Today I am delighted to be joining the Escapist Tours blog tour for No Gods, Only Monsters by Steve McHugh which out in the world tomorrow!!
Please do check out the rest of the tour stops, and there is also a chance to win a copy of this fantastic book for yourself at the end of the post.
Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
Diana, the Roman Goddess of the hunt, lives alone on the far edge of the Roman Empire. When an old friend arrives looking for help, Diana finds herself thrust back into her old life, and old problems.
With innocent lives caught in the crossfire, Diana realizes that the only way to ensure the safety of her friends and loved ones is to do what she does best: hunt her enemies down.
No Gods, Only Monsters is the second book I’ve read by McHugh – the first being Blackcoat, and both times I’ve been surprised and impressed with just how much he is able to pack into relatively short books. This was a very different book, but that jump into the action with just the right amount of context to know what is happening, before hitting the throttle is still there, as is the care that takes all that is packed into this book and stops it from becoming overwhelming or too chaotic to follow. Instead, it felt like No Gods, Only Monsters had cherry-picked so many elements that I love and wove them into a story that has the air of historical fantasy, but felt fresh, almost modern (without losing that historical weight and feeling) take on mythology and history.
I adore mythology, and it was a delight to see so many elements represented here – seeing Persephone and Hades, which was one of my favourite stories when I was younger was a delight. But, what I like is that there is no need for extensive knowledge of mythology, although it does add another dimension while reading it – but this is where that modern, refreshing feeling comes in because McHugh has taken those ‘classical’ mythology elements and mixed them up with other elements like sorcerers and curses amongst others, as well as looking at the pantheons and their manoeuvring with fresh eyes. It made for a fun and varied reading, and when paired with McHugh’s writing which is so engaging, and when compared with the fast-pacing, means that you are swept up in the story – especially as the characters are written with such heart and personality. Diana really does steal the show, although I had a soft spot for Medusa (and I loved seeing the different portrayal of her here).
Despite the stakes and the fact that people do die – this book felt almost light-hearted? It certainly felt like a much-needed breath of fresh air, and honestly, it was a delight to curl up and read this one in a single session.
Reading this book has confirmed that I really need to sit down and read McHugh’s previous series that shares the same universe, although I should point out that this is the start of a new series and I certainly did not find myself adrift or not following what was happening having come to this one first. Part of it is that I just find myself wanting to read more of McHugh’s writing, as he has a way of crafting entertaining stories that consume you while you are reading them and leave you with the only complaint being that you want more (although as book one in a new series, there is more to come and I can’t wait). The other is that while it is not necessary, I love looking for links and easter eggs in shared universes.
No Gods, Only Monsters was a fantastic read, and I am looking forward to seeing where the series goes – and I will definitely be dipping into McHugh’s other books in the meantime. Perfect for anyone whole loves mythology and books that play around with multiple pantheons, and who wants a book that will sweep them away on a fantastical adventure for an afternoon.
Steve is a bestselling author of Urban Fantasy. His book, Scorched Shadows, was shortlisted for a Gemmell Award for best novel.
Steve was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.
Prize: A Signed Copy of No Gods, Only Monsters!
Starts: April 28th, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: May 4th, 2022 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.