Friday, 1 March 2013

GoodReads ePulp Review of the Week - Mythical: Heart of Stone by C.E. Martin.

Mythical: Heart of StoneMythical: Heart of Stone by C.E. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Pulp Warning* Most of my e-reading is e-pulp based. My reviews are therefore written with e-pulp in mind. Reader beware :) *Pulp Warning*

Overall: 4 stars.

Mythical is a new, interesting take on what could be described as the urban fantasy superhero genre (if such a thing has ever existed). With suitably pulpified concepts and plenty of comic book-style throw downs the story sets up what could be a very interesting world, but suffers the usual problem of developing characters in amongst the flying bullets.

Pacing and Action: 4 stars.

If you like your pulp comic-booky (that is now a word, cause I said so) then the action will suit you to a tee. This is a world in which people fight up close and personal and the gibbs tend to rain on down with each new showdown. It's good, solid two-fisted gunfu which keeps the story clicking, with a few horror scenes thrown in for variety. Add in all the superpowers and you're not once lacking for thrills.

Pulp High Concept: 4 stars.

Really solid. This is superhero prose but with an interesting twist. Hard to explain, but it's like your average whiny emo urban fantasy story got itself the purpose of a superhero story and some 1980s action film grit to prove it wasn't being a girly man. Plenty of whacky concepts abound (and in pulp, it's all about the whacky) and just when you think you've got the world figured out someone gets their heart ripped out and it turns to stone in their hands. It's all rather delightful. In the pulp sense of the word.

Character development: 3 stars.

Once more, this is pulp's archnemesis and Mythical struggles to rise above. There is some very good characterisation when it comes to the teenagers, the sense of petty teen jealousy and ignorance especially well done. But unfortunately some of the characters go AWOL for the second half of the story (they just kind of disappear and aren't mentioned again) and none of the bad guys get far beyond caricature. It's not terrible but people who are interested in motivations etc are going to be disappointed.

Production: 4 stars.

There were a few spelling mistakes, some weird line breaks and a few misused words but the editting wasn't too bad for an indie. Cover was okay. All up the production did the job but not much more. Which is fine.

Series Potential: 5 stars.

There's a lot of potential here for future stories. If this story does one thing well it's hint at the wider world that may just exist just beyond the borders of the current book. There should be plenty of space to expand on the mythos. Much much potential. I.e sequels. I.e. NOW.

*On a personal note I will say that the mythos of the storyworld is a little... kooky. There seems to be a strong hint of Christian mythology throughout the story (nothing preachy but it's part of the protagonists old school-ness and the monsters have a biblical bent that suggests the author has read their Bible) but it's married to some very gory fight scenes that kind of glory in the blood and the gibbs and the way a certain calibre of bullet bursts inside a human being etc. Again, just a personal thing, but the combination seems... odd.
But that's America for you.*

And can I just say that the powers of the protagonist are brilliantly set up for further superhero-style dramatics. He's set up as a bloke who can take a lot of damage, recover from it on a regular basis, but still has his own kryptonite that should see many a cliffhanger where he desperately can't get to that enticingly close water bottle - all without the often rediculous Aquaman-fish-out-of-water thing. It's a good set up for a serialised hero.

Wrap Up.

If you're in any way inclined towards superhero prose then you should check this out. It should be the start of a very good series. Well done.

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1 comment:

  1. 2 sequels were released and three more are underway for 2013