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December 12, 2017

Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
Publication Date:  July 18, 2017
Publisher:  Delacorte Press

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I’ve yet to jump on the time-traveler wave, but Kara Connolly’s No Good Deed caught my eye. I feel like ever since the TV series Outlander came to prevalence and started popping up all over everyone’s social media a few years ago (and understand that I’ve only ever caught a few episodes of the show, but I get the basic premise) stories involving modern day heroines somehow ending up back in the past are now on the rise. I was curious to hop into No Good Deed wherein the protagonist, a young, future-Olympic archer ends up back in the Middle Ages and takes up the mantle of Robin Hood. To say the least, I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect.

                I did like Ellie, our Robin Hood. In fact, what I loved most about her was her skills as an archer and her quick-wit when it came to dangerous circumstances. She made for a great action hero, and an exciting protagonist to follow. Outside of her stay in the Middle Ages (and outside of this story) I wouldn’t mind reading about her again. I became invested in Ellie, in her familial struggles, in her strong desire to make it to the Olympics. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind reading more about her continuing on her path to get the gold. She’s a character who felt real, who was exciting, and one who really made the story worthwhile.

                Conolly crafted a pretty vivid picture of what the Middle Ages would have been. All of the brutality, violence, and injustice was present, and I adored that in that regard she didn’t hold back. The characters mixed with the setting nicely, and the descriptions used by the author allowed for the reader to easily depict what the scene should look like, what was happening, all while also setting a tone for the rest of the story.

                The characters who joined Ellie through her adventures through the Middle Ages were complementary to her character, but I wouldn’t call them well-rounded. For the most part I felt that a lot of the characters we were first introduced to in the novel remained mostly the same to the very end. In all honesty, I found that the majority of them weren’t very memorable by the time I reached the novel’s conclusion, and I related most of the cast to their accompanying tropes.

                I think that No Good Deed was a fun ride, but wasn’t a novel that I would call my cup of tea. It was enjoyable, it was definitely an experience, but I think it would be better suited for readers who are just starting to get into the YA genre. New readers who are trying to get into historical fiction would likely also have devoured this read, as well as readers who already know the Robin Hood myth and want to experience a brand new take on the story.

 

 

About Kara Connolly

Kara Connolly loves history, though she has never time traveled. She lives and writes in Arlington, Texas. To learn more about Kara and her books, visit karaconnolly.wordpress.com or follow @readKaraC on Twitter and @readkaraconnolly on Instagram.

 

 

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