Title: Once & Future
Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
Page Count: 336 pages
Genre: Fantasy // Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.
Now I’m done hiding.
My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.
When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
King Arthur! My favourite legend! I am such a huge fan of the King Arthur myth that I was one of those kids who loved Sword In The Stone. My dad and I watched that movie over and over. And any other King Arthur rendition we could get our hands on. I know some of you were not impressed with the recent Charlie Hunnam remake but I loved it. Although Jude Law needs to stop acting, over the top nonsense if you ask me. Don’t @ me. I’m digressing. My dislike of Jude Law is not where I was headed with this review so let’s get back to Once & Future.
Insert some quirky humour into a pot. Then add accurate representation of the LGBTQIAP+ community. Sprinkle in some sci-fi elements and then mix it all up with a gender bent Arthur and you’ll get a nice blend of Once & Future! Oh and don’t forget Merlin is aging backwards so he’s a teenager now with the mind of an old man. Haha, Merlin was perfect.
The biggest draw for this re-telling is how effortlessly the authors created a future where gender and sexuality just are. As it should be. No need for big reveals or long drawn out explinations. Everyone just is. Characters range from boys, girls, gay, bi, pan, etc, etc. And nobody is hung up on any of it. Loved that about it. AND! The main character is an illegal refugee which was so well done as well.
I just wish I had connected more with the storyline. It fell a bit short for me because it felt like too many elements were being pulled into the story. The past with historical references and the future with sci-fi elements. I think I was hoping for a more classic retelling with just a bit of change. So my expectations were different than what was delivered.
100% though, pick this up because representation is everything.
**Thank you HBG Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**