Review: Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez

October 17, 2013 4 stars, Book Review 11 ★★★★

Helen and Troys Epic Road Quest

Witness the epic battle of the cyclops!

Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying.

Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare!

Buy some knick knacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later.

On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn’t kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don’t catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world. Or at least a state or two.

A minotaur girl, an all-American boy, a three-legged dog, and a classic car are on the road to adventure, where every exit leads to adventure. Whether they like it or not.


Imagine a mad man, who can’t stop laughing at his own jokes and poking fun at everything under the sun. Now let him write a modern day fantasy book, where all the creatures of legend are real and everyone knows it.  I imagine that book is Helen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest. There is no better way to describe other than pure maniacal fun.

A. Lee Martinez’s soul must have shared a womb with Terry Pratchett because they are seriously cut from the same cloth. His nonsense makes perfect sense and I couldn’t keep from gobbling up every whimsical word of it.

Helen is a minotaur and works as a cashier at a Magic Burger joint. Troy is the perfect gorgeous hunk that everyone can’t help but like, even people that don’t want to like him…Helen case in point. One night when Helen is staying late to clean up, her elf boss tries to sacrifice her to his Lost God. In cosmic fuck-up fashion, said boss ends up being sacrificed himself when his Lost God eats him by mistake.

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Middle age wasn’t a pretty thing for elves, who went from tall, regal figures to short, potbellied creatures with astigmatism in a very short time. And then they were stuck with another six or seven centuries walking this earth as creaky old men with tufts of green hair growing out of their drooping ears.
Unfortunately, for Helen and Troy they end up conscripted (cursed actually) to go on a quest for this Lost God to gather some artifacts that will release the Lost God from his prison.  So starts their epic quest!
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Where do you think those corpses come from? They’re the bones of everyone who quested before but failed. Every sad sack who thought he was the hero of the journey, but actually was merely a nameless dumbass who got himself killed. Everybody wants to be a legend. Most people end up as set dressing.
With the help of a secret service questing agency and many other people along the way – Helen and Troy bumble from one test to the next, gathering the loot along the way. They have a motorcycle band of orcs hot on their trail, sent by an opposing god to kill them. But Helen and Troy have a quest to fulfill, a world to save…or destroy? – identity issues to deal with and even some very confusing budding romance. Wait where did the romance come in? Well they are teenagers or did I not mention that?

As far as characters are concerned, Helen was most definitely my favorite character…next to Nigel the orc (because he was just fucking funny as hell). Helen is one tough cookie and is determined not to be a sidekick to Troy’s classic hero persona. I love how Troy is depicted, while I liked him I really think Martinez was poking fun at heroes everywhere. The icing on the cake here? The dialogue! It will put a grin on your face and have strangers staring at you as you guffaw with laughter.

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He threw a piece of bread to Achilles, who wolfed it down.
“It passes the dog test.”
“So does his own ass.
Full of smart assery, Helen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest is one for comedy fans will love and those in want of a brainscrub with a load of balderdash will get just what they need.


Helen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest

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• An advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Quotes are taken from an advanced edition and are subject to change in the final edition. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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11 Responses to “Review: Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh my goodness yes. It was like a breath of fresh air. I’m so glad you decided to give him a try. I am going to dig into another book by him soon. Too Many Curses. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of this one!!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Heck yes, I’m beginning to think the author is quite mad indeed. Pretty much anytime your brain just needs a break and something silly one of his titles would be something to reach for.

  1. Cali W.

    Great review! This book sounds so cute and the title has some Greek to it. 🙂

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Yes! I thought it was so funny how he used Helen and Troy and it makes you think of Helen of Troy. There are plenty of creatures from Greek mythology. The Fates, minotaurs, Orcs, a Cyclops, etc – you get the picture.