Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

Pages: 352
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.  Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood? Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future. "

Ellie Hudson is an experienced archer who is hoping to qualify for the Olympics. She is currently competing in Nottingham, England. While competing, she sees a strange man wearing all white walking around during her competition. This distracts her; thus, impacting her performance. Later on while exploring England, she sees him again and ends up following him into a cave.  Boom... she ends up in the Middle Ages.  Nottingham during the Middle Ages is in trouble for a variety of reasons; plus, the sheriff is on her tail. Will her archery skills get her out of this mess and can she make it back to her own time?  Kara Connolly's No Good Deed is a fun tale with a kick-butt heroine, but it's not without its issues.

I really liked the character of Ellie. She's everything I could want in strong heroine.  She was constantly escaping bad situations and to top it off, she is an incredible archer.  I love how she sort of assumes the role of Robin Hood in this modern retelling. In fact, if you are a fan of Robin Hood, you'll enjoy some of the familiar characters, like Prince John, Much, and Will Scarlet who also play a role in No Good Deed.

My issue with No Good Deed is the pacing. At times, it felt really uneven and while I love a time travel book, I really wasn't fully sold on how Ellie got into the Middle Ages. Connelly definitely needs to explain her time travel theory a bit more as it wasn't really believable. In fact, there were many events in No Good Deed that required too much supsension of disbelief.

Nonetheless, if you enjoy the mythology surrounding Robin Hood, give this book a try.  It's definitely fun to re-imagine Robin Hood as a strong female.

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