Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hero for Hire (C. B. Pratt)

Hero for Hire
(The Eno the Thracian series, Book 1)
C. B. Pratt
C. B. Pratt, publisher
Fiction, Fantasy
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: With the ongoing unpleasantness in Troy, even the gods seem to have forgotten that curses, monsters, and other unnatural plagues still trouble Greece. Eno the Thracian, meanwhile, has kept himself busy mopping up these little messes while the other heroes are off at war. Word of a harpy on the small island of Leros brings the chance of a double reward: one nation will gladly pay to be rid of the monster, while another has a standing offer for a live harpy. It seems like a simple enough task for a man of Eno's skills and experience, perhaps finally netting him enough money to retire with the woman who stole his heart. But something much more sinister than a harpy haunts Leros, a dark force powerful enough to bring the known world to its knees... a force more powerful than death itself, to which even the gods seem blind.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: Set in mythological Greece, this tale offers action, humor, and a fair bit of local color. Eno may be stronger than the average man, but it's his wits that carry him furthest, making him more than just a second-rate hero. He encounters memorable adversaries and colorful allies, many of whom rise above flat stereotypes. I quite enjoyed the adventure, despite a few anachronisms that nearly threw me out of the story. (Both pumpkins and hummingbirds are strictly New World species; even allowing for the light tone and Eno's modern-sounding voice, Pratt relied on real-world history enough to make those references stand out like Herculean sore thumbs. And those were just the ones I caught, with my notorious undereducation.) The ending, unfortunately, becomes a tangled mess of action that draws itself out too long, dragging the whole thing down a half-star. Aside from that, it's a fun, fast-paced heroic jaunt.

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Pyramid Scheme (Eric Flint and David Freer) - My Review
The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan) - My Review
Clash of the Titans (1981) - Amazon DVD Link

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