A few weeks ago I requested my first ever ARC on Netgalley, and I got approved for it which was so exciting! Outrun the Wind is inspired by Greek mythology, focusing on the story of Atlanta, a Greek huntress and I was really looking forward to seeing how Elizabeth Tammi reimagined the story.
Paperback: 360 pages
Publication Date: 27th November 2018
The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.
To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.
She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.
This book immediately starts with some action and I couldn’t put it down for the first few chapters. The pace of the action did slow down quite quickly, which is understandable as the two main characters and their backstories are being introduced. On the whole, I really enjoyed the plot and it had so much potential to be amazing, but it did fall flat in quite a few places which I’ll explain later.
As this is a retelling on a Greek legend that I knew nothing about, I was really looking forward to learning more about Atalanta and the other characters. I think that Elizabeth Tammi did a really good job at creating each and every character – especially the protagonists and antagonists. Each character was so vivid and detailed, they had well thought out motives and desires, and their fears were believable too. I especially loved reading from Atalanta’s perspective and seeing her internal struggles; how she wants to save Arkadia, honour her family, but also be free.
The story is told from Atalanta and Kahina’s perspectives, and they were great protagonists. They had very distinct voices at the beginning of the novel, but towards the end it became harder and harder to distinguish whose voice was whose. Despite this, it was so much fun to read about these two empowering characters and their developing relationship. The best part was that their relationship wasn’t rushed at all, it was slow and took its time as they discovered themselves, but also their feelings for each other. It was so cute!!!
This book also had so many tropes that I am obsessed with; there was royalty, a competition, a quest and more importantly, strong female characters and relationships. One of my favourite parts of this whole book is the competition as it provides the majority of the suspense throughout the book, but also the conflict at the end. If you know the tale of Atalanta then you already know what will happen at the end of the competition. I had no idea what was going to happen, and I found it so heartbreaking to read, especially with each characters reaction to the events.
My main issue with this book is that Greece wasn’t described well enough for me. It’s all well and good listing cities like Delphi and Arkadia, but I wasn’t shown Delphi and Arkadia. I couldn’t imagine what any of it looked like at all and it was a struggle to picture where all of these events were taking place. The story could have benefit with a lot more attention to the atmosphere, otherwise it just felt like it could have been set anywhere in the world, in any time period. Saying it takes place in Ancient Greece wasn’t enough, I wanted to feel like I was really there in Greece along with the amazing characters that Elizabeth Tammi created.
The same goes for Greek mythology, as that really needed to be explored in a lot more detail as well. The mythology needed to be explained in relation to the context of this book; just throwing in a few Greek gods and goddesses doesn’t immediately make it a book about Greek mythology. Their relationship to the main characters needed to be clarified and a little backstory was needed to make it easier to understand exactly what was going on between Artemis and Apollo.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable read and had there been more explanation about the mythology, and more detailed descriptions of Greece, I probably would have given this book a much higher rating. If the same amount of attention that was given to character arcs and character development, was given to the atmosphere of the book, then this could have been a 5 star read.
*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own!*