Thursday, 17 July 2014

Review - In Search of Gods and Heroes - Sammy HK Smith

I have just completed reading In Search of Gods and Heroes written by Sammy HK Smith, and I have to confess I would have finished it sooner had I not started to ration it when I realised I was nearing the end. I've never seen fit to ration a book before but just couldn't bear to finish this one and be faced with the realisation there was no more left to read. I have to say, I'm impressed with my self control that I managed to stretch it out the extra week. 

Anyway, on to the actual review. I really enjoyed this novel. It has a real air of mysticism and a feel of Greek mythology, with the kingdom of the Gods and the underworld battling against each other. The world is vividly painted both in description and in its history, with detail lavished in all the right areas. I’ve read many books before where the richness of the world is created at the expense of pacing. I glad to say this is not a problem here, which is one of the aspects I admire most about the book, as the detail is carefully woven in with the action and kept relevant to the current scene/ character. I never once found my attention wandering, and that really is something for me as numerous times I’ve sat down to read a book and flipped several pages then suddenly realised I had no clue what had happened in them as my mind was on something else completely while reading them. My attention span isn’t so bad that I blame myself, as when I rescan the pages I usually find that nothing much happened anyway. But this book does not hit that snag and I have to say I found that massively refreshing as I’m so used to my attention wandering at least once during a book.

The characters are strong and match well with the world they live in. I really enjoyed the contrast between Adley and Nathan, and the way the two personalities managed to enrich and draw the other out. There are a lot of threads to the story, all held together with sometimes rather tenuous interactions, and yet the overarching plot manages to keep all these threads ordered and coherent, which shows real skill from the author as the more threads a plot has, the more likely it is to unravel. I can’t really say too much more without releasing spoilers, but I will say that I found this an absorbing and exciting read. I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy read. 

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