Friday, 29 July 2016

Book Review: Beyond Hades by Luke Romyn

What if mythology isn’t myth? The ancient Greeks told fabulously detailed stories involving unbelievable creatures - monsters dominating all tales from that time. Were they just highly imaginative, or was their inspiration from somewhere else?

Doctor Talbot Harrison, a professor in archeology, receives a phone call one day which will destroy everything he perceives as reality. His brother has been mysteriously killed and within moments the United States Military appear at his door, literally dragging him from his home. Thrown into a helicopter under intense armed guard, it doesn’t take long until they are attacked by something which cannot possibly exist, something drawn to destroy the one man who can stop the beasts from a land beyond Hades....

My Review: 
The first thing that really annoyed me was the tiny print. I really hate it when the print is small like that as it stops my normal brisk reading speed and I have to slow down and take much longer over every word. It really does bug me and those with issues in their sight might find this a difficult book to read for that reason.

Getting on to the story, I liked the concept of the MC battling various mythology monsters. I figured it would be a fast paced monster battle type of story but I found it quite disappointing. To be fair, it was fast paced and it was full of monsters to battle but it still felt a bit bland and boring to me. It was such a shame because I wanted to like this book so much but I felt it just didn't deliver on the promise in the plot. I hate it when that happens!

You see, Talbot is a professor of archaeology and is told that his twin Thomas has been killed. The military want him to replace his brother on a top secret project and he gets no choice in the matter. Within minutes the first creature is attacking them. This is the problem for me-Talbot attracts the monsters to him so wherever he goes, monsters suddenly appear and he is spirited away to some other safe place...where he attracts monsters and they are attacked and someone saves him. And so on, over and over. He is a passenger in the book who is needing to be saved by others giving their life to get him to safety which never really exists. It is very repetitive and after a couple of chapters, this loses its appeal quickly.

Talbot is not a character that I greatly liked. I didn't dislike him but I didn't connect with him enough to be that bothered what happened to him. He was ok but not the most interesting MC to have. He also has little opportunity to interact with those looking after him when he keeps dashing off so another chance to develop his character is lost.

The monsters should have been really great but again it just didn't work. I think the problem I had is that Talbot is being rushed away from each battle so we don't see enough of what is happening, hearing about it from the odd survivor. It is strange to have a book with a ton of action leaving me feeling my attention wandering. I also felt that we were just being drip-fed the plot...just as we thought Talbot was getting a few answers, a monster would arrive and he'd run away to safety and the questions he wanted answering were just abandoned. I found it a bit frustrating that the monster attacks kept interrupting the information that Talbot and the reader wanted.

This paragraph contains a huge early plot spoiler so if you don't want to know, stop reading now and go to next paragraph. OK here it comes. The one character I did feel I liked was Chuck, assigned to protect Talbot. He had some personality about him and was the best bit of the book so when he died a few chapters in, I was angry and felt cheated. It was the last straw for me and I threw the book aside in disgust. Spoiler ends.

OK it is safe to read again if you had looked away. This seemed to have all the elements I thought I would like in a book-fast paced, plenty of action, mythology monsters...but it just didn't seem to work for me, which was a bit annoying. It is not a bad book and others might have a better time with it. However this is the second abandoned book for me by this author and I've decided that his writing is not the kind that I enjoy
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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