Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

cover62128-mediumTitle: Prison of Hope
Author: Steve McHugh
Series: Hellequin Chronicles (Book 4)
Publish Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: 47North
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Publisher’s Description: Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human—Hope—creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.

Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.

Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).

Ivana!  Guess what I got to do over the weekend?!??!

Hard to tell with you. What?

I got to review Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh EARLY! It’s not released ‘til April 14, 2015!

Really?  Well, I won’t ask who you had to kill for that honor.  What’d you think?

It was awesome.  I figured it would be considering the last books in the series didn’t disappoint.  I finally got to learn more about Nathan — all sorts of things that mean something to him personally.  I got to see that he isn’t just a tough guy, that he has not entirely desensitized himself to the killing and rage that makes him the Hellequin.

So, was there romance in this book?  You know I won’t read it if there is a lot of romance.

No, nothing that you’d hate.  It was very subtle, but it made Nathan more realistic.  He is 1600 years old and to never talk about the people that he may have loved and out-lived was making the story a little shallow from the emotional point of view.

Was there a cliffhanger?  I know you hate those.

No, not really.  I am letting go of some of my nervousness on this series.  I think I’m trusting the author more not to start massacring characters.  He’s not yet killed anyone I loved and he’s actually brought in a past love interest.  I’ve read his blog and he says he has notes for a lot more books, so I’ve given myself over to the author and depend on him not to stab me in the heart.

You do realize these are only stories? No one is actually hurt or killed in the creation of this series.

I know, but I can’t help getting involved.  The author is a good writer and has made me invested in the characters.

You don’t usually do that.  This series must be pretty good.  I’m getting interested in reading it. I know you’ve been recommending it for years.  Maybe I will finally give in and start it.  The first in the series is called Crimes Against Magic, right?

Yes, and Prison of Hope is the fourth book in the series.  There is a novella that was published in December of 2013 that you could try first if you wanted.  It could be a stand-alone to get the flavor of the characters. It’s about the missing princes and King Richard III.  I wish you would read it.  You’d love the history and the historical characters that the author uses.  Also, Nathan lives in London, England, and I know you love England.

Wow.  British Royalty?  History?  London?  AND killing rages?  Why haven’t I read this series yet?  I’m going to go get the books right now!

Nell 100

Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Nathan does not disappoint. He is a sorcerer of unimaginable strength and he has friends of unimaginable fame. To be in his circle must be a hell of a rush. He does have his enemies as well as his secrets. That’s what makes him attractive as a protagonist. He is 1600 years old – an age I cannot even imagine.

Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ There is Hope/Pandora who is the main focus of the book. Hades, Persephone and the whole lot of Olympian gods. We meet more friends and see Germany during the Nazi reign as well as in contemporary time. We meet one woman that was a love interest from Nathan’s past. We get to meet an older Kasey, whom I love and has turned into a very admirable young lady. Tommy is also accompanying Kasey as they drag Nathan along on an innocent school outing that turns into a lot more. We see Olivia and even meet King Arthur’s brother. All the recurring characters are well thought out and I feel like I’m visiting friends when I drop into Nathan’s world.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ A little brushing up of Greek mythology’s dysfunctional family tree will make following the scheming and plotting easier. I like the world weaving the author delivers. The story falls into the fantasy genre, but it’s a fun world in which to get lost. There are contemporary landmarks used as well as known countries, so the world is a recognizable one. The author meshes together the contemporary time with that of Olympian Gods and historical figures. The attention to detail is fabulous.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ No cliffhanger ending. The story is another one of the author’s incredible designs and he does deliver some answers to past unanswered questions. I love how the author takes us back in time to the relevant history of Nathan’s and shows us that what goes around usually comes around. We learn more about Nathan, about Hellequin. There are some secrets revealed that make Nathan even more genuine. We get to experience his grief, heartbreak as well as rage and even a little laughter. The banter between Nathan and his friends make the story appealing and more solid. This is not a story that has one character that saves the world, it’s the whole team.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This series is a must-read. The action, adventure, and history keep the reader engaged at all times. It is a story that incorporates the emotional side of the characters, their passion for justice as well as their conflict.

I think a toy of me with a real spinning sphere of death is an unlikely action figure.

Take-away: “I’ve never been all that concerned with being right. If I’m wrong, someone will correct me, and if I’m right, then no one will. Being wrong is how we learn; it’s how species – human, sorcerer, or otherwise – have managed to survive without imploding. We learn from our mistakes.

If you like this book…

Stay tuned for more Nathan Garrett as Hellequin -according to the author’s website he has notes for several more books.   Alex Hughes’s Mindspace Investigations series would be a good choice, and you might also try Craig Schaefer’s Daniel Faust series or Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.


About Nervous Nell Justice

I read, read and then read. I love my life as a reviewer because I get to meet some awesome people who love books too. It's a fantastic world to live in!My favorite genres: Urban Fantasy, Regency Romance, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Thrillers, Paranormal Mysteries, Vampire Romance, Historical, Contemporary or Futuristic Mysteries and Thrillers, Steampunk Fantasy and Mysteries, Police Procedurals and Political Thrillers.

Posted on March 24, 2015, in Review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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