Once & Future

Once & Future

by Amy Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy


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King Arthur as you've never imagined! This bold, sizzling YA retells the popular legend with the Once and Future King as a teenage girl — and she has a universe to save.

I've been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I've always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I'm done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

*STARRED REVIEW* "All hail this worthier-than-ever, fresh, and affirming reincarnation of the legendary king and her round table of knights which dazzles with heroic flair, humor, and suspense." —Kirkus

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316449274
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 15,513
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cori McCarthy is the author of four young adult books, including BREAKING SKY, which received multiple starred reviews and is in development to become a film by Sony Pictures, and a forthcoming nonfiction picture book. Cori is an Irish-Lebanese American who, like many of their characters, is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. After earning a BA in Creative Writing from Ohio University, they completed UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting and earned an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Cori lives in the mountains of Vermont with their partner and young son.

Amy Rose Capetta is the author of several YA novels, including punk rock ECHO AFTER ECHO (starred review), and THE BRILLIANT DEATH, which releases October 2018. Amy Rose holds a BA in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. With Cori McCarthy, she is the co-founder of the Rainbow Boxes initiative which sent LGBTQIAP fiction to readers in all 50 states, and the Rainbow Writers Workshop, which helps find and develop exciting new voices. She lives in Vermont with her ONCE & FUTURE co-author and the champion of her heart, Cori.

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Once & Future 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Kibbyra 11 months ago
Once & Future was a book I desperately wanted to love. I signed up for an action packed, subverted Sci Fi retelling of King Arthur, but what I got was a fluffy romcom with pacing issues. The hardest thing is I read the ARC and I've been lead to believe that the authors made many changes before the final version was released, so I can only hope they fixed some of the pacing issues. I will say that the diversity and inclusivity in this book is amazing and I hope that I continue to see more books with this. The ending of this book definitely intrigued me for reading the next book. Since I'll know what I'm getting with the humorous writing style, I'll be able to read the sequel when I'm in the right mood for it. At the end of the day, Once & Future has some solid bones that I think were mostly likely better used in the final version of this book. If you are looking for an inclusive, humorous space adventure, Once & Future is for you.
Bookyogi More than 1 year ago
3 1/2 stars. This is a fun spin on King Arthur and his court, where King Arthur has reincarnated 42 times and this time is a woman named Ari and Merlin has aged backward to a teenage boy. All the other original characters from King Arthurs court are here, gender fluid and their roles discovered as the story progresses. It is a creative, light and fast paced read that you don’t have to think too hard to enjoy.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I heard about this I was super excited because it's an King Arthur re-telling and you don't get many of those, you know? And then I realized it was set in space and I knew even more that I needed it. But after reading this, those two together made up to be a little confusing.... Ari finds Excalibur and is ready to quit being the girl who's run from the Mercer corporation for most of her life. Now she is ready to fight back. She has to. All while also becoming the newest reincarnation of King Arthur, breaking Merlin's curse, and trying to stay alive. I have to admit, I have it bad for re-tellings. Anytime I see that there's a new one, I HAVE to get my hands on it in some way! And this one was no different. I liked the way it was so close to the legend and I REALLY liked that they made it gender-bent. So basically, they made the Legend THEIRS. That's my favorite thing about re-tellings. Letting authors put their own twists and seeing what they come up with is always so awesome. However, I did not care for the writing style. If I'm being honest, it was pretty obvious to me that the story was written by more than one person. I felt like I could feel the switches and jumping around in the story. It didn't help that I was listening via audio, so I found myself having to rewind and figure out what was actually happening. I just felt all over the place and I didn't care for that. The number one thing I liked about this was the representation! This was full of rep we haven't seen much in YA and I AM LIVING FOR IT. And it's all shown on the page. Looking at this aspect only, this book was incredible and I'm happy to be able to recc it later on to my teens. I also really loved the audio of this. It was more of a production than a book with the sounds effects and more. Even when something was said over a loud speaker it seemed that there was some type of feedback like there would be on a real one. It was the one thing that kept me entertained because after not loving the writing style, had this not been included I might have checked out. Maybe I'm the black sheep, but I'm not sure if I want to read the next book. I added it to my TBR, but if the writing style happens to be the same, I may opt out. This one for me was just ok and it made me disappointed because I wanted to love it so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elena_L More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of retellings and once I saw "Once & Future" I knew that I had to grab this one! "Once & Future" is a King Arthur retelling about Ari, as she is revealed to be the 42th reincarnation of King Arthur. You may ask "well, a female King Arthur?" - so this book is a brand-new look of this mysterious character. Ari is a refugee and illegal immigrant that has always been chased by the tyrannical Mercer corporation. When she lands on the Old Earth and pulls a magic sword Excalibur, she discovers her new fate. This book is a fantasy science fiction adaptation of this classic - there are themes such as LGTBQ, abuse of power, magical creatures, partnership and loyalty. I found the storyline overall fast-paced and focused more on the plot rather than the characters, although sometimes a little bit hard to follow. Each character was unique and diverse: I personally felt more attached to Merlin and learned to like Ari- I enjoyed Merlin's raw emotions and his constant struggle with his role; about Ari I thought that she was just fine in the beginning but later her growth in the story was inspiring. Having said that, I wanted to read more about the characters' development and Ari's root. Also, I enjoyed the sci-fi approach of this book which gave it a fresh feeling and it was very engaging. The ending was surprising and I can't wait for the sequel. [Thanks for Hachette Book Group/ Jimmy Patterson for the ARC in exchange for an honest review]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though it takes a while to get going and has perhaps a few too many jabs at the present day, this novel was pretty entertaining. The main characters felt a little too young to me, personality-wise which made it a bit difficult to stay in the story as they went through their trials and explored their relationships with one another. Many times, scenes just felt super awkward, to be honest, because I didn’t feel that their maturity levels were up to snuff. That and I didn’t find myself really caring for any of them except for Merlin, oddly. But the idea of King Arthur reincarnating and a gang of friends who don’t quite fit the molds of their predecessors was interesting. I’m slightly disappointed that this is actually a series rather than a one-off, so I most likely won’t read the sequel *but* I’m satisfied with having read this novel and I think its inclusion of so many different kinds of people is something to celebrate.
marongm8 More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite tales of all time is King Arthur and the legend of Camelot and when I heard about this new rendition with a female lead heroine, I just had to jump at the chance and read this book. The main heroine is named Ari which is similar to Arthur so it does stay true to the tale. All of the legendary characters such as Merlin, Morgana and Lancelot return in the story but their roles are slightly smaller in this version with Ari being the main character focus throughout the book. I absolutely love the new rendition of this tale and I love even more that there is a female heroine involved and still with such action packed adventure, it will leave you wanting more. I really do hope this is a start of a new YA series. We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at the library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was horrible. DONT READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard about this book at the end of September, and knew immediately that it was a book that I needed in my life. I've always been fond of retellings of King Arthur. Who doesn't? I've also always loved books about ladies with swords. And I'm a huge lover of sci-fi. So King Arthur, reincarnated as a woman, in space?? Well, sign me up! (And it's LGBT+?? Even better!) I pre-order this book, sort of forgot when it's release date was, and was pleasantly surprised when it showed up at my house! I started reading it the next day, and it didn't take me many pages to fall in love. I was constantly texting my friends some of the funny bits, telling them how much I was loving it and how much I think that they would love it to. Once & Future is a fun retelling of King Arthur. The cast of characters is rich and dynamic, all of the characters have such distinct voices, they all leap right off of the page! Merlin had me cracking up the most, and the earliest. But the whole round table has wormed their way into my heart! Ari is such a wonderful, likeable main character! I found myself glued to this book, unable to put it down, just wondering what was going to happen next! I found myself longing for enough free time to just read one sentence more, maybe two! This is hands down my favorite book that I have read so far this year, and it's going to take a lot to knock it down from first place. I cannot wait for the sequel, for their next quest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have collected Arthurian related stories, traditional and alternative, for many years. I found this story disappointing. It reminded me a lot of an old comic book series, "Camelot 3000," which was a futuristic SF take on Arthurian tales and that was a disappointment too. The plot in the book is convoluted, predictable, and in need of tightening up in spots. I felt little sympathy for the characters and was cheering on the Mercer Corporation because I wanted it over and done with. The attempts at humor were weak and should have been eliminated from the book. I wish I had waited for the book to come out in paperback because I feel I wasted my money on a hard cover edition. I doubt I'll purchase the sequel.