Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner (Discussion)

Please note that this book discussion contains spoilers! If you haven’t already, check out my book review for this, which is spoiler-free!

I rated this 2/5 stars, so the book obviously didn’t click well with me. I did love the Greek mythology parts (like the story of Orpheus, learning about the history of the Sphinx, etc.), and I think that people who love Greek mythology might enjoy this book. However, I personally had issues with the book.

First off, my immediate reaction to the book: Her name is Hope… Really? Her mom is named Leto and her grandmother also has this ancient Greek name, but the protagonist’s name is Hope?

The friendships in this book seem off somehow. Why are these girls so persistent in being friends with Hope when she so obviously doesn’t want to? No one wants to be friends with a mopey, standoffish new girl that badly. But that girl at the beginning (whose dad married Leto) and Haley kept insisting to be friends with Hope, which flabbergasted me. They were both such rushed friendships and I couldn’t fathom why they would be so persistent in trying to be friends with Hope.

Over the course of the book, there were a lot of times that I wanted to slap some sense into Hope. She made so many poor decisions, that I can’t believe she didn’t die halfway through the book. For instance, why would she keep going for a run if she kept seeing those Skia outside? There are other ways to get that energy out! Try jumping jacks, safely at home, for instance.

Now let’s talk about the romance. Let me just say, Athan is awful at his job. At first, I was confused because I thought Athan actually knew Hope was the Sphinx, but was pretending that he didn’t in order to get close to and protect her (and then he would eventually fall in love with her, then she would find out that he knew all along and feel betrayed, yadda yadda yadda). But then this went on for a while, and I realized that Athan was just a moron. But okay, I’ll cut him some slack, maybe Hope really is just really good at blending in (even though she’s absent from school the exact days the Sphinx is known to fly around).

After Hope plays hard to get for a few weeks and her and Athan get finally together, I found myself not caring. I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to either of them, and I didn’t see any chemistry between them. And can we just talk about the way they became “officially” boyfriend and girlfriend?? Athan kisses her at her doorstep (and is the perfect first kiss for Hope, of course), and then calls himself her boyfriend nonchalantly the next day… That’s not how it works! But of course, Hope thinks that’s super romantic.

And then there’s the way Athan spoke to Hope, pretty immediately once they were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. It gave me weird vibes – it seemed more like he was a player, than a boyfriend. Here’s what I mean. They are “official” for a day (after they were on friendly terms for like… a few days) and this happens:

They got to her car, and he leaned against the driver’s door, blocking her entrance. As he reached up and twisted the loose strands of hair back into the knot at the nape of her neck, his shirt hem lifted above his waistband, revealing taut golden skin.
It took a moment to gather her thoughts. ‘Won’t you be tired after your work out?’ she asked.
He chuckled. ‘Hardly.’ He hooked a finger in her jeans and puled her closer to him. ‘If you’d like to go for a run, I promise I’ll have plenty of energy for you.’


Then, they break up a couple of weeks into being official after a two minute argument (the first argument they had as a couple). And why did they break up? Because Athan expected Hope to tell him every secret of hers, but he didn’t tell her anything himself. And then he breaks up with her over it dramatically. Bravo, Athan. Then Hope makes rash decisions – after her brief argument with Athan at school, she decides to withdraw out of school the next morning… And let me reiterate: they’d been dating for two weeks at this point.

Stuff happens, Athan and Hope make up, and Athan tells Hope he loves her after like three weeks of knowing her. I get this is high school, but come on.

Romance aside, there were a lot of moments throughout the book that I felt were too convenient or not explained properly. For instance, it should not be that easy to drop out of a school one day, the re-register the next morning. Also, how did Hope ever learn how to drive (and buy a car, for that matter) if she was constantly on the move and relied on flying? A lot of things just didn’t add up and the story had a lot of loopholes that were just skipped over when they could’ve been filled in with a few more pages.

So yeah, as you can see, I never really connected with the characters. I was disappointed because I was so excited to read this book. That all being said, readers who enjoy high school romances and Greek mythology may like this book.

Have you read this book? If you have, let me know what you think! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner (Discussion)

  1. peculiarb

    I also read this book after seeing the glowing reviews from the Perustopia Book Club, but I was so disappointed by the entire thing. It had so much potential but the relationships Hope built with everyone around her were completely fabricated, and the romance gave me vaguely Twilightish vibes since Athan sort of stalks Hope half the time. I’m glad to know I wasn’t alone in this opinion, I’m surprised the book club gave it such glowing reviews, tbh.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Yeah, I was more disappointed in the book because the book club kept talking about how good it is! In retrospect, I suppose it might’ve been because the author was working with Sasha and Regan, but it’s pretty disappointing that they would advocate a book like this so strongly. I probably won’t be reading a Perustopia Book Club book again if I don’t know anything about it, like the Curse of the Sphinx.

      1. peculiarb

        I do think they genuinely enjoyed the book,but they just played it up a bit because they were working with the author (not that that helps since a little constructive criticism can work wonders). Like you, I’ll definitely be a bit more hesitant towards picking up other PBC books in the future.

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