Format: E-Galley, 352 pages
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, Legends, Myths, Fables
Fans of Marissa Meyer’s Heartless and Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.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.
Story Locale: Nottingham, England
Author Kara Connolly's No Good Deed is her debut novel. The story is a unique retelling of the Robin Hood classic with a brilliant twist, plenty of action, and a wonderful cast of characters. Protagonist Eleanor "Ellie" Hudson is the second ranked archer on the US Women's Archery team. Her goal of winning a gold medal in the next Olympics is just a step away. All she has to do is win an international competition in Nottingham, England first.
But, fate takes a strange twist after Ellie follows a White Robed Monk into a cave and ends up back in the 12th century Nottingham. Ellie immediately finds herself in trouble after appearing at Nottingham Castle where the Sheriff of Nottingham rules with an iron fist. After jumping off a bridge to avoid capture, she is saved by Sir James Hathaway (Knight of the Temple). Soon thereafter, Ellie becomes one of the most wanted men, yes you heard me, in all of Nottingham. She also manages to become the most wanted woman in all the land, but I will leave that for you discover how.
Ellie takes the identity of Robert Hudson, which is her brothers name. A brother whose fate is unknown for all of the story. The knave known now as Robin Hood, collects quite the group of misfits. From James (Friar Tuck), Much, Will Scarlet, & Little John, while being chased by by Sir Henry Guilbert who is relentless in his desire to capture the person who has most done his image the most harm. Ellie's goals are pretty simplistic: Don't Die. Don't change history. Find a way back to her time. Ellie is a character who has all the characteristics that appeal to me as a reader.
She is strong. She is brave. She is absolutely relatable. Ellie goes from being an a fish out of water, an archer without a bow, to attempting to discover why she was brought back in time, to having her very own 12th century longbow. Ellie does have a smart mouth at times, and yes it does get her in trouble. But, she also has the wit of Buffy, and the true aim with her bow that even Katniss would be impressed with. Were anyone else to be sent back in time who did not have the training and experience as Ellie with a bow and arrow, they would have been quickly gobbled up and spit out. Ellie also has her own moral coil. She hates to kill things, especially rabbits, and people.
There isn't any romance in this story, but there is obvious tension between Ellie and several other characters. No Good Dead takes on Robin Hood in a way that will keep readers glued to their seats until the final page is revealed. As this story is set in the time of Prince John, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, there is some historical accuracy to the story as well. Eleanor really did participate in the Second Crusades. She really was as large as life as the author portrays her. Ellie meeting the woman she was named after, is just icing on the very strange cake that she has been served up.