NESFA Members' Reviews

Tempting Fate

by Esther Friesner

Dutton, 2006, ISBN 978-0-525-47730-3

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

Ilana Newhouse needs a summer job, and she’s not having much luck. For some reason, potential employers are put off by the little skull she drew on her face in ink, or the t-shirt reading ORC: The Other Green Meat, or her unfortunately sardonic sense of humor, or maybe just her hazy acquaintance with punctuality. Things aren’t looking good until she finds a business card in her sister’s room, and calls the Divine Relief Temp Agency.

            It’s very disorienting when she finds herself temping for the Three Fates—Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Oh, and Arachne hangs around the office, too.  Weekly meetings with her fellow temps, at a coffee house run by Circe, also add variety to her life, and the only damper on what’s turning out to be a good summer is all the disruption caused by her sister Dyllin’s upcoming wedding. When Ilana learns that she and the other temps can borrow the powers of the gods they temp for, she can’t help trying to fix just one or two little things, and Ilana starts to get acquainted with the meaning of the word “chaos.” (This is apparently a sequel to an earlier book, but not having read it didn’t seem to be a problem.)

            Great fun.


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