Reviews for Mines of the Minotaur


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
This third book in the series will continue to captivate readers. Connie, a "universal" who can channel the power of all mythical creatures, finds herself needing help to control her own awesome abilities. The story, set in a well-constructed fantasy world populated with familiar and unfamiliar mythical creatures, delivers a powerful plot and sets up an epic finale. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2008 June #2
Golding's series about epic environmental danger continues its steady, gentle tone. Connie, Col and some relatives and friends are members of a secret Society, charged with protecting pegasi, frost wolves, water sprites and other creatures assumed to be imaginary. Each human is companion to one type of creature, except Connie, who's a Universal. She's vastly powerful, but her training's been vague and mentorless. When she inadvertently conjures dangerous weather, the Society panics. A sour trustee expels Connie, while loyal friends cautiously venture inside her mind, seeking the hidden darkness that causes her to raise storms. It's the mark of evil Kullervo, who left a contact point inside her in the past. Kullervo is evil's embodiment, and he's also nature's vengeance for human pollution. Golding's physical scope stays safely within a small coastal region and shoreline, but the battle affects all of earth's humans and wildlife. Global warming and psychoanalytic symbolism move to the forefront; some readers may wish for a less victimized heroine, but earnest narration and an ocean battle carry the day. (Fantasy. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

Gr 5-8-- This fantasy follows Secrets of the Sirens and The Gorgon's Gaze (both Marshall Cavendish, 2007). Though certain humans have the secret ability to bond with particular types of mythical creatures, 13-year-old Connie is the only one who can communicate with all species. When she unintentionally begins to raise violent storms, she learns that her power has a dark side. It turns out that the evil shape-shifter Kullervo is to blame, but the far more frightening foe is bureaucrat Ivor Coddrington, who removes Connie from the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures and threatens expulsion to any member who associates with her. Connie prevails against both enemies with help from friends. The camaraderie and mutual respect shared by characters of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and even species are believable and uplifting. A debate about constructing a wind farm to generate environmentally sustainable power (the winged creatures are opposed) thoughtfully integrates ecological issues into the story. Golding falters when it comes to creating and sustaining atmosphere; the setting is occasionally thin, and Kullervo never seems truly present or threatening. Despite these flaws, fans of the series will enjoy watching Connie and her friends triumph and grow.--Megan Honig, New York Public Library

[Page 146]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

----------------------
VOYA Reviews 2008 June
Connie Lionheart, the world's only "universal" companion, can bond with any mythical creature still alive in the world. Unfortunately her untrained gifts make her vulnerable to the mental attacks of the evil shape-shifter Kullervo, who forces her to raise potentially lethal storms. Ivor Coddrington, Connie's enemy within the society that protects mythical creatures, uses her destructive powers as an excuse to expel her from the Society. But a minotaur soon agrees to guide the Society's trustees-including Coddrington-through the labyrinth of Connie's mind to discover the truth. But someone betrays the party, and soon the world is in danger from the combined might of Connie and Kullervo. The question becomes whether the Society can get Connie out alive The previous two volumes of this series were lively fantasies with environmental themes. Although this volume touches on similar themes, its focus is more on Connie and her gifts, and the story unfortunately suffers for it. Without the structure of a major environmental issue, there is not enough plot to support a whole book, nor is there enough mystery because it is obvious who controls Connie and Coddrington's persecution is a predictable plot device. In addition, the book does not stand alone well, particularly with regard to Kullervo; new readers will have no idea who or what he is, what drives him, and what his relationship with Connie involves. Still the other characters are well-drawn, and the "labyrinth" of Connie's mind is creative and intriguing. Fans of the Companions Quartet will want to read this installment as well.-Rebecca C. Moore 3Q 3P M Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.

----------------------