Carol Lay,
(Pocket, 2003)

In her acknowledgments for Mythos, Carol Lay states that this is her first novel, and that she would like to thank her friends for their support. But soon after you polish off the last page you may be wondering if those friends were either too fairweather or too afraid to tell her that she has not so much written a novel as turned in what amounts to a first draft in a freshmen English creative writing class.

Mythos is a repetitive and lackluster work filled with little in the way of plot, story or even action. And while it's true that Wonder Woman predates Xena by decades, you'd be hard pressed to find any lick of difference between the two women here. Wonder Woman is simply given no real personality, no real identity, no depth whatsoever. She's so lightweight she can almost easily be brushed off the page.

And this is a crime, because of all the heroes in the DCU (that's the DC Universe for those of you who only know of Wonder Woman outside of comics), Wonder Woman has had the hardest climb, the longest trial of any there. Only now after decades of being brushed aside, passed over and taking her share of hard knocks has she finally been allowed to play in the Big Boy's club and has gone on to become part of the "Holy Three" at DC -- Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

There, Wonder Woman is more than equal, she is her own woman ... but here in Mythos, Lay seems contented to push her into the background, often leaving her helpless and on the cutting edge of being assaulted, molested -- unforgivable. Granted, these books are more written for the young adult crowd, but even they will be hard pressed to find anything of interest here.

For fans there are moments to enjoy (oddly, her writing of Batman is far stronger and more vivid than anything she has to say about Wonder Woman), but for first-time readers or those new to Wonder Woman, check into her background first before picking this up.

- Rambles
written by T.E. (Bob) O'Sullivan
published 20 August 2005

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