NO GOOD DEED by Kara Connolly


Age Range: 12 - 16
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A modern-day white teen travels through time and becomes Robin Hood.

Ellie Hudson is a privileged elite archer with Olympic aspirations from present-day America. While competing in Nottingham, England, Ellie follows a strangely dressed man in white into a cave and emerges (inexplicably) in the Middle Ages. The clunkiness starts here: Ellie is nearly apprehended! She escapes! She’s nearly apprehended again! She escapes again! Then Ellie, who is passing for a boy, turns herself in to protect others and manipulates the notorious (but blandly drawn) sheriff of Nottingham into releasing her if she can shoot well enough. Ellie’s talent shines through…and then the awkward pacing takes hold again with occurrences that feel either arbitrary or like filler. Ellie’s aware that her purpose in the past may be to become Robin Hood, but she doesn’t seem particularly interested in assisting the people of Nottingham. Then a plot to assassinate Prince John emerges, threatening the eventual king’s ability to sign the Magna Carta. Connolly avoids the trap of offering a limp, unconvincing rationale for the time travel, but, unexplained, the device is still pretty slim. Couple it with an uneven plot and unconvincing premise, and even a gender-bending, butt-kicking, time-traveling heroine may not be enough to satisfy exacting readers, even if she is Robin Hood.

Off target. (Historical fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 18th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-385-74393-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017


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