“That girl is an animal, and she will do what it takes to survive.”
The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.
To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.
She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.
DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
EXPECTED NOVEMBER 27, 2018
TW: slavery, violence and gore, implied assault, panic attacks
From the moment I heard Outrun the Wind was a sapphic retelling of the Atalanta myth, I knew I had to get my hands on it. That’s two of my biggest interests bundled into one, and even better, by the time I finished the book, it did NOT disappoint! We have myth! We have sapphic girls! We have knives! We realize I have an overwhelming tendency to choose the stabby sapphics as my favorite characters!
Anyway, I really did have a wonderful time reading Outrun the Wind. Speaking as a classics major, I loved how it incorporated other figures from classical mythology (hey there, Laertes and Peleus, dads of Odysseus and Achilles!), and it covered most of the major parts of the Atlanta myth. Meleager and Melanion were both there (though Melanion was known as Hippomenes this time), Atalanta was still raised wild after being abandoned as a baby because she wasn’t a boy, and there were lions, as fits some variations of the end of the myth. Some people might complain that this doesn’t follow any one distinct version of the myth, but it’s MYTH. There are always variations of myth, and creating yet another one is fully in the spirit of the source. It doesn’t take away from the nature of myth to put this spin on Atalanta’s story so much as it makes it feel all the more mythical.
Beyond that heavy myth element, I LOVED the relationship between Atalanta and Kahina. This is another one for the sapphic enemies to lovers count, and I am THRIVING on it. We have a stabby knife lesbian and a scrappy woods bisexual just trying to be themselves without being beholden to anyone, and I adored every minute of their interactions. They each embody a difference sort of ferocity, Atalanta so tied to her wild upbringing, and Kahina so desperate for her freedom, but once they pull it together that they love each other, they’re so sweet. There’s dancing. There’s bed sharing. There’s my heart, full to bursting with how cute this gets.
I think my biggest disappointment is that this is a standalone, and as a result, the characters and plot felt a little as if they were on the shallow side. Kahina’s personal subplot in particular felt rather basic and hazy, while Atalanta’s desires fell on the flat side through most of the story, never stretching too far beyond not wanting to tie herself down to a man. Ultimately, it’s a standalone, and one based on a myth, so maybe that kind of distance is warranted, but I personally would have liked more depth and development.
On the whole, though, Outrun the Wind was a joy to read, and anyone who grew up on the Percy Jackson series is probably going to have an interest in reading this, particularly queer readers, particularly sapphic readers looking for stories where the girls get a happy ending at last. If it sounds like Outrun the Wind appeals to you, make sure to preorder it before it releases on November 27 this year!