“Hood”: an Unrealistic Interpretation of an Old Favorite

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Hood by Jenny Elder Moke is a story that is loosely based on the legend of Robin Hood, a bandit who uses his skill with a bow and arrow to steal from the rich and give to the poor. The story follows Isabelle, Robin Hood’s daughter, as she goes on a quest to find her famous father.

Isabelle is quietly fuming in her prison cell when she gets rescued by her mother. She then goes on a short journey to the Blue Boar Inn, where she is introduced to the Merry Men of Sherwood forest, part of the large group of outlaws who follow Robin Hood. Soon after Isabelle meets the Merry Men, she goes on a long and dangerous journey to find her father.

 Isabelle is an example of the stereotypical female protagonist who relies mostly on men to save her, time and time again. While she can shoot a bow and is able to defend herself, she manages to get captured many times throughout the book. Isabelle would have been a more enjoyable character if she had defended herself from attackers at least once, or if she had not lied to all of her friends and used them for personal gain.

 The first half of the novel is very fast-paced and confusing with practically no description of the setting, so it is nearly impossible to picture where the characters are. The second half, however, has an entertaining blend of action and adventure. The characters also started getting to know each other better in the second half of the story, making the last battle much more dramatic and entertaining than the earlier battles. 

I would not recommend the novel. First, the characters are all over the place: sometimes they like each other, other times they hate one another, and the smallest mistake could cause everybody to completely distrust the culprit. Second, the plot does not make much sense and the first half of the book is a struggle to get through. While the second half is more enjoyable, it is not good enough to make the rest of the book worth reading. Overall, Hood would be a waste of both time and money.