Starcrossed (novel)

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Starcrossed
Starcrossed Angelini.jpg
Author Josephine Angelini
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fantasy, Romance
Publisher HarperCollins
Published April 5, 2011 (Spain)
Published in English May 31, 2011
Media type Print (Hardcover)
E-book (Kindle)
Followed by Dreamless

Starcrossed is a young-adult fantasy romance novel by American author Josephine Angelini. The story follows a girl named Helen Hamilton, who is gradually revealed to be a modern-day version of Helen of Troy. After discovering her heritage, Helen learns that a union with the boy she loves may trigger a new Trojan War. The novel was followed by the sequels Dreamless and Goddess, and received praise from critics and fantasy authors amidst its release.

Overview[edit]

Starcrossed follows a seventeen-year old teenager named Helen Hamilton who lives in Nantucket. After having a series of mysterious dreams, along with hallucinations of three young girls who appear to be pained, Helen finds herself strongly romantically drawn to a teenage boy named Lucas. It is eventually revealed that Helen is a modern-day version of Helen of Troy, and that the women she sees are actually the Furies. Discovering that many of the people she has just met are actually Archetypes of Greek characters from the Trojan war that are reborn and reincarnated over and over again for unknown reasons. It is also discovered that a union between Lucas and Helen may initiate a new Trojan War. Amidst these revelations, Helen and Lucas seek a way to pursue their blossoming romance without endangering those around them.[1][2]

Publication[edit]

The book was acquired by HarperCollins in early 2010, with foreign deals following at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. The novel was eventually given release dates of April 5, 2011 in Spain, May 15, 2011 in Germany, and May 31, 2011 in the United States.[3] Prior to the novel's release, Angelini revealed that the first sequel of a planned trilogy would be entitled Dreamless.[4]

Main characters[edit]

Helen "Lennie" Hamilton—The main protagonist of the novel. Helen is oblivious to her family ancestry since her mother abandoned her as a child, she lives with her single father on an island in Nantucket. Her life was rather peaceful and normal until the Delos family comes to town. She has always had a crippling fear of attention and suffers from severe cramp-like symptoms any time she is the recipient of attention. Her known abilities include superhuman strength and speed, lightning control-and-manipulation, flying through the air, transforming her physical appearance via shapeshifting, and the ability to descend into the underworld. She gains other abilities in the last novel that are central to the plot and conclusion of the story.

Lucas Delos—The main romantic love interest, boyfriend, and dearly beloved of Helen, Lucas moves to town after his family disagrees with the practices of their extended relatives. He is the older brother of Cassandra and lives with his parents (Castor and Noel), his aunt (Pandora), his uncle (Pallas) and his three cousins (Hector, Jason and Ariadne). The known abilities he possesses are a hypnotically beautiful, melodious and angelic singing voice, physical fitness and features, superhuman strength, lie detection, superhuman speed, flying and lightbending.

Orion Evander- The secondary love interest and friend of Helen. He is introduced in the second novel when he is the only other living being that Helen meets in Hell. He has a very traumatic and lonely past, due to his families split allegiances. He is an only child and lives away from his parents and attends a boarding school away from the other characters. His known abilities are being able to sway the hearts of others, sense emotions, open one way portals, super strength and speed, cause earthquakes and being able to breathe underwater.

Hector Delos—The older cousin of Lucas and Cassandra and the older brother of Jason and Ariadne. Hector is the main reason the family moved, as he came close to killing a cousin he disagreed with. Known abilities include superhuman strength, superhuman speed, breathing underwater, water-based combative fighting and hugs really well.

Ariadne Delos—The younger sister of Hector and twin sister of Jason. Known powers include super strength, speed and the ability to heal others.

Jason Delos—The younger brother of Hector and twin brother of Ariadne. Known magical abilities include super strength, speed, the ability to heal others and breathing underwater.

Cassandra "Cassie" Delos—Cassandra is Lucas' younger sister and a prophet of Apollo. She is the Oracle and the fates speak through her. Known powers include foresight.

Creon Delos—The main antagonist of the first novel. Heir to his household and cousin to the Delos children. Known powers are super strength, healing and speed and shadow-bending.

Claire Aoki— Claire is Helens charismatic, vivacious Asian friend who is often at Helen's side throughout the trilogy. She is a human and has no Scion powers, yet knew something of Helens powers before Helen herself did, due to events when they were children. (Helen fell off a roof and 'floated' to the ground, she healed instantly after being stabbed with scissors and she broke a door off its hinges whilst knocking on it when she was young). She was also present for an event in Helens youth when a man - presumed to be a paedophile - made several advances at Helen. To which she unknowingly used her lightning as a defence, although Claire nor Helen remember the lightning, they both do vividly recall the smell of burning. Claire is very intelligent - with an almost extensive knowledge of Greek mythology and history - and hopes to be top of her class and go to Harvard University. She isimmediatley concerned when the Delos family arrives and she sees how intelligent the boys - particularly Lucas - are and the competition she now has for the top of the class title. Throughout the later novels she develops a relationship with Jason and becomes active in the fight against the Gods.

Minor characters[edit]

Matt Millis—A mortal childhood friend of Helen and Claire. He is sweet and Helen sees him as a brother-figure, even though it seems he would like to be more. Revealed to be a Greek archetype in the last novel.

Jerry Hamilton—Helen's father. He owns a convenience store where Helen occasionally works. In the first novel he is oblivious to his daughters abilities.

Kate—A baker who co-owns the convenience store with Jerry. She is Jerry's love-interest and a mother-figure to Helen.

Noel Delos—Cassandra and Lucas' mortal mother who takes care of the entire Delos family.

Castor Delos—Cassandra and Lucas' Scion father.

Pallas Delos— Castor's brother and Hector, Jason and Ariadne's father. He spends most of the first book keeping watch over the extended family across the sea. He bears contempt towards Helen because she looks like Daphne Atreus, the woman who presumably killed his brother, Ajax.

Pandora "Dora" Delos— Castor's sister and Lucas, Cassandra, Hector, Jason and Ariadne's aunt. She stuck up for Helen when Pallas expressed his disdain towards her. However, in spite of her kindness and optimism, she has a vicious nature that she shows only towards her enemies.

Daphne Atreus/Beth Smith— Helen's mother. She was thought to have killed Ajax, but it was later revealed that Ajax's killer was in fact Tantalus. She weaves many webs of plans and allegiances.

Release[edit]

Publicity[edit]

Publishers Weekly reported on the Starcrossed series in March 2010, announcing that HarperCollins had made a "major pre-Bologna [Book Fair] acquisition".[5] Coverage from Entertainment Weekly followed.[6] In early 2011, Angelini announced that Demi Goddesses, a German musical group, would produce an English-language song inspired by the novel called "Where Do I Belong?", as well as an accompanying music video.[7] Advance reader copies of Starcrossed were released for review by Book It Forward Tours.[8]

Reception[edit]

An early review from Booklist stated, "The riveting plot twists and turns as the myth’s destiny translates into present-day terrors, dreams, and hopelessness, and its execution is seamless."[9] Starcrossed has also received feedback from numerous fantasy authors. In an advance review, Lauren Kate gave particular praise to the romantic elements, and called the overall story "a gorgeous, haunting saga that completely swept me away."[1] Kiersten White described the novel as "a dizzying tale of action, drama, and romance with just the right twist of humor and tragedy."[1] Sophie Jordan lauded the novel as, "One of the most cinematic books I've ever read. Dramatic and intense! I can't tell you how many times I gasped while reading this book. Starcrossed plays out like a movie in your head."[1]

While discussing Helen, Sonja Bolle of the Los Angeles Times stated, "Hers is a road I'm eager to travel; the second book in this series, Dreamless, is slated for May 2012—not soon enough, as far as I'm concerned."[10] Kara Warner of MTV.com called the story "an empowering tale full of intrigue, mythology and self discovery".[11]

Film adaptation[edit]

In 2010, Publishers Weekly reported that a possible film adaptation of Starcrossed was being handled by Rachel Miller of Tom Sawyer Entertainment.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "About The Book: Starcrossed". HarperCollins. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Has the vampire trend made way for mythology?". bookpage.com. March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Starcrossed". josephineangelini.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ "About The Author: Josephine Angelini". HarperCollins. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Deahl, Rachel. "Harper Teen Pays Seven Figures For Debut YA Trilogy". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ Stazkiewicz, Keith (March 5, 2010). "Shelf Life". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Starcrossed song and music video". josephineangelini.com. February 28, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ "ARC Tour: Starcrossed". darkfaerietales.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ Bradburn, Frances (March 18, 2011). "Booklist Review". josephineangelini.com. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ Bolle, Sonja (May 29, 2011). "Word Play: Old myths and teen heroes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Warner, Kara (June 8, 2011). "Badass Supernatural Heroines Of YA: The Ultimate Girl Power List". MTV.com. Retrieved June 11, 2011.