The sequel to the much beloved Mythos certainly does live up to expectation, yet disappointedly doesn’t manage to exceed them. I think much of the wonder and awe Fry elicits in Mythos was on account of the fact that no one any expectations of what lay in wait. Heroes plays out in the way that a reader of Mythos might expect and is a a treat to read.
I was surprised to learn that the stories with heroes were simpler to digest than with the gods. My thinking was given that many of the figures mentioned – Perseus, Bellephron, Heracles, Theseus, Orpheus, etc – had direct or indirect relationships with gods and by extension their offspring, that politics would play more of a role. It may have, but it came across as though Fry consciously whittled down onto the essence of each story.
Perhaps it is the focus on man over gods, but the stories came across more R-rated than I expected. If Mythos were a Marvel movie, Heroes would be Deadpool. It was thoroughly entertaining though.
I am not sure if I will remember the stories in any vivid detail, but it gave me great pleasure to finally connect the dots with the names I have heard for a lifetime. Oedipeus, Orpheus, Theseus, and of course Heracles. Reading through it felt almost cathartic; each chapter brought with it an “ooooooo-that’s-why-people-reference-them” reaction. If anything, I’d recommend this on that alone. It is not going to win any awards, but it does its job, and does it well.
Recommended. Fry follows Mythos with a sequel worth adding to the reading list. More than anything, it sparked a walk down memory lane given how embedded these heroes are in popular culture. If you mention the names Hercules, Orpheus, or Oedipus, most people will recognise them, but very few actually know what they represent. Heroes gave me a nudge in the right direction in that department.