FIVE STAR REVIEWS
MJ Haines for Amazon.co.uk
I have read all of Tracey Morait’s books and have greatly enjoyed every single one of them. And of course, this one is no exception. Tracey has a direct no-frills style of writing which she uses to good effect, allying it to quality narrative and very natural, very real dialogue from equally natural and believable characters. Here though, the lady has really excelled herself. The aforesaid qualities bring to the reader a fast-paced, highly engaging tale, taking in both modern family tensions, scenes from history and literature, deep friendship amid stress and strain, and all laced with a lightness and humour which delights the reader, well, it delighted me, I can only assume it will delight you.
Now, the story. This book is so hot off the press I cannot reveal much, so spoilers to be avoided at all costs, but let’s just cover the basics to give an idea of what’s what.
A family from Liverpool are on holiday in Cyprus – mum, dad – and two daughters, who, as can often be the case, do not get on with each other. One of the girls – Alisha, called Ali by those closest to her, has epilepsy. While her parents are sympathetic, as indeed they should be, her sister Sal resents Ali for not only getting more attention than her due to her illness, often sees family time whether holidays or at home, severely disrupted through Ali’s seizures. However, while in Cyprus, Ali discovers her seizures can open time portals; sometimes she is drawn into a portal involuntarily, but as the tale develops Ali finds she has an element of control and on occasions is highly relieved to be once again shooting through time and space.
Although there are brief sojourns through time and space to the Shetland’s main town of Lerwick as well as her home town of Liverpool, with of course short spells back to the ‘here and now’ of the family holiday in Cyprus, the main setting for the tale is ancient Sparta and the court, if that’s the right word, of Princess Helen, or, Helen of Troy as we know her better. Through Ali we become witnesses to many scenes we know and love through such revered tomes as the Iliad, and many other incidents which (and only reading this book can explain why, including an amazing turn of events involving future technology) never made the history books at all. All the famed characters: Helen, Paris, Hector, Menelaus, Agamemnon and more are there, some are prominent in the tale, others not so much. The gods and goddesses are there too, as they should be; Zeus and his boys and girls, each with their own special powers, each using these for good, or for bad, and sometimes both from the same deity. And that is all I can tell you.
Although the target age seems to be broadly older kids / YA, that don’t matter a jot, all, no matter if 10 or a 110, who enjoy fast-paced, light and humorous tales, will love this.
All in all, another cracking read from Tracy Morait.
Lit Amri for Readers Favorite
Thirteen-year-old Alisha Dainton is having a sunny holiday in Cyprus with her family. Unfortunately, her epilepsy and her obnoxious 16-year-old sister Sal manage to ruin the fun. While resting in their family hotel room, Alisha encounters a strange half-woman, half-bird with see-through eyes and multi-colored hair. She claims to be Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow, the Sea and the Sky－a Messenger to the Gods. She has been chosen to help save Princess Helen. Despite her disbelief and unwillingness, Alisha finds herself traveling back in time to the ancient city of Sparta. There she meets another time traveler, a teen named Travis, whose purpose is also to aid Helen. Episode by Tracey Morait is a fantastical adventure tale of two teens fated to change history and influence the future.
Episode is a contemporary story combined with Greek as well as Norse mythology and literature. It’s a slightly odd but fascinating mixture of drama and fantasy intertwining the past, present, and future through time travel. Alisha is a teenager who has enough problems with her epilepsy and her annoying sister, so why bother going back to the ancient past to solve another person’s problem? Despite their status as divine beings, I perceived the Greek gods and goddesses in this story as undesirable forces that meddle in a young mortal’s life. That said, Alisha’s fellow time traveler Travis indirectly benefits from the task that’s forced upon him. It’s fascinating that a disorder in brain activity becomes an important catalyst for the young protagonists to take control of their fates in their dangerous mission. There are unpredictable plot twists that readers will appreciate as Tracey Morait gives a fresh perspective on the Trojan War. Overall, Morait’s Episode is a story that uses its different time settings to its advantage.
POSITIVE REVIEWS (NON-STARRED)
Drena Irish, Ambassador, LoveReading4Kids
Episode by Tracey Morait is a fanciful re-imagining of the story of Helen of Troy. It is also an attempt to show just what it’s like to experience an ‘episode’, that is an epileptic seizure. The story brings together some well-known characters from the world of Ancient Greece – Helen, Menelaus, Paris, Hector and, of course, the ‘meddlesome’ gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus – with Alisha, a 13-year-old from the present day and Travis from a terrifying England at the end of the 21st century. The action switches between these three time zones, which Ali and Travis are able to access by time travel through portals, which come into being at the time of their seizures, as both are epileptic. The author paints a very realistic picture of life in Ancient Greece, a life Alisha finds very distasteful when catapulted there from a family summer holiday in Cyprus, as she is dressed, smells and is expected to behave as a slave girl. Her outrage and contempt for the system, especially the treatment of women, rubs off on Helen and the story then takes on a very different twist. The terror from Travis’ time also comes into play when destructive entities access the portals and rewrite the events of the Trojan War, until the combined ingenuity of Travis and the gods (particularly Chronos, god of Time) finally set the records straight. I really enjoyed this book, it rekindled my interest in Greek mythology. It’s an exciting fusion of legend and science fiction, with the added medical theme, which, as my granddaughter is epilectic, I also found fascinating.