My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Caitlin Sweet approaches ancient Greek mythology from the YA market with a dark retelling of Ariadne and the minotaur’s labyrinth at Crete.
Sweet’s world shudders with the power of the gods. It seems near everyone but Ariadne has some eldritch and scintillating ability, mostly misdirected and excessive. Therein lies the undercurrent of Sweet’s story: Ariadne’s envy of the gods-given powers bestowed on everyone but her, but most especially her envy of her brother who is the minotaur.
One would think with such powerful myth and motivation Sweet’s story would sweep away the reader, but somehow the story stutters under the weight of all that adolescent angst. Ariadne becomes a predictable and unlikeable antihero who whines and plots and inflicts pain as though that were her own god-given power.
Unlike Sweet’s earlier novel, The Pattern Scars, there is a lack of depth in The Door in the Mountain, a parsimony in her former elegant phrasing, character development and narrative arc. It is a readable story, indeed quite consumable. But for this reader it is a disappointing second novel, lacking the considerable talent of her earlier work.