and myth. There were several references that I had to look up to fully understand, and I'm sure that there are many others that I didn't even notice. I picked it up planning on taking several days to read, and instead couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. Very enjoyable! I recommend it to anyone that loves fantasy, greek mythology and action.

I don't like to write reviews with spoilers, so I wont say anything about the ending other than the fact that I am still really pondering that ending. I'm not sure if Vaughn is planning on writting additional books or if this book will end up being a stand alone novel. Either way, I think that the ending will be on my mind for a while!
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 5 books41 followers
May 27, 2017
Impressive. Cinematic (in the good sense of the word). Emotionally effective. Tragic, heroic, bittersweet.
Very interesting structure, alternating the present-day scenario with Sinon/Alex’s backstory and the snapshots of previous keepers of the Storeroom, along with the inclusion of parts of the storyline Evie’s writing for Eagle Eye Commandos.
Sinon/Alex was very sympathetic; I liked him a lot. I liked Evie, too, and could relate to her on a couple of levels.
Merlin and Arthur were delightful. All the featured characters were pretty vivid, actually--a good cast. Hera was, while not without a certain amount of justification, eeeevil--though a little surprising in the end.
Definitely an absorbing read!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,499 reviews28 followers
August 20, 2019
As usual, I am awed by Carrie Vaughn's imagination and writing skills. This is a gem of a book. It's set in a near future where conditions are getting worse. Evie, a comics artist, returns to her small hometown to help her dying father. Turns out she's next in line to be guardian of a repository of supernatural items. Guess what: Greek mythology is all true, along with various other mythologies/stories, and some major players have their own agendas. Vaughn pulls it all together neatly. Evie's story is told chronologically, but the story of her family's dedication to the storeroom and the story of the second main character, a thousands-year-old Greek, are told in flashbacks, so we know both the beginning and end of the story abut the same time. Neat trick, and done well. There's also a nice subplot of a story Evie is writing for her comic.

The book was a very quick read. I would say it could be a YA book, but it includes a lot of more mature material, and none of the characters are all that young.
Profile Image for Elsbeth.
Author 1 book3 followers
September 1, 2017
I bought this book when it came out and proceeded to let it collect dust because I was going through a personal reading-list rut. Thank goodness I came out of it a while back and read Carrie's Martians Abroad and Golden Age #1 & 2.

There's so much going on in this book, and it is so well-executed that I'm surprised at some of the lower ratings it received. Obvs, some folks don't know how to read.

The part I love the most, tho, is the ending. So perfect, so full of future possibilities.

Well done, CV. Now to dig up a copy of Bannerless.
251 reviews
March 28, 2022
This was a delightful romp with so much love for mythology. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Profile Image for Dawn Livingston.
750 reviews39 followers
September 9, 2019
I liked the concept but... I lost interest as I went along. The machinations of Greek gods and goddesses was a turn off, didn't interest me. The jumping around was disorienting. And I couldn't connect to the heroine, she wasn't appealing or three dimensional.

Worth reading just to see if you like it and for the concept that had such potential.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rosa.
1,831 reviews14 followers
January 7, 2011
This book brought together several genres that I didn't necessarily think would come together nicely. The world is ending, every country is at war with each other but Evie is more concerned with going home to see her father who is dying. Once she arrives she starts learning about the store room in her father's house. It's filled with magical items from every world mythology and fairy tale. It is now Evie's turn to become the caretaker. Meanwhile Hera is trying to take advantage and get Discord's apple so that she can use the world's strife to make the world the way she wants it. Weaved into this story there are short tales of how Evie's family acquired some of the items in the store room and Alex's story. Alex has been alive since the Trojan war and the reader learns how he became immortal and what his time was like after the war. There is also another story being told. Evie is a graphic novel writer and you also get the story that she is writing about a military team.

All of the stories, including the stories within the stories are beautifully written. Normally I'm not a big fan of the story within a story because it can be difficult to keep them straight but it was always very clear which story was being told. The world building in this book is wonderful and I really loved all of the characters. I felt invested in how things were going to end with them. My favorite character was probably Alex, at first his story annoyed me because I wanted to know what was going on with Evie. However as she got more and more wrapped up in her sadness and panic about dealing with the store room his story became the more interesting one. I was especially intrigued by his meeting with Oddyseus after forty years. I also liked the fact that Alex was tied to the storerooms beginnings, and I liked how parts of the end were tied to Evie's graphic novel and the beginning of the Trojan war (won't explain how cause that would be a big spoiler).

The part where the world actually ends is skipped. I appreciated that because it would have made the book drag on too long, but I kind of wonder if it would be interesting to learn how Hera was able to reshape the world with the apple. I think it might have been a good topic for another book, except then Hera would have to be the heroine and I'm not sure that she is likable enough to be a main character.
683 reviews24 followers
February 14, 2014
I received Discord’s Apple as a late birthday present from a friend last year, which brings me to two points. 1) As you read this review, keep in mind that I am biased because this is not a book I would normally read. 2) For whatever reason, when I receive books as birthday presents from friends, they always end up being late birthday presents. This last point is nothing but trivia, however, keep in mind that I never would have read this book unless it was a gift.

Discord’s Apple is a very fast-paced book, a bit too fast for my liking, to be truthful. To me, it seems like Carrie Vaughn sacrificed natural character development for a fast plot. Sinon is a well-developed character, but Evie Walker, the novel’s protagonist, doesn’t seem real enough to me. She falls in love with Sinon very suddenly and accepts that she and her father are the guardians of a magical storeroom quite readily.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t exactly accept that Hera was after the legendary apple of Discord very quickly, especially if it was a complete stranger telling me that the apple in question was sitting in my basement. My general feeling about the characters is that Carrie Vaughn spent far too much page time on Sinon’s backstory and neglected Evie, who had great potential as a protagonist.

Aside from the characters, I didn’t really mind Discord’s Apple. It has a very interesting premise and Carrie Vaughn’s writing style is very clear and direct; she does not ramble on for pages about how exotic the landscapes are or how handsome Evie’s love interest is. The ending was very satisfying in my opinion because I love symmetry. The ending really does bring the story full circle, so that probably coloured my perception of the book as well.

So if you don’t mind a slightly unbelievable protagonist, but a decently written book with an intriguing premise, I would recommend Discord’s Apple to you.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars for Goodreads rating purposes.
Profile Image for elizabeth • paper ghosts.
547 reviews58 followers
October 19, 2011
First and foremost: amazing concept. Totally original, and I'm surprised I haven't seen another book with it already. It's genius! I was really excited to get the ARC from goodreads.

A very fast read for me - two days total, though I probably could have whipped through it in a day if I hadn't had to go to work. It's an easy read, and I love the alternating chapters. I was a little confused within the first couple of chapters, but once I figured out the pattern, it was incredibly enjoyable.

I think my only complaints would be lack of length. This could have been a really long epic, and at times it just felt really rushed. I didn't really feel connected to many of the characters - mostly because I didn't feel like I had enough time with them and their personalities weren't developed enough. There was also a lot of repetitiveness in the description of the items in the Storeroom. I got frustrated with the same items being used over and over and over again. Like the golden fleece, or Hermes's sandals. I really would have liked a little more variety in those areas, and definitely some items from more varied cultures. I mean, it's a Storeroom full of the most magical items in the world, and all I know that's in there is some sandals, a golden fleece, and Cinderella's slippers? What about items from Indian culture, or Egyptian, or Asian? Variety is the spice of life, after all.

But, really, all I can hope for is a sequel sometime. I felt like there's a lot more to the Storeroom than we were given in "Discord's Apple". There's a lot of potential in the concept, and I'd love to see it fully explored. And maybe explore something other than Greek mythology. If it wasn't for the amazing concept of the Storeroom, I'd give this three stars. Because of it, I'm giving it four.

*I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads giveaway!*
Profile Image for Merrie Haskell.
Author 16 books297 followers
June 19, 2011
I really enjoyed this, in spite of a) having an extremely serious misconception as to what this book was about (I thought it was a YA retelling of Troy! I hear some people read the backs of books, and I guess this is why! *tongue firmly in cheek*) and b) not usually being a huge fan of this kind of book, "this kind" meaning where old gods turn up in the modern world and start creating havoc.

The gist of the story is that Evie is the heir to the Storeroom, where all the magical artifacts of myth and legend have been kept to allow humans to shape their own destinies. The simple premise is that Hera has returned, and she wants the golden apple that sparked the Trojan war. Sinon, a survivor of the Trojan war who was enslaved by Apollo and granted immortality (or perhaps "punished with"), shows up looking for something to end his life. And Merlin shows up, looking for Excalibur.

Normally, this would have been a dealbreaker for me, but everything was extremely well-executed. The characterization of Sinon was a great help, and got me interested in the whole story when I might otherwise have dropped off; and the novel take on gods (people who just happen to have a lot of magic) was also good. It is so rare that a book grabs me by the throat and drags me through the whole book that I appreciate that quality almost above all others, at this point; and the narrative here was highly compelling. The great reveal towards the end (that the keepers of the Storeroom are the descendants of Odysseus) was nicely underplayed, to my satisfaction. It was refreshing to have defined, limited magics, a main character who was interesting but not "urban fantasy kick-ass," strong family relationships that were neither empty and painful nor maudlin/saccharine, and world-weary characters who are simply world-weary, not uselessly jaded and cynical.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Liv.
596 reviews23 followers
April 24, 2011
I hate to say this but I was actually disappointed with this book. While I generally adore Carrie Vaughn's works (in particular the Kitty Norville series), I just couldn't seem to get myself bought into the idea offered by this book.

The book was largely based on mythologies, and if you are a lover of Greek myths and Olympian gods, you may find this book fascinating to some extent. I actually thought that Carrie Vaughn may have started with a great idea, in venturing into a different paranormal realm of things, writing something about gods and their magic etc. However, I thought this book failed short of expectations, and largely, was due to poor plot building and storytelling.

The book often jumped from one place to another - while at one moment we'd be seeing the female protagonist Evie, and then next we'd be seeing something about Sinon and his participation at the Trojan War, and then the POV would switch again we'd see something history-telling from Evie's family past, and then next we'd be reading from the POV of Hera, and sometimes we'd read into Evie's comic book writing... In the beginning I got so confused with where this was all going and it took me sometime to get adjusted to this constant shifting POV. Also, I think too much time was spent in telling the background and how everybody landed at where they were, and when the "final" conflict came, it kind of went kaboom - and then... done?!?!! Well, I certainly couldn't say this was a great book, but it wasn't bad either - I could see that the author had an interesting idea going... It was just executed poorly.
Profile Image for Carolyn F..
3,423 reviews51 followers
April 20, 2012
Audiobook. Narrator did a really good job but the book itself, I didn't really care for. I have read so many "true" origins of the mythological gods and goddesses that I get bored as soon as you say Zeus or whoever. I'll stick with what Sherrilyn Kenyon says and everything else I'll just let my mind wander when their true faces come out. In this book the gods/goddesses and even Jesus are all just powerful magicians who made themselves worshiped but were ultimately killed by daddy Zeus when he sacrificed his own life to kill off most of them or in Jesus' case the Romans. So that's the problem for her heroine and hero, a few survived including Hera.

The family of Odysseus have been made the keepers of magical items and Hera wants the Apple of Discord. So she gathers some baddies and they come after the family. On the good side is Merlin and Arthur - yes I know, another two names I am so tired of reading about. Also on the good side is Alex who was instrumental in the taking of Troy for which he was enslaved and made to never die.

The world is a bizarro version of our world where there are road blocks for every city and town, terrorists are everywhere, Homeland Security - I don't even know what they have morphed into. Also the heroine is a comic book writer that is trying to keep up with who are the US's allies and foes. It got to the point where the comic book story was more interesting.

I could go on and on about what I did not like about the book and can come up with only two things I liked - the narration and the comic book story in a story. That's it. I'd pass this book unless you can't get enough of Greek mythology.
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