Review by Beth: Beyond Hades (The Prometheus Wars, Book I) by Luke Romyn (@BunnyBethA , @LukeRomyn)

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…. 

 

 

I’ve followed Luke Romyn on Twitter for awhile,  and I love his sense of humor, the way he uses words is very clever, and he has a dry sense of humor that I appreciate. I’m also a wee bit jealous of Luke’s writing and wit, but in a good way. 

If you are looking for a good book to escape with, Beyond Hades is your ticket to a wild armchair ride of nonstop action, unstoppable monsters, and the greatest crime fighting duo since Batman and Robin (with some elements of Starsky and Hutch thrown in for humor).

I felt really sorry for Doctor Talbot Harrison, another ordinary person living a boring kind of life when he  learns that his brother has been killed. And then Talbot finds out he’s the only person who can stop monsters from destroying everything. Talbot just doesn’t believe it, and who can blame him? As Talbot starts to see, with his own eyes, creatures that can’t exist, he’s not able to fathom how he can begin to stop them. He’s just an ordinary guy, right? And he’s still trying to deal with his comfortable life being smashed to smithereens in an instant, in addition to having no family left, now that his brother is dead.

As Talbot Harrison is stumbling along, trying to deal with danger, creatures that can’t be real, and more members of the military than he even knew existed, all hell breaks loose and Talbot’s running for his life. And then Wes comes on board to help Talbot, and the story really gets interesting. Wes is an Australian Special Air Service  commando, and he’s been given a free hand by the U.S. President to do whatever he can to save Talbot, and help save the planet.

Wes is just the guy to bring Talbot out of his stupor and spur him into action. Besides being well trained in all forms of combat, Wes also has one smart mouth. He would have been a great bartender, because Wes’ comments can shut up even the most persistent bore. And minutes after meeting Talbot, Wes asks him, “How’re you gonna do it anyway? I mean, you’re the one who’s gonna sort this shit out, aren’t ya?” Talbot admits he hasn’t a clue, and Wes tells him he needs to think of something soon, or everyone’s up a creek without a paddle.

It’s this relationship between Wes and Talbot that makes this story so much fun. As Wes and Talbot make the journey beyond Hades, while trying to stay alive, they form this bond that reminds me of the dynamic duo plus Starsky and Hutch, or Eddie Murphy and Nick Notle in 48 Hrs. Wes gives Talbot the courage he needs just to take the first steps, and then things just get better from there. 

The action in Beyond Hades is nonstop, the dialogue is fresh and funny, and the monsters totally rock. Throw in some mythical characters from Greek legend, add some far out modes of travel (like a submarine, of sorts, that does things you won’t believe), swords, and I’ve got to say it again, monsters that can’t be destroyed. 

The only thing I found disappointing about Beyond Hades is there’s no romance for Talbot, or any of the characters. Talbot mentions there’s this woman, at work, and he kinda likes her, but then of course Talbot and Wes have to stop talking about this because there’s the planet, and themselves, to save. Hopefully Book II of the Prometheus Wars will bring in some rockin’ females to make things interesting.  Wes doesn’t need any help getting women, which he mentions a number of times in the book, maybe a female commando-type to shake the uber-confident Wes up a bit? Although I will say there are a few hints that Wes has some secrets of his own, some things in his past that give him some sleepless nights. 

I’m giving Beyond Hades 4.5 stars for a solid story with great characters, snappy dialogue, and nonstop fantasy action that will knock your socks off. And yes, I will be reading Book II of the Prometheus Wars.

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