Maz Evans is back with a bang in the third installment of the superb ‘Who Let the Gods Out’ series, with even more laughs, action and downright heart-breaking moments. ‘Beyond the Odyssey’ is superbly crafted and brilliantly entertaining. Every time I think it simply can’t get any better and every time I’m blown away even more by Maz’s storytelling. Elliot’s life is becoming increasingly more difficult as his Mum’s condition deteriorates, his secret life is at risk of exposure and everything he has been desperately clinging on to protect, is in serious danger of slipping away. So we can’t blame Elliot when he succumbs to the temptation dangled in front of him like the proverbial carrot by the sinister Hypnos who tells him of a potion that could save his Mum. And so Elliot must undertake his most dangerous mission yet, one that will take him beyond the mortal realm on an odyssey of his own.
This book should definitely come with a warning but it doesn’t so let me prepare you in a way that I wasn’t prepared. You think that you’ve seen the bad guys at their baddest but no you’re wrong. You think that nothing could possibly make you laugh as much as ‘Who Let the Gods Out‘ and ‘Simply the Quest‘ and yet you’re still wrong. And you think you have cried all the tears you could have possibly cried but yes I’m sure you’ve guessed it you’re WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! Nothing quite prepared me for the comedy genius of this book, Maz is one of the funniest writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Yet again her gift for observational comedy shines through particularly in the scenes at economy airline ‘Don’tcAir’ and Circe’s huge rant at the frustrations of being a working Mum. Although she does cleverly mixes smack you in the face comic moments with subtle hilarious quips that will make you snigger to yourself because she is after all the Queen of children’s comedy.
However the utter brilliance of this book is that it plays out this comedy against a very tragic background of pain, confusion and despair which is handled sympathetically with absolutely no sugar coating. For this Maz deserves all the praise, she never chooses the easy way or to wrap her story up in a big shiny bow, it’s real life – with lots of mythical gods and goddesses thrown into the mix of course. So now after finishing ‘Beyond the Odyssey’ I’m left feeling emotionally battered and bereft. “How long will I have to wait for the final book,” I wail as I feel like it’s been an eternity already despite only finishing it yesterday. I long to hold this book in the way that Virgo needs to have her Kardia restored, the Gods desire to reunite the Chaos stones and how Patricia Porshley-Plum craves Elliot’s farm. An irresistible combination of heart and humour, it is indeed a super-optimal read.
Thank you to Chicken House books for sending me a copy of this awesome book, ‘Beyond the Odyssey’ is released on the 5th April and is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.