Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter - and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step. With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi's enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems - not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves. The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore - they're real. And now they've come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that's been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world's oldest war has begun.
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Urban fantasy isn't normally my bag, but this felt more like historical myth and legend manifesting itself, for real, in modern day... everywhere. I expected a US heavy story, but I was wrong. Many wonderful locations, people's and, more importantly, monsters, demons and gods(!) punctuate this epic throughout. A smashing debut that promises a potential full blown 5* to follow this 4* story and performance. In fact, I'd say 4.5* if I could. Very real characters meet apparently real mythological beings - the research for which is evident and incredible. I'll look forward to the sequel.
Intrigued by the blurb, I started listening to this audiobook immediately and - mind blown – this book was brilliant! It’s a unique blend of urban, contemporary, mythical fantasy, and it features the most incredible beings – called the Firstborn.
The Firstborn are from our myths, legends, folklore and fairy tales from across the world and spanning back through history. They include the Japanese racoon dog Tanuki, the half man / half bull Asterion from Greek mythology, Bodvar Bjarki the bear from Norse mythology, the occultist goat figure of Baphomet, and even Merlin the wizard from Arthurian legends. There’s also Gods, demons, vampires and werewolves.
These Firstborn are old, some as old as the beginning of time, and – as much as possible – live out of sight of humans (or mtoto as they are known to the Firstborn). Being around for so long, it’s to be expected that a few Firstborn have rubbed each other up the wrong way, picked sides and had a few wars. And it’s time for another battle, perhaps the biggest of them all…
This story is told from multiple points of view, but the main story is told through the characters of Fi, a seventeen-year-old who lives with her odd English uncle and his huge dog, and works at a hospital for the elderly. Zeke, her handsome colleague who plays guitar to the old folk. Peter, the mysterious patient who Fi is looking after at the hospital and Fi’s uncle Edgar. We also hear from some of the creatures. Each non-human character is fascinating and the humans are likable and believable.
The author’s descriptions of the appearance of the creatures and their backstories are vivid and mesmerising, the action flows effortlessly, the fight scenes and violence is truly epic, and the blossoming, awkward relationship between Fi and Zeke is perfect as it is subtle and realistic. There’s also humour and this book made me laugh out loud at a few points (which is no mean feat).
The narrator, Nik Magill, was brilliant. His voice is captivating and I felt he portrayed all the characters distinctly and naturally, and I was completely absorbed by the story.
It is clear that a ton of careful research has gone into this book, and the scope of myths/legends/fairy tales/folklore that the author depicts is huge, and the way they are all tied together is clever. I was fascinated by all the mythical creatures from different cultures, times and religions. I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what happens next!