From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–In highly irreverent fashion, Deary retells the myth of Prometheus as a time-travel adventure. After enduring 200 years of punishment for stealing fire from the gods, Prometheus has managed to kill the Avenging Fury. Before he can escape, however, Zeus issues a challenge: find one true hero. Prometheus travels into the future, with the resurrected Fury in pursuit, and arrives in a murky factory town in 1858. He falls in with a pair of itinerant thieves: a young orphan and his Uncle Edward. They gain admittance to wealthy homes, and while Uncle Edward stages a theatrical performance in the downstairs parlor, Jim steals valuables upstairs. The story switches back and forth from ancient Greece to 1858 until the two narratives come together as related by young Jim, who aspires to become a writer. He interrupts the story with footnoted asides that are often funny, but that slow the pace and add to an already complicated plot. Deary crams his tale with wordplay, zany characters, and allusions: Eden City, Dickens (including quotes from A Tale of Two Cities
), a pathetic match girl hovering at death's door, and a mayor named Wallace Tweed, among others. The characters fail to develop beyond stereotypes, and the plot twists unroll all too predictably.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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"A rollicking, cracking, time-travelling story." Julia Eccleshare "An action-packed tale, an intriguing blend of narrative tradition and anarchy which [readers] will devour with gusto!" Sunday Herald"
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