This post uses affiliate links and I may receive a small commission for purchases made through my links at no additional cost to you. Click here for more info.
”But nobody can beat fate – not even her. Nobody can outrun the wind.”
I feel like I have read a lot of fantasy this year that is along the lines of “King is not doing well, finds abandoned daughter(s) to save the kingdom” cliche, and sadly this wasn’t executed in a way that stands apart.
As a lover of mythology, I was really excited to be granted a review copy of Outrun the Wind and read a retelling of the Greek myth of Atalanta. For those that are familiar with the source myths, be prepared for this book’s departures and liberties from the source mythology. This is a retelling and the author makes changes to make it her own, so it is worth it to read the end acknowledgements. I prefer my retellings to be a bit more of a departure/re-imagining than changing some of the gods’ names.
Outrun the Wind is told in the dual-POV of Atalanta and Kahina, and I struggled to really engage with either perspective. As the reader I was thrust into what felt like the middle of action, with the characters thinking about things that I had no reference for, and I spent much of the first 17% rather confused. Because of the dual-POV, I also found the text repetitious at times when the scene would be rehashed from the other character’s perspective.
There is a f/f enemies-to-lovers romance, but unfortunately there didn’t seem to be enough devoted to the budding relationship between these characters to buy into the romance for me. One thing that is great about first person narration is learning about the character’s inner thoughts, and the tension that builds, but I feel like this was a missed opportunity here. The narrative largely fell into the pitfall of telling rather than showing.
I appreciated the underlying theme of strong women standing up for themselves in a society with strict gender expectations. Their actions are those of strong female characters, but after reading the book I am still at a loss for their inner motivations, feelings, and the growth that they experienced. This is definitely a plot driven tale, but one that I never really got fully sucked into.
Ultimately I was neither impressed or displeased with this debut fantasy. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more had I not been familiar with the source material, but ultimately I didn’t find the writing to be engaging and I struggled to be sucked in to the story. Just because this wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it isn’t for you: if you are looking for a fast-paced mythology read with f/f romance, this book may be for you!
Madalyn interviewed the author of Outrun the Wind, Elizabeth Tammi, over on her blog! I really enjoyed reading about Tammi’s experience writing and drawing her inspiration, and recommend giving it a read!
REPRESENTATION: LGBTQIAP+ (f/f romance)
CONTENT WARNINGS: sexism (challenged), implications of sexual assault
Many thanks to the publisher for providing me an electronic advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Quotations taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication. Outrun the Wind will be released on November 27, 2018.
You can find information about my rating criteria here.