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BOOK
Hellboy
The Bones of Giants

Author: Christopher Golden
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 6283 1
Available now


The age of gods came to an end - or so it was believed for eons... until Thrym the Hollow, Jotunheim's deposed King of the Frost Giants, rose from the death. This time, he would not rest until his foes were eviscerated, and his fearful tyranny reigned across the human realm of Midgard (Earth). To combat the encroaching evil, the fates reveal a massive skeleton and iron hammer in an uncommon lightning storm on the frozen shores of Sweden. Sent to investigate are the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense's top operatives - the amphibian humanoid Abraham Sapien and the equally anomalous crimson demon called Hellboy...

In The Bones of Giants, only Hellboy can lift the seemingly immovable object from the lifeless figure's clutches. But when a lightning strike fuses the iron weapon to his stone right hand, the occult investigator becomes joined with the mightiest weapon in all of Norse mythology.

Once wielded by the legendary thunder-bearer instrumental in Thrym's downfall, the hammer subjects Hellboy to an ancient life he has never lived, and visions no other can see. Yet even that knowledge, coupled with the aid of a talking squirrel, a beautiful folklorist and dwarfish Nidavellim warriors, may not thwart the Frost King. Regardless of whether Hellboy triumphs over Thrym and the other leviathans rising to wage war, he may still be forever lost to an essence not his own... lost among the bones of giants.

Christopher Golden is not at his best here and in places this feels very padded. While the plot stays faithful to Mike Mignola's creation, I couldn't help feeling I was being short changed. Hellboy works best when Mignola writes and illustrates and sadly, anything else seems weak in comparison.

That's not to say that this story is bad, it's just not what a Hellboy story should be.

Nick Smithson

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cover
£6.99 (Amazon.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.