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Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

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No Good Deed by Kara Connolly // VBC ReviewNo Good Deed
Kara Connolly
Published: July 18, 2017 (Delacorte)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Robin Hood is a legend—robs the rich, gives back to the poor. But what if the legend as we have always known it was wrong? What if Robin Hood was really a girl and she was actually an accidental time traveler? In No Good Deed, that’s exactly the case.

Ellie is an archer–an excellent one. Good enough that the Olympic dream is within her grasp. However, her parents are pressuring her, her coach is pressuring her, and her absent brother Robin–the star of the family–is a pressure she cannot escape no matter how well she may tune everyone else out. When she follows a monk she believes was the one she stopped a match for, well…those pressures literally disappear into the future.

I’ve always been a fan of the Robin Hood stories. I’ve seen the movies, I’ve read the classic novel, and I can probably sing the Disney songs verbatim. So I was curious about this re-telling and the idea of Robin actually being a girl—particularly in a time when girls were not seen as particularly valued in so many ways. Connolly did well in writing a fun take on the legend, and doing honor to it as well.

The characters were all what you’d expect, and yet, not at all what you would expect. Will Scarlet, not generally being a huge fan favorite, became one here. He’s witty and vain—but has a good heart. Ellie occasionally felt a little overdone, but not in any way that took away from the story itself. It was interesting to see how Connolly worked around the limits of a known legend while turning the hero into a heroine, and Ellie fit the bill quite well. Overall, the characters were developed well, and unique enough in their own ways within the book to not feel like a simple redo.

The setting is as every good Robin Hood fan can imagine. The book starts in current-day England, with some excellent descriptions of the area. However, when Ellie ends up back in time, that is when the book truly starts to shine in terms of the people and the places that she finds.

I believe that No Good Deed is a standalone, and as such, a pretty darn good one. It is refreshing to see a book that doesn’t need to be part of a duology or a trilogy or a series, and one that stands on its own as well as this one does. It’s a perfect summer read: not too heavy, slight romance, lots of action adventure, and not just one strong female character, but several. “Robin” and *her* Merry Men will have you turning page after page, and gasping at the slight twist that pops up towards the end.

Sexual content: none

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