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The Second Tom Holt Omnibus

de Tom Holt

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1714124,137 (3.96)3
MY HERO - Writing novels? Piece of cake, surely ... or so Jane thinks. Until hers starts writing back. At which point, she really should stop. The one thing she should not do is go into the book herself. After all, that's what heroes are for. Unfortunately, the world of fiction is a far more complicated place than she ever imagined. And she's about to land her hero right in it. WHO'S AFRAID OF BEOWULF? - Well, not Hrolf Earthstar, for a start. The last Norse king of Caithness, Hrolf and his twelve champions are woken from a centuries-long sleep when archaeologist Hildy Frederiksen finds their grave mound. Not only that, Hrolf decides to carry on his ancient war against the Sorcerer-King. In a mixture of P.G. Wodehouse, Norse mythology and Laurel and Hardy, Hildy and her Viking companions face such perils as BBC film crews, second-rate fish and chips and the Bakerloo line in their battle against the powers of darkness.… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
"Who's Afraid of Beowulf?": Fun and frolics. I enjoyed Hrolf and his gang, & the way they accomodated or ignored the things of modern life, that we now take for granted.

flyleaf:
When archeologist Hildy Frederiksen stumbles upon their grave mound, Hrolf Earthstar and his twelve champions are released from a magical sleep. It is time, they say, to save the world from the forces of darkness. But while they were sleeping, their foe was busily binding the human race with magic - cars, TV, computers and such. Can the heroes who long-ago defeated an army of trolls and other hideous creatures overcome the reinvented dark lord - now the techo-wizardly kingpin of a multinational conglomerate?

"My Hero":

flyleaf:
Fantasy novelist Jane Armitage doesn't know it, but her characters lead double lives: they're really actors, and when they're not playing parts she's written for them, they're haunting Central Casting for new roles. You see, Jane resides firmly in Reality, while her heroes live in the Realm of Fiction - and never the twain shall meet. Or so she thinks. But when her characters start writing back, she knows she's in trouble - more so when she jumps into Fiction to rescue Skinner, a writer who got trapped there 36 years ago. The plot thickens as Jane and Skinner - and Hamlet and Piglet and Titania and Holmes - all get tangled up with a megalomaniacal agent who seeks to merge Reality and Fiction, and if that happens, well, boom just doesn't do it justice. And thereby hangs a tale... ( )
1 vote catsalive | May 27, 2009 |
http://pixxiefishbooks.blogspot.com/2...

AND

http://pixxiefishbooks.blogspot.com/2...

Mightier than the Sword is Tom Holt's Omnibus 2 which consists of the novels 'Who's Afraid of Beowulf?' and 'My Hero'.

Who's Afraid of Beowulf?

Hildy Frederiksen is just your average archaeologist until the day she accidentally awakens King Hrolf Earthstar and his twelve companions from their centuries-old sleep. King Hrolf is determined to carry on, and finish once and for all, his war against the Sorceror King.

This is only the second book of Tom Holt's that I have read. I quite enjoy his style so far, and plan on reading more (including, of course, the second novel that is included in this book, 'My Hero'). He's a bit of an oddball, an interesting mix of scifi-meets-fantasy-meets-humour. Anyway, this book was quite enjoyable; a quick, easy, entertaining read (just over 200 pages), and made me laugh out loud at a number of points.

My Hero

I read the other half of Tom Holt's Omnibus 2, Mightier than the Sword, 'Who's Afraid of Beowulf?', in March.

Of the three books by Tom Holt that I have now read (the third is Falling Sideways, which I read back in January 2006), I think this one is the weakest. It is funny and entertaining, but it suffered from the same thing Falling Sideways did to some degree: too many characters and too many parallel storylines. Figuring out who everyone is and what their purpose is in the story, is all a bit unnecessarily exhausting. Even when they all come together at the end, it isn't all clear. I think what made 'Who's Afraid of Beowulf?' so successful, in my opinion at least, is that it avoided this almost entirely, by having just two sets of characters (Good v. Evil, essentially), rather than a bunch who come together at the climax only. That can be done well, but in this case, it was just a bit too scattered.

That being said, I did enjoy the book. It was an interesting premise: Jane is an author whose fictional characters start to need her help, and then when she tries to help them, it turns out she needs theirs. Fiction becomes reality, and vice-versa. ( )
  pixxiefish | Mar 17, 2009 |
"Who's Afraid of Beowulf?" - Tom Holt

This is a fast paced amusing novel involving rampaging Vikings in the rock-strewn hills of Scotland. Hildy Fredricksen (or Fredriksdaughter as the Viking King insistently refers to her) is an American archaeologist who is summoned to dreary god-forsaken Rolfsness, Scotland to investigate the discovery of an ancient Viking interment mound, complete with a perfectly preserved enchanted long-ship and thirteen dead Vikings.

Except the Vikings are far from dead, and when Hildy opens the burial mound they awake from their centuries-long sleep bickering, annoyed at being woke up, hungry for a dinner of burnt seagull and ready for some bloody battle. Among the warriors are King Hrolf Ketilsson, called Earthstar, the shaman Kotkel, and Brynjolf, the shape-changer. They have been sleeping in the mound for twelve hundred years, waiting for the day when their foe, the sorcerer-king, will once again imperil the world. Then they will arise and wage war with him for the last time. They are puzzled however, to find that the disturbance of their mound was an accident by the local sewer diggers and not a deliberate call to battle.

They decide they might as well search for the sorcerer-king and see what he's gotten into during their absence. They discover that he has taken on the name Eric Swenson and can be found in his headquarters in a high-rise office building in the heart of London. They agree to go after him, thinking that he won't have any way of knowing they are coming for him. They are very mistaken. His state-of-the-art computers alert him to the fact that King Hrolf and his companions are on the move.

The Vikings' most powerful weapon is a dragon-brooch that was buried with them, stolen by Hildy from the site and in a fit of remorse returned. When powered by the two sprites, Prexz and Zxerp (sentient puddles of pure power that snack on electricity), the brooch makes the owner invincible. The sorcerer-king and his werewolf side-kick Thorgeir Storm-Shepherd want this trinket, and they want to destroy the Viking king once and for all and take over all of humankind. The Kings Heroes, an irritable bunch of witless warriors, provide some fabulous moments of humor but, in my estimation, the spirits provide the most enjoyable moments in the story.

The greater part of the story is taken up with the efforts of the Vikings and the sorcerer-king attempting to locate each other and employ battle. A subplot involves Danny Bennett, who works for the BBC and who is eager to film an award-winning documentary about the mysterious Viking mound and the American archaeologist who has mysteriously disappeared. There are many encounters with the police, a great deal of riding around in vans and buses, some shape changing, and a lot of seagull snacking. Magic and technology are contrasted amusingly and the Vikings make many comparisons between their world and the twentieth century.

The finale is somewhat anti-climactic and hardly seems worth all the energy it took the bands of Scottish warrior to get there, but this is a forgotten point since you really don't read this book to see how it ends, you read it to try and figure out the rules of the game Goblin's Teeth, which seems to be a fabulously complex game with the fundamentals of Chess, Monopoly, Bridge, Chutes and Ladders, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and a dozen other games. I don't believe that even the sprites playing it know all the rules.

This is an amusing, witty, and humorous story and is in refreshing contrast to the dark, urban fantasies that are so popular today. The humor is frequent and the characters outstanding and fleshed out extremely well, with the noble and long-suffering King, the constantly bickering warriors, the preoccupied wizard (who spends a majority of his time trying to create a magical ever-replenishing can of beer), two voltage-sucking spirits, and of course, the Sorcerer-King himself.

Tom Holt has once again taken the chronicles of the past and turned them over, resulting in a superbly marvelous book. I recommend you beg, borrow, steal, scrounge, buy, rent or otherwise acquire. You certainly won't regret it. ( )
  TheAlternativeOne | Dec 28, 2006 |
(Amy) Entertaining as always, Tom Holt takes on authorship and the Vikings in these two books. Hilarity ensues.
  libraryofus | Nov 9, 2005 |
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Also published under the title: Mightier Than the Sword: Contains Who's Afraid of Beowulf? and My Hero.
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MY HERO - Writing novels? Piece of cake, surely ... or so Jane thinks. Until hers starts writing back. At which point, she really should stop. The one thing she should not do is go into the book herself. After all, that's what heroes are for. Unfortunately, the world of fiction is a far more complicated place than she ever imagined. And she's about to land her hero right in it. WHO'S AFRAID OF BEOWULF? - Well, not Hrolf Earthstar, for a start. The last Norse king of Caithness, Hrolf and his twelve champions are woken from a centuries-long sleep when archaeologist Hildy Frederiksen finds their grave mound. Not only that, Hrolf decides to carry on his ancient war against the Sorcerer-King. In a mixture of P.G. Wodehouse, Norse mythology and Laurel and Hardy, Hildy and her Viking companions face such perils as BBC film crews, second-rate fish and chips and the Bakerloo line in their battle against the powers of darkness.

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