Read Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner Online


Hermes—also known as Mercury, Wayfinder, and Prince of Thieves—has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades, and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes, and abhors violence. And he’s an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-pacHermes—also known as Mercury, Wayfinder, and Prince of Thieves—has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades, and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes, and abhors violence. And he’s an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-paced journey through ancient Greek mythology—from Medusa’s cave to Trojan War battlefields to the mysterious Underworld. Stephanie Spinner brings the famous messenger—and the best-known gods and mortals of mythology—to life with high action and spare, powerful prose.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Quicksilver
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440238454
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Quicksilver Reviews

  • Brie
    2019-04-18 17:42

    Humorous and lighthearted, simple yet clever, this quick read was cute and surprisingly deep. If you need a pick-me-up, this book will do it. I've always liked Hermes, and when I saw that this would be another humorous mythology story, I eagerly snapped it up. It is in fact a seamless collection of myths Hermes is involved in.- Hades and Persephone- Perseus and Medusa- Perseus and Andromeda- Paris, the Trojan War, and CalypsoHe is the narrator and each separate section brings more and more out of this character Spinner has crafted. In this book he is young, willing to please, dutiful, but also sympathetic, helpful, and sober at all times, seeing sense when other gods are being unmanageable. Hermes likes mortals, feels for them when the other gods don't. He dislikes cruelty, and his reactions to cruelty such as the drawn out Trojan War show the emotional toll it takes on him.Hermes also enjoys the good company of his siblings and praises from his father Zeus. What made this book extra special is that Spinner chose to portray Zeus, especially, not as the Supreme Asshole that many stories like to portray him as, but Spinner's Zeus is more collected, more caring, and the scenes of Zeus and Hermes having some quality time together were endearing.The ending of this book actually made me smile and go "aww" to myself. It is the perfect comfort read, readable in just a couple hours. I recommend it to all Greek myth fans.

  • Terry
    2019-04-11 21:38

    Meh. This book is the equivalent of calling someone you meet 'nice.' Nothing's wrong, but nothing stands out. It's split into 5 episodes all narrated by Hermes--there's the Persephone/Hades story, Perseus vs. Medusa, Paris and the golden apple, retrieving Hector's body, and Odysseus and Calypso. Getting inside Hermes' head to see these events would be a great way for anyone unfamiliar with the myths to access and understand them. It did make me feel closer to the stories than when I read more traditional retellings, but...I already knew all the stories the author was retelling. Consequently, I was bored for much of the book, though I was able to fly through it quickly. There were a few minor elements in the author's technique, however, that were irritating (though not terrible): 1)Too often she throws in lots of exposition, and in her note at the end, emphasizes that she is trying to stay true to the original stories. That's fine, but I think paying more attention to style would have made for a more interesting read. The reader could figure out who characters are and some of their backstories if the author had a more engaging style; 2) Too often Hermes is simply an onlooker in how things play out (e.g. The Trojan War). This lack of action made for some dull reading at many points; 3) It would be fine if the emphasis on Hermes' thoughts and feelings made him an interesting character, but he comes across as rather bland. His main attribute that stands out: he feels guilty a lot--which again makes for boring reading. After mentioning that he's a trickster, a thief, a joker, those aspects barely get mentioned. If they had, it would have made for a much better book! For someone unfamiliar with these stories, however, this is a quick, painless, and more emotional introduction than most.

  • Alydiah K♡
    2019-04-23 17:29

    Talks about Hades.. A LOT

  • Laney
    2019-03-27 21:36

    Everything from the first paragraph to the ending word was a hilarious and enchanting tale. The first paragraph goes like this..."It's dark and gloomy, and it smells like dead sheep, but when Zeus says go to Hell, I go. The Lord of All Creation is not a Patient deity. Have you ever seen his hands clench and unclench when he's kept waiting? I call it the Thunderbolt Reflex. Best not trigger it is my advice, unless you long to burst into flames and explode.I do not." (Quiver by Stephanie Spinner, page 3)After that paragraph I was ready to kill for more! I LOVED this book and can't even tell how much I enjoyed it. Hopefully you'll find out for yourself!

  • Ken
    2019-04-05 18:43

    Bleh. Episodic retread of Greek myths where Hermes is involved. Fairly shallow, even for YA. Hard to get excited about any characters, sketchy plots, and the tired rehashings which are served up separately and kept lukewarm under the heating lamp. Might be enjoyed by kids who really like Greek mythology, but I think the old stories themselves are preferable to this "cover."

  • Macco Dreher
    2019-03-25 18:47

    When I started reading Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner, I felt like I already knew the main character. The way this character is written is fascinating as he is an eternal Greek God, but he has the personality of a rebellious teenager.

  • Ricki
    2019-04-06 21:37

    I read this a few years ago, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Greek mythology. It is very humorous and makes Greek mythology enjoyable and fun to learn about.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-16 20:49

    An alternate side of mythology is masterly shown in this stunning novel by Spinner. With new light on a lesser known myth, it's one that will have you begging for more.

  • Katelin Rice
    2019-04-18 18:51

    I taught this book to my eighth graders this year, and It honestly wasn't my favorite. I understood what was trying to e accomplished with it, by incorporating mythology. A lot of my students liked the mythology aspect of it. The general action of the book wasn't bad. It's nice because it isn't a high Lexile level, and lower level readers can keep up, but it also incorporates advanced vocabulary. However, I just didn't enjoy the story. I thought too much happened and too much happened and it was difficult to navigate throughout the story. I'm going to give it a try again next year, and see if I like it better. A lot of the students seemed to enjoy it, so I guess that's what really matters.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-05 01:26

    Great YA/Greek myth merge! It was fun. I love hearing the stories of familiar myths from a single point of view. And the voice of Hermes is fantastic! I'd love to hear him narrate other stories. Easy read. Worth it!

  • Gillian
    2019-03-31 21:37

    A very fun angle on some very old stories.

  • Kim
    2019-03-31 19:42

    When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher assigned us to read a book on Greek mythology, and that assignment literally changed my life. Back when I was ten, one of my favorite myths was the story of how Hermes, the trickster god, stole 50 cattle from Apollo when he was only one day old. Apollo was a favorite deity as well, but to a kid, the story of an innocent baby stealing from a grown up and getting off scot-free is wonderfully subversive. . .and silly as all get-out, of course.The problem with writing a novel about Hermes, messenger god, psychopomp, god of merchants and thieves, is that, aside from his cattle stealing escapades, he is rarely the central figure in myth. Instead, he has a small but pivotal role in many different stories, four of which are linked together in Spinner's novel. The stories braided together into Quicksilver have little in common except for Hermes' presence, and I suspect the source material necessitated this choice. In this respect,Spinner's earlier novel, the engaging Quiver was more successful, since it was able to focus solely on the story of Atalanta. Quicksilver could seem a little scattered in comparison.On the other hand, as much as anything, Quicksilver is about Hermes' maturation and development as a person, and in that respect, the four different episodes in Quicksilver work very well. The reader gets to know Hermes as an individual just as he is getting to know himself. At the beginning of the novel, Hermes seems primarily interested in driving his father's chariot and hanging around with pretty nymphs, reminding me a lot of a modern teenager. However, as the novel progresses, he comes to feel guilt for his part in the slaying of Medusa and his (single-handed) slaying of the monster Argus. By the time the Trojan War comes along, Hermes has developed a great distaste for violence (as Spinner points out, this is consistent with his mythology), a distaste which grows with the increasing number of dead souls he must lead down to Hades.The true strength of this novel is in Hermes' lively personality. The novel is written in first person, and the writing has a colloquial and casual tone that avoids feeling overly anachronistic. I loved getting Hermes' takes on the events he witnessed such as the judgment of Paris. I loved the "pro/con" lists he made throughout the book, such as when he was considering whether to help Persephone escape from Hades. I was not thrilled with the treatment of women in this novel, though much of that of course derives from the myths themselves; I also wasn't crazy about the ending, for which I haven't found a mythic precedent yet. But with Hermes himself, I remain utterly charmed.

  • Fairley Lloyd
    2019-04-23 00:28

    I love Greek mythology; it’s one of my obsessions. So when I discovered “Quicksilver”, I immediately wanted to read it. And when I read it, I fell in love with it as quickly as Hermes can travel himself. I already expected to like the book—to really like it—but that’s not always the case. Fortunately, though, it was with this book.One of the book’s greatest strength is in the narrator himself. Hermes is such an entertaining storyteller who adds a lot of humor and wit to the myths. But he also has depth to him, such as his strong dislike of violence, and becomes pretty melancholy during the Trojan War. Hermes is a funny character, but not very flat, and he’s pretty easy to sympathize with. That’s always a great quality to have in a protagonist.Praise also goes to Spinner for staying (mostly) accurate on the retelling of myths. Pretty much all of them were the same telling of the myths with re-imaginings on how the characters reacted to certain situations. One exception that I remembered was that it was implied that Posiedon and Medusa had a fling—in reality, he raped her—but the reasons for that were more than obvious. My main criticism with the book was probably the ending. I guess I wasn’t sure if it felt fully resolved or not. The main exception to this complaint, however, is that it was a series of short stories, so it wasn’t like it had a major theme. While that itself is also a complaint of mine, it’s a minor one—I kind of liked the idea of short stories. The myths themselves, I believe, weren’t very long. Overall, “Quicksilver” was a very good book. It’s a nice introduction to Greek mythology to newcomers, and it’s also great for longtime Greek myth fans like me. Even if you’re not into mythology, I think any fantasy lover would enjoy this book.

  • Kevin
    2019-03-28 20:31

    Much like Quiver, Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner is a retelling of various Greek Myths in the form of a young adult novel. This time the central character is Hermes. Quicksilver starts out rather lightheartedly as Hermes runs various errands for his father Zeus and cracks jokes along the way. It takes a darker turn when discussing the Trojan war, but soon returns to happier times as it tells of his falling in love with Calypso.As I noted with Quiver, these books are interesting and entertaining as sort of fictional tour guides through the world of Greek mythology. Spinner has crafted a very accessible way to become familiar with the characters and stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.But for me, the stories never quite take on a life of their own. Quiver at least had a strong heroine and the plot surrounding her marriage suitors, but Quicksilver's plot is less focused because Hermes is not a central character in the myths. The result is story line that jumps from one episode to another without a central plot.But these books are not likely to be read for their action or suspenseful plot. Rather, what Spinner does well is imagine the gods and goddess as people with all the emotions and challenges that involves. For example, Hermes desperately wants to please his father and misses his brother Apollo when they are separated for extended periods. He feels guilt and jealousy, love and desire, despite having supernatural powers. Spinner does a good job of brining the pantheon to life.I don't mean to be to harsh here. Not every book you read can be in the "wow" category. All in all, these books are well done re-tellings of classic myths in an accessible - if unsophisticated - format.

  • Julie
    2019-04-21 21:50

    QUICKSILVER is a collection of some of the popular Greek legends that we are so familiar with, but given with a fresh attack because they’re told from the point of view of Hermes, God of Travelers and Mischief. I liked this book because in other stories, Hermes was often in the sidelines – the spotlight being taken by more popular gods and goddesses – but in QUICKSILVER, I didn’t only get to know him better; I was inside his head. I appreciated him more as I discovered that although he likes to play pranks, he’s peace-loving (a trait not often shared by the other Olympians) and enjoys the affection of his father Zeus and brother Apollo. That’s actually my favorite aspect in the book – his relationship towards his family. It shows a different side of Hermes. That he seeks Zeus’ approval and appreciation shows that among the twelve Olympians, he’s the most ‘human’ in feelings. He also suffers from guilt and shame because of the not-so-good things he had to do before. And that sets him apart from his family. He chose not to get involved in a war even though it caused him to drift apart from his father and siblings. He’s also obedient and loyal. No wonder he’s the messenger of gods.Stephanie Spinner did a great job in giving voice to an often-overlooked and under-appreciated Greek deity. I really enjoyed reading QUICKSILVER. It wasn’t hilariously funny, but it’s quirky and clever and shows Hermes in his best and worst.

  • Collin
    2019-04-19 20:33

    First read: January 30, 2012Second read: July 5, 2016Quicksilver is a pleasantly brief little novelette about Hermes, my favorite Greek god. With the exception of maybe Dionysus, no Greek god intrigues me as much as Hermes, and there are so few stories with him taking a stage center role, much less as one with him as THE main character. But this book exists to rectify that.Like I said, it's really short. It took me well under two hours to finish. The few myths are briefly told, without too much improvisation on Spinner's part, which can hurt and help the story in equal measure. Likewise, some of Spinner's additions are charming and serve a purpose; others I was left wondering at. (view spoiler)[I have no idea why she made Hermes take Calypso's memories of Odysseus, especially after Calypso expressly said she wanted to keep them. It felt kind of... I mean, I hate to jump to conclusions, but it felt a little date-rape druggy. It was framed as a sort of merciful choice, because Calypso was so sad, but... Calypso wanted the pain with the memories. I don't know. With Hermes's transition to a pacifist as one of the main emotional subplots, this part of the story felt very out of place and selfish. (hide spoiler)]Overall, though, it's just a quick fun book that makes Hermes a person of his own. It's hard to argue with that.

  • MintChocolateLeaves
    2019-04-11 01:42

    As a big fan of Greek mythology this book really made my smile. The God of messengers (and of thievery) Hermes is the protagonist, and has to deal with several 'missions' that he is given.The first mission introduces the love story between Persephone (Kore) and Hades, where Zeus orders Hermes to return her home or else Demeter will let all of the plants die.Another mission he goes on is to ensure Perseus kills Medusa. We all know this myth - or rather, many greek mythology fans like myself know of it - and our protagonist Hermes allows a different perspective on the tale.I'd go into the plot more, but instead, I believe I'll talk about the way Hermes is presented. He is written as one of the only gods in the book who is against violence, but he is still flawed - I would go into the flaws, but alas, this is a spoiler free review.Many Greek gods are introduced in this book, Zeus, Aphrodite, Hades and Apollo (gods Apollo is my favourite of the olympians) to name a few. Each with distinct personalities.I'd recommend this book to any one who enjoys reading about the Greek gods or myths. Especially Percy Jackson fans who are looking for more books with Olympus as a theme.

  • Jessica-Robyn
    2019-04-01 01:53

    Quicksilver first caught my attention when I was making a list of books recommended by the ALA for Young Adult readers. I was still new the YA section of the library and didn't know my way around, but Quicksilver seemed like a good place to start. Here we have a story about the Greek god Hermes. Hermes has always been a favourite of mine when it comes to Greek mythology, but so often he gets pushed aside for the more scandalous Olympian gods. This story was easy to read and enjoyable. What makes it so special is that it is told from Hermes perspective. Not many books about Greek Myth tell their stories from the direct perspective of one of the gods. It gives Quicksilver a great selling point and an interesting angle to the character. Actually, I enjoyed Spinner's writing so much that I went and sought out Quiver, which is her first YA book about Greek mythology. Unfortunately, it just didn't live up to my experience with Quicksilver. This is worth checking out as some light reading for those interested in Greek Mythology and looking for a new perspective on it.

  • Conan Tigard
    2019-04-14 18:35

    Having seen the movie "Clash of the Titans" many times in my younger days, Disney's "Hercules", and lately "Troy" starring Brad Pitt, I knew two of the movie-versions of the short stories in Quicksilver. I have always been a fan of Greek Mythology and love all of the gods.What Stephanie Spinner does in Quicksilver is quite amazing. She brings them to life and makes them seem quite human, which they were. They were quick to anger and enacted horrendous revenge upon those that spurned them. They freely loved their followers and often spawned half-breeds (part god, part human). They laughed, they cried, they lived.Stephanie Spinner makes all of this come to life in Quicksilver, a book readers of all ages can enjoy. Hermes is a wonderful lead character because he is not as well-known as the other gods. Sure, we have all seen him on the FTD logo, but who is he really? This book reveals all and is a fantastic page-turner. I only wished that there was more.I rated this book an 8½ out of 10.

  • Nix
    2019-04-20 20:40

    I really liked how Hermes had some views that changed over time. Gods don't usually do that. Because, they're immortal and all that. But I liked this retelling. And Hermes is great. He's got a touch of humor, but he was still serious enough for me to take his change and maturation seriously. I was not entirely convinced, though, of his love for Calypso. Not that I didn't believe he was in love, I just didn't really see it coming. I mean, he'd admired women over the course of the book, so I didn't really see that this time it was different. So they ended up going to Olympus together and I hadn't even noticed until then. (view spoiler)[And this all besides the fact that he made Calypso forget Odysseus, which while merciful, was still underhanded and not the best way to start off a relationship. (hide spoiler)]

  • Barb Middleton
    2019-04-05 19:28

    Hermes is the wise-cracking messenger god in Greek mythology. He can make Zeus laugh as well as the people that he ferries to the dead in the underworld. He helps Perseus slay Medusa, Persephone spend time with her mom, is involved in the Trojan War, and gets Odysseus released from Calypso.The author covers a lot of ground with all these stories. Some will like it and some will not. I didn’t like it. Hermes never comes alive for me. It felt like the quick tour through Greek mythology. It was too many stories and not enough depth. I did read it, so it wasn’t horrible.The book has violent parts and some might be uncomfortable when the goddesses undress in front of Paris or when Andromeda is left nude to the sea serpent by unscrupulous parents.

  • Ratforce
    2019-04-19 01:36

    Stephanie Spinner has written a handful of books centered on Greek mythology. You may wish to start with the earliest, Quicksilver, but for a story centering on a strong young woman, try Quiver.If you enjoyed the mythology in the Percy Jackson series, then you might want to give Stephanie Spinner a try. Quicksilver explores many stories from mythology, and is a fun and adventurous read.If you enjoy Rick Riordan’s writing, you may also enjoy Stephanie Spinner’s mythological novels. Quicksilver is the action packed story of Hermes, although you may also enjoy Quiver, which features a strong heroine by the name of Atalanta.

  • Sami C
    2019-03-29 18:28

    I was such a huge Greek mythology fangirl in high school. So when I found this book at my favorite bookstore, I had to have it.I enjoyed this spin on Hermes, the messenger of the gods. He is such an underrated character in mythology so it was refreshing to read something centered around him.The book is humorous enough that I felt compelled to read it all in one sitting. I haven't reread it in quite a few years, though, so perhaps when I go home, I will take it out of its dusty corner in my bookshelf.

  • Bill Blaney
    2019-04-23 19:43

    My thoughts on Quicksilver are quick but positive. I found this to be an enjoyable light read. Which I have not experienced in a while. The Greek mythology background is refreshing. Spinner shows Hermes in a new light as someone with their own priorities and not just some simple minded messenger. I came in to this book already having knowledge about Greek mythology and it's family tree. However any reader and pick this book up and follow along. The story is witty and all the personalities shown by the gods are amusing. I recommend Quicksilver to anyone looking for a quick, light read.

  • Hilary
    2019-04-20 23:45

    This was a pretty cute take on the mythology behind the Greek god Hermes. I have never read anything from his perspective before, and I must say that I rather enjoyed this one. Mythology books are on the upswing of their popularity among young readers, and this one will hit the spot. I didn't realize that this was aimed so much toward younger readers until I was in the middle of reading it, but I enjoyed it as a 22-year-old anyway. It would be great for middle school readers, though!

  • Awallens
    2019-04-15 18:26

    Hermes is one of the gods, who loves to hear his father Zeus laugh and will go on any mission to make Zeus proud of him. He tells us in this young adult novel his part in many Greek myths including the Trojan War and other such myths. this book was cute and entertaining and parts of it had me laughing out loud merely because Hermes is so funny.This is a quick read and might get teens interested in mythology if they are so inclined.

  • Lucie P
    2019-04-24 18:39

    Spinner tells the story of Greek god Hermes, the messenger of Zeus. We follow Hermes as he pursues several missions on behalf of Zeus, all based on Greek mythology, ranging from helping Perseus kill Medusa to freeing Odysseus from Calypso's island. Hermes is witty and the book is an easy, quick, entertaining read. A pleasant surprise was seeing some character development in Hermes, because I did not expect that when I started reading - clearly even immortals have some growing up to do. :)

  • Nora
    2019-04-23 20:27

    I wanted another book to offer my Percy Jackson fans who now love anything about Greek and Roman mythology. This is a series of short stories told by Hermes. It's nice to have another fictional option to offer them. It seemed boring at times to me, but I think boys will love the humorous ways the myths are retold. I'm now anxious to read Quiver since I've heard it's a little better.

  • Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
    2019-03-25 19:39

    One of my favourite childhood books that really got me into Greek Mythology, and later on, other varieties of mythology. I liked how it was written, and it was fun seeing the myth told from various perspectives--the central character and also accompanying gods too. I'm not sure how I would feel about it if I read it now though!

  • Ana
    2019-04-04 22:52

    An enjoyable retelling of some of the most memorable moments of Greek mythology, through the eyes of Hermes, the messenger god.Entertaining and informative, Stephanie Spinner gives Hermes the long overdue credit he deserves. As a Gemini, I loved to learn the many sides of my ruling planet-god. A light weekend read, recommended to all the lovers of Greek mythology out there.