Publication Date: November 23, 2014
In Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye, Keith Doyle discovers the existence of a class of fairy tale folk led by a teacher named “The Master” living under the library at Midwestern University just after his fellow committee members and he decide to bulldoze their home. His crush, Marcy, is a member of the class and Keith is desperate to make her happy and save her fellow classmates … with their help. Can they work together and save the building in time?
Reading that the author’s main career activity is spoiling cats tells the reader all they need to know about this author’s humor. Mythology 101 is a cute story that is a little cheeky with an off-the-wall humor. Mythology 101 is a story that runs parallel with our world and lends to its compelling nature. As someone who is an advocate for heritage buildings, there is a sense of more to them, so for the author to enclose a world of magic underneath one that twines itself with the world we see is both fascinating and a bit frightening. The story is something of an allegory for what society risks erasing when we don’t look at our world from all angles.
Keith is an off-beat, quirky, romantic kind of guy. Before he discovers the world below, he comes off to his professors and peers as eccentric. Helping Keith in his acceptance of the world is that it’s something he always suspected had a basis in fact. He is written convincingly as a university student but also someone with the maturity to understand the weight of the truth he’s been entrusted. Sure, in part he wants to impress Marcy, but his driving motivation is just that he is a legitimately good guy who is completely fallible, like a lot of young men, a little silly and unable to view the larger picture at times.
When Keith meets the mystical folk, his path to getting them to trust him is one that perhaps goes on too long for expediency in the story. The story overall is fairly simple and while an immediate trust would be contrived, there could be some passage of time folded in that readers would not necessarily have to see in excruciating detail. Balancing the elaborate detail in some respects is the sense of mystery in others. Who is The Master? The struggle of the magical people with the Earth folk can be paralleled with what we experience in America today with people who are perceived to be different. Mistrust and fear keep people in the shadows.
The background characters, both human and Elvin, are well fleshed out, though the humans are based in central casting. I didn’t love Mythology 101 as much as some reviewers but found it a cute and easy read. If you’re looking for something quick and fun that you can easily put down and pick up again, buy Mythology 101 today.
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