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Discord's Apple Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (1 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076536459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765364593
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.4 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in California, but grew up all over the country, a bona fide Air Force Brat. I currently live in Colorado, with my miniature American Eskimo dog, Lily. I have a Masters in English Lit, love to travel, love movies, plays, music, just about anything, and am known to occasionally pick up a rapier.

I've never been a DJ, but I love writing about one.

Here's my website: www.carrievaughn.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Greek gods, faeries, Arthurian legends, the Trojan war, and the possible end of the world... all centering on a store-room in a small Colorado town. Carrie Vaughn shatters the urban fantasy mold in a BIG way. "Discord's Apple" is quite possibly her best book yet -- a brilliant, clever fantasy story that flips effortlessly through the centuries and across the world.

After finding out that her father is dying of cancer, Evie Walker returns to Hope Springs to care for him. Despite her best efforts, he doesn't seem to want to live. But she soon notices that weird things are happening -- a strange woman arrives and asks for a pair of glass slippers, and an old man requests a sword for "the lad." And then there's Alex, a strange immortal man who wants to die.

Just so you know, it's revealed pretty quickly that Alex was a friend of the legendary Odysseus who was enslaved and made immortal by the god Apollo. It's a pretty interesting backstory.

Evie soon realizes that the storeroom under her house is filled with mythical and magical items -- the golden fleece, the sword Excalibur, and quite a few other things. And unfortunately, the goddess Hera and her allies are determined to break into the Storeroom and take its power -- and if she succeeds, the world as we know it will end...

Carrie Vaughn has been around for some years with her werewolf-centric urban fantasies, and more recently with a book about dragons. But as far as I'm concerned, "Discord's Apple" is where she goes from being AN urban fantasy author to one of THE urban fantasy authors -- it takes her writing skills onto a whole new level.

Part of this is Vaughn's strong writing -- has a strong, smooth style with lots of vivid descriptions and some brilliant magical battles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C-B on 29 Mar. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a reader of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty the werewolf series (#1 Kitty and the midnight hour) I wasn't sure what to expect of a book that promised a modern tale alongside one from the Trojan war. But I *loved* it. All the characters, both mortal and other, came across as real. And the mix of the past fable story tying in with the present day really worked for me.
A gripping urban fantasy, although set in the remote US backlands! Well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lesley on 29 Oct. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
i have got all of Carrie Vaughans book.'nuff said.This is a slightly different tale to the others but none the worse for that.I enjoyed it.
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By Kristina D. on 3 Sept. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
bit weird, but ok.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 61 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Amazing story, complex and nuanced, literary yet fun 7 July 2010
By J. Campanella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have a hard time not writing simple plot summaries as reviews, but I feel like if I spoil even a single secret in this book I will be doing a disservice. It is epic in scope yet deceptively simple.

I can understand why Publisher's Weekly gave this book a Starred review. It is written in simple and clear language that lets the depth and complexity of the story sneak up on you. The nested timelines allow the story to reveal exactly as much background as you need to let the story progress without spoiling suspense. The scope of the story, from the bronze age to the ... see I almost let fly with a spoiler there ... is daring, dazzling, and perfectly crafted to make this an epic worthy of the poets of old.

I loved the characters, especially the ones I was clearly meant to hate. One character is the embodiment of pure chaos, and his wanton acts of love and destruction side by side made him the most delicious villain since the Joker, and I am only sorry he didn't get more "screen time." The Good Guys were really honestly good guys, and there was an optimism to them that made me set aside the cynicism that I usually reserve for such characters.

Overall this is an epic masterpiece. In my opinion, this is the authors most cinematic and picturesque work to date, and I hope that we get to see a dozen more like this.

...but no sequels. I hope this gets to live as a standalone. It's perfect as it is.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not just another Kitty novel - definitely! 7 July 2010
By Andro Berkovic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been following Carrie Vaughn's work since she started publishing the Kitty series and I can delightfully declare: Definitely not a Kitty book! To make this clear: I found the Kitty series well written and entertaining, but I do have something of a knee-jerk reaction to all the recent Vampire/Werewolf genre overload and associated crazes. This is, admittedly, a remark angled at some of previous comments which seek the lines of association to the author's already established book series where there are none to be found - or no reason to go looking for them.

I consider Discord's Apple to be Vaughn's most mature and most engaging piece of work to date - it is wonderfully multilayered and enagaging, and it did a magnificent job of pulling me straight into the depths of the tale. It may have something to do with the manner in which it builds upon the established "real world" mythos creatively but not presumptiously; she certainly does exhibit both in-depth familiarity with and respect for the mythologies she builds on. Or it may be the masterful breath of life in all of the characters that carry the story along so fluidly and naturally - though it's most likely the case of both. I found this book to be a real treat and, having read it once already, I find myself already re-reading it for the sheer fun of it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It didn't go far enough for me, as an adult fantasy novel 2 Aug. 2010
By Mrs. Baumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Plot Summary: Evie Walker is a comic book writer living in a Los Angeles we wouldn't recognize. Countries are at war, cities are ruled by militias, and Evie makes her living penning a military adventure comic series, until she gets a call from her father. She drives back home to Hope's Fort, Colorado and learns that he has a terminal disease. Furthermore, strangers keep knocking on her father's door with specific requests for items in his basement. The storeroom has always been off limits to Evie until now, and she learns that her family serves as custodians of magical objects. One man in particular, named Alex, seems to be stalking Evie and her father, but the real threat is a long-disposed queen who wants to sow chaos across the world.

If the heroine was a teenager instead of an adult, I probably would have liked this better. Discord's Apple would have made a perfect young adult novel, and that would help me out with this review, because this book didn't go far enough for this adult reader. Oh well, there's no point in griping about it, right? It's an ambitious story that tries to connect all of the magic, myths and legends since the beginning of time with a present that is on the verge of war. It's a cool concept, but it started to fall apart for me by the end, and worse, it became utterly predictable. That's a sin that's not easy for me to forgive.

I thought the structure of the story was well done, with the action shifting between three parties: Evie in the present, Alex in the past, and Evie's ancestors. It takes a good writer to pull that off, and Carrie Vaughn made it look easy. Unfortunately I don't feel like I got to know Evie, or see her evolve. She was surprisingly passive throughout the story, and I expect more from the lead in a fantasy novel. There was virtually no romance, and the bit that was included felt token and tacked on.

It's an interesting stand-alone, but nothing is going to stand-out in my memory.
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
a flat protagonist, a confusing world, and too many separate stories that failed to come together in a satisfying way. 6 July 2010
By AJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Plenty of Rape, Disjointed Storyline, Good Use of Mythic Legends 7 May 2011
By Judah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is an ambitious project that attempts to weave a greater narrative out of four distinct storylines. Some merge in the later book.

Big warning out there for heterosexual male readers -- Vaugn has male-on-male rape/domination as part of the novel plotline. It's not graphic sex, but has multiple scenes which cut off right before that point. The novel was not labeled to reflect this type of fiction. Those ancient Greeks deities enjoyed that sort of thing, but I, as a reader, don't. This is a prevalent flashback-story arc. One star.

Second story arc follows a comic book heroine (specifically Evie Walker's comic book artist's version of GI Jane) and it's boring. It's told, not shown. Vaugn was going for reflecting metaphors back at the main character here, and I got that. Still, felt like she was slamming me with 'oh look at how this reflects Evie's mood and the mood of her nation' every time I read part of the GI-Jane arc. Wish the editor would have taken it out -- one star.

Third story arc follows Evie Walker herself, and her conflict regarding the storeroom. Her father is dying, and she is inheriting the position of a mystical artifact keeper. The Goddess Hera wants the golden apple from the Trojan War, and is prepared to attack/negotiate/scheme it out. This arc was written very well, and if it was the only part of the novel, I'd give four stars plus. I especially enjoyed how Vaugn compared the legends of ancient Gods with legends of modern power brokers and terrorism. 'For The Greatest' indeed.

Fourth arc follows the historical progress of the Storeroom, how it came to be from the perspectives of character 'ancestors'. I did not find it engrossing, but if you enjoy reading short myths you might like it. Three stars.

Averaging my opinion of the arcs leaves me at 2.35 stars. Vaugn has one scene which weaves an entire social commentary of modern society contrasted with her version of legendary ancient greek armageddon, and it was truly excellent. She also had 40 pages that bored me, and 10 pages that disgusted me (I don't like sexual domination games). Because of those pages, I do not recommend the novel, as the 'ick' factor put me off enough that I put down 'Discord's Apple' for three weeks and almost left it unfinished. I think Vaugn is good writer, but this book was not for me.
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