Compared to other books focusing on mythology, Curse of the Sphinx is different: Wagner tells the story from a monster's point of view rather than a demigod. Hope Nicholas is a sphinx, and her family (females only?) is cursed to fall in love with no one but Apollo. Should she fall in love and have a complete family (marriage?) with someone other than Apollo, she will die.
Curse of the Sphinx is just a breath of fresh air in the myth world. I don't know much about sphinxes and I really liked how Wagner decided to write her novel from the other end of the spectrum while keeping elements found in other mythology books in the book as well. Gods, demigods, and monsters are all involved just like many mythology books, but I've never read a book with a mythological monster as a main character.
As a sphinx, Hope is always on the run with her mother – the moment someone seems to be getting onto Hope or her mother, Hope is whisked away into a new life, and the author establishes this by keeping track of how many days since they last moved, how many days before the change, and so on. There's really no time to settle down, make friends, or establish relationships, and it remains that way until Hope finds out her mother is murdered. With her mother torn violently away from her, Hope leaves and finds a remote town where her true identity isn't likely to be discovered.
Hope's new life is where I feel a little iffy about. Despite the fact Wagner keeps track of Hope's life, I just ended up being really confused in some of the many transitions presented throughout the book. Curse of the Sphinx drags a lot, and it is especially noticeable in Hope's new life with typical high school drama and petty revenge. She is constantly battling with her feelings and restraining from establishing relationships with others. Her attempts to restrain herself fails epically and Hope finds herself becoming fond of the small town she didn't intend to stay long in.
The first book in the Sphinx series is a slow start, but Wagner brings on a fresh new take to the myth world with the potential to develop in future novels.
One summer afternoon, when her then young children were playing in the pool, a plot dropped into her head, and she started writing.
She enjoys baking, puzzles, Tae Kwon Do, and the sound of waves lapping at the sand. She lives with her husband and three children in Middle Tennessee.
Origin of the Sphinx, a novella detailing the story leading up to the creation of the mythological creature, is her first publication. It is the beginning of the Sphinx series.
Curse of the Sphinx, the first book in the series, is completed, and set to be released in August 2015.