For What It's Worth

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

blog tour review: no good deed by kara connolly

32766757Fans of 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.
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Goodreads

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review:

No Good Deed features a gender swap/time travel re-telliing of Robin Hood. To be honest, I don’t remember much from the original to be able to attest to how close the author stuck to the source material but the key players are all there.

Ellie Hudson is an archer, competing in England for a spot on the Olympic team. Her father puts a lot of pressure on her and Ellie’s brother, Robert, who is also an elite archer, has gone missing on a Peace Corp mission. All of this throws off her concentration and during an important shot she sees a man walk across the field. Unfortunately, she’s the ONLY person who saw him. She thinks everything is finally getting to her and goes off exploring the caves and tunnels of the area, hoping to find the strange man but instead finds herself back in the Middle Ages of Sherwood Forest accused of trespassing. About to thrown into be thrown in a lake with rocks tied to her as a test of her innocence, Ellie makes her great escape that leads to a series of adventures as Ellie finds herself at the center of the legend of Robin Hood with her own Merry Men.

Ellie’s quest to help the villagers of Nottingham, save herself and find a way back were a lot of fun! Connolly keeps the action moving at a brisk pace. Ellie is such a kind, likable, kick ass kind of girl with mad archery skills that makes everyone want to follow her. 

No Good Deed has very little in the way of romance – which I know a lot of YA readers are looking for. There are a few glances and sweet touches but that’s about it. I think I was supposed to be shipping Ellie and the noble Knight Templar, James, that’s teased in the summary, but I’m all about the hate to love vibe I was getting from Ellie and Guilbert – but honestly, that’s all irrelevant – because this is just about the adventure and less about the relationships – or even character development.

And that lack of character development and world building would be my one nitpick about this book. The bones are all there – the complex relationship with her parents, the missing brother, the *maybe* connection to James, the friendships, the time travel…it’s all just a surface type backdrop to get Ellie where she needs to be for the story to take place. There are no explanations or follow through but it’s fun nonetheless. The mix of authentic and modern day language from the medieval times characters was also a tad distracting.

A creative, modern day twist on the Robin Hood legend, relatable heroine who has action packed adventures that don’t involve a romance and great banter between the merry band of misfits make this a good pick for someone looking a for a light-hearted action packed read as long as your willing to let those adventures stand without explanation.

The publisher is comparing this one to Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, and I have to agree. I have some of the same quibbles with NGD – innovative but with lack of follow through – as I did with DMD, but if you liked Dorothy Must Die, then this should be right up your alley.

31 comments:

  1. She is showing arms! In medieval times! Witch! Burn her

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    1. The pants were pretty scandalous for her lol

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  2. I'm a fan of retellings so this has been on my radar for sure. It sounds like a fun, action-packed read overall and fun escape. Glad you enjoyed it except for some needed characterization building. :)

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    1. I still recommend it. It's a good, light summer read! Especially if you like retellings. That part was done well.

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  3. I'm so excited about this gender swap retelling of Robin Hood. Sorry to hear the character development and world building are lacking, I'll have to remember to pick this up when I'm looking for something light. :)

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    1. As long as you know there won't be answers, I think you could have a lot of fun with this one. Very entertaining.

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  4. I love books that challenge gender roles and a retelling? Count me in. It sounds more so a lighter read without too much substance unfortunately. Still entertaining but would have Bern wonderful if the character depth was explored a little more. Wonderful review Karen <3

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    1. What I really loved is how the guys followed her without question. They respected her skills and knowledge.

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  5. Not sure this is the right book for me but thanks for letting us know about this one.

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  6. Hmmm... there are a lot of elements I like about this, but I think the world building issues would bother me so much. I will keep this on my maybe pile.

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    1. It's annoying that you don't find answers for some things but it was a lot of fun. I think if you go in knowing that it would be fine.

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  7. I have a lot of quibbles about DMD so I dunno. But I really like the idea!

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    1. Yeah, me too. I did like it way more than DMD but just know going in that it's a fun adventure without many answers.

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  8. I haven't read Dorothy Must Die so I can't say much about the comparison. Honestly, I was so into the stories that I rarely found any faults. Lol.

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    1. lol That's fine. I mostly enjoyed it but, like DMD, there wasn't as much substance (for me) as adventure. But that's ok...

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    1. This was a nice blend of legend and modern times.

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  10. Nice review Karen. I think this sounds like a lot of fun! And while romance isn't a big part of it, I have to say the mention of Guilbert and a hint of hate-to-love between him and Ellie sounds awesome. I remember seeing an old movie version of Guilbert where he was kinda likable even though he was bad, and it reminds me of that. :)

    Anyway this sounds fun!

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    1. Oh really? What version is that? He was a total jerk at first but then you kind of get his motivation and see another side of him by the end and I thought he and Ellie were a better match than hunky (but kinda boring lol) James. They challenge each other.

      It was fun! As long as you aren't looking for detailed answers and just go for the ride.

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    2. I think it might have been the old movie version of Ivanhoe (from the 50's?) where he falls in love with Rebecca even though he's a jerk. I thought he was portrayed somewhat sympathetically in that movie, only to learn later that some people were like "she should have went with guilbert the bad boy, Ivanhoe's boring" lol.

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  11. Ooh, I like that there's not a lot of romance! Hahah. Too often have I thought a book was ruined by an over-bearing romance arc. :S Thanks for the review Karen! :) I haven't really seen this cover either.

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    1. Yeah, I know a lot of people who are looking for YA without/or with very little romance.

      It was also nice to see her develop friendships with both guys and girls.

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  12. It's a fun premise and I'm quite okay with a YA that leaves out the romance, but I don't know about the lack of character development. I love me some good characters.

    -lauren

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    1. They have great banter which I looove but there's a lot of promise with the characters that doesn't go anywhere.

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  13. This sounds so good but if it's being compared to DMD, I think I'll pass. I just couldn't get into it. It seemed like there was nothing solid to grasp onto. I think the lack of character/world development would keep me from finishing this.

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    1. "nothing solid to grasp onto"

      Yesss!!! You worded very well. I enjoyed it but it was kind of surface-y

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  14. Sounds like an interesting read but it had a couple of things which put me off. I will probably check this out if I get a chance because a Robin Hood retelling always appeals to me and a gender swapped one? Well, that just makes it better.

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    1. It's a good retelling despite my few issues.

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  15. This sounds like it has a lot of potential, and I do love the original robin hood (and a lot of other adaptations). But I think I might have a few quibbles with this one too, since I wasn't a fan of DMD when I tried to read it a few years ago.

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    1. It's very similar in writing style and tone even though I liked this adaption more than DMD. It was more light hearted and fun.

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