Monday, 22 December 2014


5 out of 5 stars

Horror, Supernatural Thriller, Time Travel, Vikings

Originally posted on Amazon HERE on 16 January 2013

GOSH! I hope Mr Hughes is proud of this, because he should be!

I've never read a horror/supernatural/thriller book before, at least, not for years and years - it's not a genre that interests me at all, but I am hugely interested in all things Viking, and I thought the title and cover were terrific! Also, I had already read a short story by Hughes, so I knew he could write.

The beginning of the book is excellent, but it was the last 30% that I liked the best, and the ending is stunning, something I hadn't predicted at all - isn't it great when that happens? A weak ending can, for me, take a book down from 4/5 stars to 3/4, but this ending took it up a notch! I loved the Dark Ages historical element to the whole of the last section.

Other things I really liked - the sudden introduction of minor characters, giving cameo appearances in order to illustrate something. That's a literary device I use myself as I find it very effective, and I certainly did here. Also: the descriptions of the sociological state of England, the sometimes very funny dialogue ("Strange chap. Should have been a philosopher, you know. Or a serial killer"). My favourite part of all was a long scene with archaelogical assistant Martin, and pilot Peterson, at about 70%, but I can't say what it is here, because it would spoil the plot. Can I just say that I adore anything to do with time travel? Brilliantly done, I read it several times.

I imagine other reviews have or will say that this should be made into a film. I don't think it should be made into a film so much as a BBC serial - about 10 episodes, I think!

I can't say anything too much about how the story ends, because it would give away the whole point of it, but I'll say that if you love the idea of going back to change the past, little realising the impact this will have on the future, then Northman is for you!

It's not an 'easy read', but it's worth it. And I'll say it again - what on earth is JD going to write after this? I wait in wonder!

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