Wednesday 22 April 2009

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner

Published by Dutton Children's Books an imprint of Penguin Group Canada

Ilana Newhouse is sick of weddings - or more specifically - the wedding between her sister Dyllin and her partner Ras. Okay, so Ilana can see why her sister would freak out at the freshly drawn skull that Ilana is sporting on her cheek but in all fairness, it's not like Ilana knew that it was a permanent marker! To get away from the wedding craziness and to silence her parents' non-stop speeches about responsibility and colleges, she looks for a summer job but no one seems interested in hiring her. That is until she finds a business card in Dyllin's room - a card for D. R. Temps. She is hired on the spot (well, after a little breaking and entering...) and is very eager to begin her new job. It doesn't take long for her to realize that this job is a little different and she is surprised to learn that she is temping for the fates. What follows is a comical look into the world of the many Greek Deities and more importantly, the many temps who help to keep the world running smoothly while the Gods and Goddesses are busy slacking off at the beach, dealing with their children’s hectic after school activity schedules, and so on.

I enjoyed this book a great deal. It was funny, dripping with sarcasm - always a winner with me -, and very creative in general. It was a great mix of adventure, love, and of course - the old battle between good and evil. Throw in a few Deities with frayed nerves and short fuses, along with a temp-gone-wild and you can just imagine the chaos that follows.

It was a quick, easy read and though I enjoyed it a great deal I couldn't help but feel like it got a little rushed towards the end. I think also that because I previously read Gods Behaving Badly - written by Marie Phillips and also based on Greek Deities in the modern world - and loved it, this book was always going to come off second best for me. That said, I think Temping Fate is the better choice for younger teens. I will definitely be exploring other works by Esther Friesner in the future.

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