Sunday, 1 July 2018

Chuckles Chat #71 Mythology

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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Over the coming weeks I'm looking at our book buying life. By this what I mean is, what are the scenarios in a book blurb that make us really want to pick up that book and start reading? What do we love about the genre and what puts us off?

This week I'm looking at a more specialised topic of mythology. I have read some non fiction about Greek, Roman, Indian, Celtic, Norse and Egyptian mythology over my reading years and have enjoyed some of it. They can be very heavy going depending on the authors so I do prefer to see these things mainly in my fiction reading now. I've had a mixed time with these books though but it doesn't stop me looking for more.

Let me start with the successes I've found. Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series has a good mix of Celtic and Norse mythology with bits of Native American, Indian, Greek and Roman thrown in for good measure. I loved this modern world with the interaction of the gods and goddesses mixed with action and humour. I liked reading and learning more about these mythologies without the mind numbing info dumps in non fiction versions.  I liked the Percy Jackson world itself though I gave up the series due to the stroppy brats fighting all the time. The idea of the safe camp to go to where you can meet others like you and take part in war games and quests was certainly interesting. It's a bit more interesting than being shoved into a regular summer camp, right?

I also love books where these mythological beasts are creating death and destruction in modern cities and maybe a team of good MCs are working together with various skills to stop them. I like some of these adventures deep into the underworld where we see all the places from mythology and get different twists on the legends. I do admit that Greek is a particular favourite of mine thanks to my dad so I love the Hades underworld themes and the monsters that feature there. Having them escape into our world can be fun too! Obviously it depends on the actual plot and characters whether I'll like the story or not but I do quite often download something with this kind of theme. 

I also like a bit of urban myths in the plots in my fiction, whether it is scary scarecrows, psycho killers at campsites, cannibals, a deadly road where cars or people go missing, kids being lured away by a long dead killer, scary ass clowns, Sasquatches and haunted theme parks etc. I'd like to read more about wendigos and chupacabras! I'd love a plot like you see in the Final Destination films where Fate is cheated and comes after them. (There are Final Destination books on Amazon UK but the prices are crazy!) I like a tense gory tale of this kind and it does add to the fun when it is based on an actual urban legend or myth. I could actually enjoy a non fiction book full of urban legends from around the world or in different countries-maybe a North American or UK one. That might be fun reading!

I was actually disappointed by The Immortals because I found it too slow and I disliked the cold MC so I do find some of these books not to my taste. Whether the book is about people or gods I do still need to like the characters before I can engage with them. If it goes into too much complicated description or info dump territory, I can find mythology a bit heavy to read even if it is fiction. I don't like a slow story either. I'm not keen on reading mythology fiction that is actually set in the time of Clash of the Titans...I much prefer the modern setting. 

On the urban myth side of things, I'm less interested in the haunted house side of things unless a lot of our characters die strange deaths inside the building. I'm less keen on actual hauntings and ghosts though I do like those reality tv settings where a group of people are trapped in a house or hotel or resort being filmed and they start getting killed off. I do like a book like that! As long as there is plenty action and death and tense near misses, I'm all over that kind of plot so recs are welcome!

What kind of mythology do you enjoy? Do you read non fiction mythology? What scenarios from mythology do you enjoy in fiction?


  1. I was a little disappointed by The Immortals but the sequel really turned me off. I wanted to like that one too. And I love having mythology mashed up with modern times. Celtic and Norse seem to go well together sometimes, and I like seeing Native american legends make an appearance too. I'd like to see Finnish and Japanese show up more.

    1. I read a good Indie book about modern day offspring of the Gods trying to stop Aphrodite unleashing demons. It was Godhead by Ken Mooney. There is a sequel and I'm waiting to see if a third book is coming out at some point.

  2. The Immortals by Joanna Max Brodsky? Oh dear. :( Here's hoping I find it better... when I get to it.

    1. I hope you do like it. I just didn't like the main characters!