Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Review: 'The Lakehouse' by Joe Clifford

I probably don't need to restate my love for thrillers and horrors. I heard a lot about The Lakehouse and had been really drawn in by the cover itself. There is a great atmosphere about it that really raised my expectations. Unfortunately I think they might have been raised a little bit too high and I ended up disappointed during my reading. Thanks to Polis Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 9/29/2020
Publisher: Polis Books

After being cleared of his wife’s murder, Todd Norman returns to her small Connecticut hometown in order to finish building their dream house by the lake. He is eager to restart his life and cast aside any remaining suspicious...but all of that is dashed when a young woman’s body washes up on the beach next door. When Tracy Somerset, divorced mother from the small town of Covenant, CT, meets a handsome stranger in a midnight Wal-Mart, she has no idea she is speaking with Todd Norman, the former Wall Street financier dubbed “The Banker Butcher” by the New York tabloids. The following morning, on the beach by Norman’s back-under-construction lakehouse, another young woman’s body is discovered. Sheriff Duane Sobczak’s investigation leads him to town psychiatrist Dr. Meshulum Bakshir, whose position at a troubled girls’ group home a decade ago yields disturbing ties to several local, prominent players, including a radical preacher, a disgraced politician, a down-and-out PI—and Sobczak’s own daughter. Unfolding over the course of New England’s distinct four seasons, The Lakehouse is a domestic psychological thriller about the wayward and marginalized, the lies we tell those closest to us, and the price of forbidden love in an insular community where it seems everyone has a story to tell—and a past they prefer stay buried.

A house on the lake. A mysterious new man in town. A body washed up on the beach. The perfect trifecta of happenings to be the start of a great thriller. One of the things that makes reading thrillers so comforting is that it's always about fitting the same kind of puzzle pieces together. There is a crime, there must be a perpetrator. There is your main character, who will have to figure out what's going on while, most likely, being in danger themselves. There are side characters who are either super helpful or super suspicious. Or maybe, just maybe, they're both. It is from these recognizable pieces that authors have been able to create something new and exciting every single time. But this is where drudgery can come from as well, when readers can predict all the next steps and the element of surprise disappears.

The Lakehouse, as the blurb shows, is about Todd Norman returning to Covenant to finish building the lake house the promised his wife, except this is interrupted when a woman's body washes up on his property. Except Todd Norman is called Greg in the book itself, which I guess falls down to changes in the editing between ARC and blurb. I also put some of the other mistakes throughout the book down to needing a final round of editing before final publication. But Todd/Greg also isn't the main character, even, of The Lakehouse. And his motivation for returning is never really addressed in the novel, only hinted at. The Lakehouse's narration is split up between Tracy Somerset, the new flame, Duane Sobczak, the cop, and Meshulum Bakshir, the psychiatrist. They all feel a little too like cardboard cut outs as their motivations are never delved in to too deeply. Because of this many of their actions feel like they come out of nowhere or are overly dramatic and nonsensical. 

Duane Sobczak is probably the most fully formed of the characters and shows some actual development towards the end. He is a small town cop with a one-person team consisting of his son-in-law. He strongly believes in his town and in the goodness of its people. Drugs have no place there and neither do pre-marital sex, lesbians and murderers. Watching him come up against the real world is kind of charming but also struck me as very odd in this particular cultural moment. Tracy is a messy character that I think needed a lot more pages to develop her interiority. Dr. Bakshir feels like the odd character out, largely used for shock factor in some of the twists and turns. Aside from that there is a focus on drug abuse and sexual abuse in some of the female story lines that I don't believe was handled well or with any kind of delicacy. 

I've seen a lot of praise for Joe Clifford's writing and was very excited to experience it myself. Unfortunately, as you might have guessed from the previous paragraphs, I was merely whelmed. There are a lot of interesting ideas in The Lakehouse which maybe needed a little bit more time in the oven, but in the edition I read they didn't quite fit well together yet. Some of the characters needed more development and attention in order to make them feel less like a plot-device. I saw the plot twist coming from quite early on but was looking forward to how Clifford would work his way towards it. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, many things did not end up getting explained which left me quite unsatisfied. By the end of the novel there were still quite a few plot threads that needed wrapping up which never happened. Finally, and I'm willing to admit it may be pedantic, but I loathe the title not separating 'Lake' and 'house'. 

I give this book...

2 Universes.

I had very high expectations of The Lakehouse but unfortunately none of them were met. Although I did get through the book quickly, I did not enjoy a lot of aspects of it. I may give Joe Clifford another go in future books, but only once complete edits have been done.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Audiobook Review: 'Cursed Objects' by J.W. Ocker, narr. by Tim Cambell

I was utterly thrilled when NetGalley announced they had started to also make audio books available. I had only recently gotten into audio books after mostly listening to podcasts beforehand. One of the first I requested was Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker because... well, come on! This is my first audio book review, but I will be covering many of the same points. Thanks to Tantor Audio and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Tantor Audio
Pub. Date: 9/15/2020

Beware . . . this book is cursed! These strange but true stories of the world's most infamous items will appeal to true believers as well as history buffs, horror fans, and anyone who loves a good spine-tingling tale. They're lurking in museums, graveyards, and private homes. Their often tragic and always bizarre stories have inspired countless horror movies, reality TV shows, novels, and campfire tales. They're cursed objects, and all they need to unleash a wave of misfortune is . . . you. Many of these unfortunate items have intersected with some of the most notable events and people in history, leaving death and destruction in their wake. But never before have the true stories of these eerie oddities been compiled into a fascinating and chilling volume.

Cursed Objects starts out with its very own curse, warning the reader against stealing the book. This is a very wise warning as it is, as Ocker himself admits, the most comprehensive compendium of cursed objects in the world. You don't want to mess around with those. And yet Cursed Objects is full of people messing around with these objects. Why do we believe in curses and especially in cursed objects? Some objects make sense. Of course some of the rich people who owned the Hope Diamond got themselves into weird situations. Others make less sense. But how can an object make you see werewolves? Ocker makes it clear you don't have to believe in cursed objects to enjoy reading about them, nicely side-stepping the question some may go into the book with.

Cursed Objects starts if with an explanation of cursed objects and how they differ from the other paranormal objects we may be used to. It was a nice little technical section before getting into the different sections of the book which cover different types of objects. One of my favourite stories is 'The Ring of Silvianus' which is in the first section 'Cursed Under Glass', which is closely linked (at least in pop culture awareness) to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. I was also fascinated by the last few sections that looked at the business of cursed objects and why certain objects that we might expect to be cursed aren't. It really broadened the book and added something of more interest. 

Cursed Objects isn't a scary book. Those wanting to gasp out loud and be horrified may be slightly disappointed, but those wanting to hear fun stories about weird objects will feel right at home. There is a real levity to the book that I enjoyed. It's a joy to read about/listen to stories about objects from all across the world and it is very clear that Ocker has a respect for these objects and the cultures they stem from. He does his best to tread lightly and with respect wherever cultural misunderstandings are a possibility. The research that has gone into this book shows Ocker's personal commitment to the topic. 

Tim Campbell is a great narrator who really brings out all of Ocker's hard work, which is everything you could ask for from a narrator. His tone is serious when discussing the more seirous aspects of these objects, but also very humorous when the book calls for it. The audio book I listened to was about 5 hours long, which is the perfect length. It is something that can be listened to in one go or dipped into occasionally for the different stories. I will definitely be going back to this and re-listening.

I give this audio book...

4 Universes!

I absolutely adored Cursed Objects. It was a joy to listen to and I will definitely be looking for a hard copy as well. Ocker is an author I will be keeping an eye on and Campbell did a great job as a narrator.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Review: 'The Habsburgs' by Martyn Rady

One of the things that continuously fascinates me about history is how so many things that must have been coincidence lead up to something that feels inevitable. For me, the Habsburgs have always been linked to World War I, which in and of itself felt both totally avoidable and inevitable. The Habsburgs by Martyn Rady gave me a chance to dig further into this family's history and realize once again how they pop up simply everywhere. Thanks to Perseus Books, Basic Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 8/25/2020
Publisher: Perseus Books; Basic Books

The definitive history of the dynasty that dominated Europe for centuries

In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world they built -- and then lost -- over nearly a millennium. From modest origins, the Habsburgs gained control of the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century. Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe, stretching from Hungary to Spain, and parts of the New World and the Far East. The Habsburgs continued to dominate Central Europe through the First World War.

Historians often depict the Habsburgs as leaders of a ramshackle empire. But Rady reveals their enduring power, driven by the belief that they were destined to rule the world as defenders of the Roman Catholic Church, guarantors of peace, and patrons of learning. The Habsburgs is the definitive history of a remarkable dynasty that forever changed Europe and the world.

Aaah the Habsburgs, who started as nothing and eventually had a finger in every pot and were inbred up to their ears. What a family! In The Habsburgs Martyn Rady runs the reader through this family's entire history, showing how they seemed to fail upwards consistently, until they ran the Holy Roman Empire, and then truly took the reins. You will find Habsburgs in almost every major European and global event or trend from the fifteenth century onward: the Reformation, the expansion to the New World, Freemasonry, Alchemy, and pretty much every single war or battle. They gave us the Empress Sissi and Marie-Antoinette, but also the Habsburg Jaw and many an atrocity. The Habsburgs is an expansion of Rady's A Very Short Introduction on the same topic and it is definitely expansive.

The Habsburg empire was a fascinating amalgam of different countries, cultures, histories, languages, traditions and faiths. The fact it held as long as it did is almost miraculous, but I think part of the reason why it continues to fascinate is because we find ourselves in the situation where we need to try something similar. The world is so interconnected now that we need to face every problem if not as one, then at least united in an understanding of each other. The Habsburg empire is not an example but it is a lesson of history it is worth learning. I will not go into every single thing Rady covers in The Habsburgs otherwise I would have to re-type the book, but a big focus lies on their rise to power as well as their loss of that very power.

Martyn Rady doesn't set out to share any opinions or win any arguments in The Habsburgs which means that those expecting scandalous stories about  the inbreeding and madness of the family will be disappointed. But so will those be who were expecting him to come down harshly on the imperialistic tendencies of the family. In many ways The Habsburgs is a perfect introduction, a primer of sorts, that runs you through all the major characters and happenings with just the right balance between fact and interest to make you want to do further research yourself. For me this means that Rady strikes the right tone, since no one book can cover hundreds of years and events and crises and do everything justice. Rady will make you want to pick up further books to learn more, and I couldn't ask anything more from a history book.

I give this book...

4 Universes!

Although I'm willing to accept The Habsburgs won't be for everyone, it is exactly the kind of book for those who are interested in history. Well written and full of information, The Habsburgs is both a fun reading experience and a valuable resource.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Review: 'Do Her No Harm' by Naomi Joy

What do you do when your best friend is gone and no one, but you, is wiling to dig any deeper? Naomi Joy takes us on a roller coaster ride in Do Her No Harm that leaves the reader questioning every step the characters take. Although not every twist hit its target for me, I did find myself racing through the book. Thanks to Aria and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 8/20/2020
Publisher: Aria

One unsolved murder. A best friend determined to right the wrongs of the past.

On the 21st August Tabitha Rice disappeared without a trace. All the signs point to murder, but no signs point to a murderer. The easiest answer is her husband, Rick. But he protests his innocence and there is little proof he is the murderer.

Annabella knows there is more to the story than what the police are telling. Tabitha was her best friend and she vows to uncover the truth.

As Annabella delves further into the past, she uncovers sides to Tabitha that she never saw coming, and she finds herself asking the question... Was this murder? Or is there more to Tabitha Rice's story than meets the eye?

Perfect for fans of Louise Candlish, The Silent Patient and Blood Orange.

Tabby disappeared five years ago and Annabella still can't let it go. Tabby's husband has moved on. The news media has move don. But Annabella knows there is more to all of this and she is determined to find out, no matter what the costs. I think the latter is one of the key themes of not just Do Her No Harm, but many suspense novels. Humans are often willing to go to the very end in their search for truth. Many of us absolutely will follow a strange noise up into the attic, because we need to know what's there. The brain is such a miraculous thing that anything it images is most likely worse than reality. Thus, Annabella finds herself grasping for straws, trusting a lousy private detective and partnering up with a journalist turned True Crime podcaster. But when do you stop? And will you recognize yourself once you have found the truth?

Annabella's private detective has failed her. He has found no proof Tabby was murdered and doesn't want to keep digging. Desperate, Annabella agrees to work with a True Crime podcaster who wants to shine a spotlight on Tabby's disappearance. The prime suspect is her husband, Rick, who has moved on and always seemed suspiciously calm. As the hunt for the truth brings her to the brink of distraction, Annabella finds herself making mistakes left, right and centre. Who can she trust? Did she know Tabby at all? And does she know herself? Not all of these questions are entirely answered to my satisfaction. There are a few quite shocking twists and turns in the final third of Do Her No Harm but a thriller aficionado will see quite a few coming. Overall I found Do Her No Harm very exciting while reading it, but once it was finished I realized it hadn't left much of an impression on me. I think part of this was due to not connecting well with the main characters which means that I wasn't truly invested in the resolution.

This is my first novel by Naomi Joy, although I know many people enjoyed her previous novel The LiarsDo Her No Harm is split up between Annabella's narrative in the present and Tabby's narrative leading up to her disappearance. As both edge their way towards the end, the tension in the novel ramps up enormously, making for an exciting second half. The first half of the novel is a bit slower, as Joy tries to put all her pieces in the right place. Sadly, Annabella wasn't fully realized for me as a character. Throughout Do Her No Harm she made some choices which seemed  very odd and unnatural. I think part of this was forced by the plot and the twists and turns Joy had coming up, but it was a shame to not be able to connect with her the way you'd hope. Rick remained a shadowy character for much of it as well, as did many of the other side characters. A slight warning comes with the book in regards to one of the main characters having OCD. It's not a major point but is a key part of her characterization and comes up frequently. Aside from that, Tabby and Annabella both worked at a beautician's and there's frequent mention of plastic surgery. Although I don't have an issue with it, I found some of the descriptions regarding it in this book almost unpleasant.

I give this novel...

3 Universes.

Do Her No Harm is a fun read that will keep you engaged for as long as the pages last. While some of it may be predictable to tried and tested Thriller readers, there is much to enjoy. I will keep an eye out for any future books by Naomi Joy.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Review: 'Hush Little Baby' (DC Beth Chamberlain #3) by Jane Isaac

The first thing that frew me to Hush Little Baby was the cover. It evokes the lullaby-quality of the title, but with the dark colours there is also that sense fo threat. Hush Little Baby gives the reader some of the best staples of the suspense genre, family strife and tragic pasts, but occasionally fails the landing. Thanks to Aria and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Pub. Date: 23/7/2020
Publisher: Aria

Someone stole a baby...

One sunny day in July, someone took three-month-old Alicia Owen from her pram outside a supermarket. Her mother, Marie, was inside. No one saw who took Alicia. And no one could find her.

They silenced her cry...

Fifteen years later, a teenager on a construction site sees a tiny hand in the ground. When the police investigate, they find a baby buried and preserved in concrete. Could it be Alicia?

But the truth will always out.

When Alicia disappeared, the papers accused Marie of detachment and neglect. The Owens never got over the grief of their child's disappearance and divorced not long after. By reopening the case, DC Beth Chamberlain must reopen old wounds. But the killer may be closer than anyone ever suspected...

The latest crime thriller featuring Family Liaison Officer DC Beth Chamberlain, Hush Little Baby is tightly plotted, fraught with tension and impossible to put down. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and K.L. Slater.

Many detective and suspense novels are part of a series, which can be half of the fun. As the reader, you become fond of the set cast of detectives and follow their arcs across the series. I imagine that the continuation also gives the author a baseline by which to start and organize every installment. However, the requirement for successful detective series, in my opinion, is that every story can be a standalone, that the series narrative doesn't stand in the way of developing each individual plot. In Hush Little Baby this is largely successful until the end where the events of previous books take over to such an extent that I, having not read them, did feel a bit lost.

In Hush Little Baby a young teenager is shocked to find a tiny hand emerging from a cement block. This leads to the discovery of the body of little Alicia, who was kidnapped fifteen years earlier. Her disappearance tore her family apart and was a bit of a national scandal. At the time, the culprit got away with it, but now DC Beth Chamberlain is on the case. As the Family Liaison Officer, she is right there with the family, having to open up old wounds and pry into their affairs. The perspective of an FLO is very interesting as it gives us all the delicious twists and turns of families hiding things from each other and the police. I do have to say I wasn't entirely pleased with the resolution to the disappearance of Alicia, but that could be due to the fact that the novel then continued on into, seemingly, resolving a story line from the previous books. It was an odd shift and kind of took away the emotional gravitas of the main plot.

This was my first book by Jane Isaac and I did very much enjoy her characterization of Beth Chamberlain. She is a very empathetic main character who is balancing a relationship with family troubles and a challenging case. A lot of time is spent building up what the consequences of the crime were for the family. As time has passed, certain wounds have healed, while others are still very much open. Quite a few family secrets are revealed, yet not all of them hit equally for me. A few twists are quite shocking but happen later on in the story when there isn't a lot of time left to wrap up the main plot. Overall, Hush Little Baby did have me gripped and I was eager to get to the resolution. However, I would give the advice to read the other two books in the DC Beth Chamverlain series before going into Hush Little Baby to get the full experience, as I did feel like I missed out on some of the enjoyment. 

I give this novel...

3 Universes.

I enjoyed Hush Little Baby but found myself occasionally disappointed by the twists as well as by the ending. I would recommend reading the overall series, however, as this would make for a better reading experience. 

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Review: 'What Lies Between Us' by John Marrs

I have been using psychological thrillers to sidestep some of the stress of the everyday. Although we're back to working (almost) like normal here in Shanghai, there is still a bit of tension that makes everything harder. Thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Pub. Date: 5/15/2020
Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

Psychological thrillers are a great escape for me and many others as it releases some of the tensions and stress of everyday life. It's almost as if facing your worst fears on the page, whether it is being kidnapped, a high-speed car chase, a knife-wielding maniac or treacherous spouses, makes real life just a little bit less tense. How hard can it be to call the dentist if your main character is trying to solve a murder? Occasionally the high does wear off and you have to go more and more extreme in your thrillers to get some of the relief. What Lies Between Us was one of those books for me, which turned the dial up all the way. And although the shock aspect of it did the job, I realized, my need for a stronger dose of realism in my thrillers.

Twisted, that is the word most applicable to What Lies Between Us. Nina has her mother, Maggie, chained up in the attic but it is not quite clear from the beginning how the two women got to this point. As the book unfolds, history unravels and their relationship is laid bare. Marrs stacks horror and betrayal upon horror and betrayal. Much of What Lies Between Us is fascinating and gripping, but that is mostly due to its shock factor. Occasionally I found myself becoming slightly numb to all the twists and turns, the hurt the two women were causing and had caused each other. Above I mentioned my need for realism in thrillers, by which I mean a sense of consequences, the awareness that the outside world is there and is watching, that people do notice things. Novels like What Lies Between Us seem to take place in their own little universe where unspeakable acts can be committed without anyone being the wiser. 

John Marrs' writing keeps you on the edge of your seat. You just know that behind every corner something horrible is waiting. What Lies Between Us is a dark novel in which there truly isn't a moment of light. Hardly anyone has any good in them and Nina and Maggie are twisted beyond belief in their relationship. They're co-dependent, they hate each other, they think they love each other and the whole thing is quite discouraging. I'm also not the biggest fan of the portrayal of mental illness in this book as it deals with quite a few damaging tropes. Most likely I will pick up other books by John Marrs, but I will also be more likely to give up on them if they prove to be in a similar vein. 

I give this book... 
3 Universes!

I'm giving What Lies Between Us 3 Universes because it did keep me engaged. But this isn't a book  would easily recommend. For me, it wasn't as smart or as thrilling as I'd have liked it to be. What Lies Between Us will horrify and shock, but that is all.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Review: 'Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined' by Stephen Fry

Greek Mythology is an enduring favourite of mine. It forms the origin point for most of my passion: reading, history, language, mythology in general, adaptations, traveling. I'm not quite sure which direction my life would have taken, had I not discovered (been introduced to) these Greek myths at the tender age of 7. So of course both Heroes and its predecessor Mythos would have peaked my interest straightaway. Thanks to Chronicle Book and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date:
Publisher: Chronicle Books

In this sequel to the bestselling Mythos, legendary author and actor Stephen Fry moves from the exploits of the Olympian gods to the deeds of mortal heroes.

Perseus. Jason. Atalanta. Theseus. Heracles. Rediscover the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths. Whether recounting a tender love affair or a heroic triumph, Fry deftly finds resonance with our own modern minds and hearts.

Illustrated throughout with classical art inspired by the myths, this gorgeous volume invites you to explore a captivating world with a brilliant storyteller as your guide.

• Each adventure is infused with Fry's distinctive voice and writing style.
• Connoisseurs of the Greek myths will appreciate this fresh-yet-reverential interpretation, while newcomers will feel welcome.
• Retellings brim with humor and emotion.

In Heroes, Fry draws out the humor and pathos in both tender love affairs and heroic battles, and reveals each myth's relevance for our own time.

• A collector's edition filled with classical art inspired by the myths and a luxe, foil-stamped jacket
• Perfect gift for mythology and history buffs, lovers of ancient Greece, art aficionados, and devoted fans of Stephen Fry
• Add it to the shelf with books like Circe by Madeline MillerNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, and Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton

I've had a major soft spot for Stephen Fry for years. I can trace back this love to three different things:  the TV show Quite Interesting, in which he dispenses puns and random facts with the jollity of a favourite uncle, his riotous and hilarious sketch show with Hugh Laurie, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and his ease and love for language, evident in both of the former. It is the latter which drew me to both Mythos and Heroes, as the Greek myths and legends are already deeply embedded in my mind. I was wondering what twist he would bring to them, how he would reimagine the myths that so permeate Western culture. As he says at the end of the book, the heroes were the ones that sanitized the world, removed the monsters and horrors and made it a home for humans, rather than gods. In the view of their intense labor, Fry undertakes to show their humanity.

Covered in Heroes are Herakles, Perseus, Theseus, Atalanta, Oedipus and Jason. It is especially the inclusion of Atalanta I greatly enjoyed. While the others are established heroes, or at least established leading men, Atalanta doesn't always get the attention she deserves. (I also appreciated Fry's respect for Medea, a character easily vilified.) Fry's retelling of Herakles was oddly touching, as he highlights the emotional honesty that defines Herakles. He's not sly like Odysseus, but he is straightforward. Aside from perhaps Oedipus, he is the hero to suffer the most, to endure the most. Fry explores both his rage and his honour in full, which made for quite a few touching moments. 

It is clear from Heroes that Fry has a very strong familiarity and understanding of the Greek myths, which allows him to familiarize them for the reader.  I had the same response at first that I had to Mythos, an odd sense of betrayal at how straightforward and simple he had made these myths. I quickly began to appreciate, however, the importance of making these tales more accessible and more available. In Fry's Heroes the young men and woman are stubborn teenagers, as embarrassed to find out about their origins as any child is to think of their own making. They are as obsessed with each other as we are with them. As I also listened to the audiobook, I was amused by the different accents Fry gives his characters, choosing to make some of them Scots, for example. It made the stories even more enjoyable, having them read to you by Fry himself.

I give this book...
4 Universes.

Anyone with a love for Fry and Greek mythology will find Heroes utterly charming. Although his reimaginations might not be for everyone, they do broaden the access to these myths and for that I am grateful.