Despite the publisher’s claim that this trilogy is for children ages 9-12, readers discover in short order that its content is inappropriate for middle school students. The writers (a mother and son team under the pen name of Tobias Druitt) have attempted to write their own version of several Greek myths. Unlike the stories of Ancient Greece, however, the Greek heroes are the villains of this series, and the monsters they slay are the victims. The authors try to incorporate as many stories from mythology as possible. As a result, the plot is quite complicated and would probably confuse younger readers.

Corydon is the son of Hera and of Pan, and is himself a monster: a boy with one human leg and one goat’s leg. He begins the series living in exile, but is eventually befriended by nearly every monster of ancient mythology. The monsters join forces to fight the Olympic gods, who use both men and monsters in their selfish games. In this respect, the depiction of the gods/goddesses is quite accurate. Unfortunately, it includes constant references to Zeus’ amorous exploits, as well as a detailed description of Medusa’s loss of virginity and ensuing labor as she bares Poseidon’s son. Greeks such as Perseus and Jason are portrayed as self-serving and greedy, but the monster protagonists do not behave as heroes either. They are unabashedly self-absorbed and spend most of their time psycho-analyzing themselves without ever examining their own conscience or motives. Their obsessions with their own idiosyncrasies quickly become tedious. Corydon alone seems to want to do what is right, but eventually allows himself to be carried away by revenge and only finds peace in death. There is a clear “anti-organized religion” message at the end of the series as well as an overall condemnation of normalcy and beauty.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...