Ideally the contrast between two different books should not influence a review, but having read Christopher Golden’s The Myth Hunters right before Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, it remains hard not to compare the two, and that is a comparison that is decidedly not in The Myth Hunters’ favor. The Myth Hunters is not a bad book per se and like The Name of the Wind it comes bearing a hefty load of pull quotes, including two from Stephen King and Peter Straub, which is appropriate given how much The Myth Hunters owes to King and Straub’s The Talisman.
Stuck with a premise that only seems original if you haven’t done much reading, The Myth Hunters is further burdened with an incredibly annoying main character, in the form of Oliver Bascombe, a rich lawyer and mamma’s boy reluctantly marrying his fiance, when he encounters the legendary Jack Frost and winds up behind the Veil, which separates the real world from the world of myth and legend. Character is not The Myth Hunters’ strong suit and most of the novel’s mythological characters are little more than literary special effects.
Like The Talisman there’s an evil conspiracy out to seize power and there’s a lot of popping back and forth between the world of myth and the real world, where the Sandman has been loosed to wreak havoc on small children. With Jack Frost in tow, Oliver Bascombe goes on a quest to… well nothing much in particular, but he does whine a lot along the way. Meanwhile in the real world, the Sandman has kidnapped his sister and a cliched detective is on the trail. An ending that resolves very little in order to make this into a trilogy helps matters even less. Christopher Golden can do better and so can you.