Disclaimer: Digital ARC via Netgalley.
I tried. I really did. I really, really tried.
I don’t like this book. I couldn’t finish it.
The idea is good. Perhaps, if I didn’t know the stories already. Perhaps if I hadn’t watched the Hercules series.
Perhaps if I was younger.
Perhaps if the blurb didn’t make comparisons to Homer.
Okay, the blurb is right. It is nice to have a book that collects the Hercules stories in one volume. Furthermore, Bertematti seems to have done his research in regards to ancient history and legends. There is no doubt that he knows the Hercules stories very well.
And it is a big but.
If you are writing 704 pages, the writing needs to be a hell of lot more engaging. Serious, it was on the level of fan fiction. Granted, the level of fan fiction that is relatively free of grammar errors, but it was far too passive and wordy. You shouldn’t be on 20% into a book and wish the damn thing was over. If you are making comparisons to Homer, the writing needs to hold up much better. Then, Bertematti switches narrative voice, allowing Hercules to tell part of his story. This is a good idea, except for the fact that Hercules takes just like the first narrator, so really there is no real sense of change. Hercules also is apparently very, very, gigantic because he keeps picking up his grown cousin.
This has the potential to be something. It just needs more polish, better editing, and better vim.