A Glimmer of Hope by Steve McHugh #BookReview #BlogTour

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.

Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.

But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.

To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for A Glimmer of Hope today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.
I read Scorched Shadows, the last book in Steve McHugh's The Hellequin Chronicles at the end of last year and loved it so much I included it in my list of favourite books of 2017. A Glimmer of Hope is the first in his new series, The Avalon Chronicles which is set in the same world as the previous series but features new storylines and a new cast of characters.
 Layla Cassidy has moved to Southampton to escape her past; from a young age her father taught her how to fight and protect herself but he was a vicious serial killer and she fears what his legacy means she may be capable of too. We've all had bad days at work but none quite so bad as the one Layla endures which results in several of her colleagues being brutally slain and Layla herself captured by a remorseless fanatic. She inadvertently activates an ancient scroll and discovers that she has incredible powers but to use them properly she will have to accept the three spirits and demon who now reside within her. As she is suddenly thrust into a world she had no idea existed, she is helped by some characters who will be familiar to readers of the Hellequin series. New readers needn't fear they will be left behind though; they learn alongside Layla as she discovers more about the history of the world she now knows she inhabits and becomes aware of the mythical beings she must now fight with and against.
The whole premise of this world is just wonderful, it's an alternate reality where it turns out that every myth is actually real. Gods and goddesses, sorcerers, witches, werewolves and ogres aren't stories, they exist and some of them want humans to not only become aware of their existence but to become subservient to them. This is a violent and frightening new life for Layla and I loved how she has two battles to face; she must fight against evil creatures who seek to destroy her friends and use her, while also contending with her internal demons - only one of which is an actual demon... Her gradual coming to terms with her strange circumstances is compelling, the darkness that lies within her hinting temptingly at future struggles she may face.
The action here is fast-paced, exciting and brutal but there are some wonderful touches of humour throughout the book too. Layla's new friends might be powerful mythical beings but they are also a bunch of geeks and I loved the pop culture references throughout the book, including a quite brilliantly placed quote from Terminator 2. Layla's story is separate to Nate's but with the two series being set in the same world it was a real treat to meet up with some familiar faces, especially Tommy, Diana and Chloe. I was also thrilled to see the return of my favourite fox-human hybrid, Remy (admittedly the only fox-human hybrid I know but he's such a great character I'm sure he'd always be my favourite!) The events in this book take place just before Scorched Shadows and I'm fascinated to see how things will proceed for both our old and new characters in the future books in The Avalon Chronicles which take place after Hellequin.
A Glimmer of Hope has to tread a tricky line between setting the scene for a new series and being a thrilling adventure in its own right. It succeeds magnificently and honours the legacy of The Hellequin Chronicles while being a thoroughly entertaining and immersive urban fantasy novel in its own right. With its more youthful protagonist it does have a slightly younger feel to it and I think will appeal to YA fantasy fans who may have found The Hellequin Chronicles a bit too violent but it retains the sense of very real danger throughout and definitely isn't for the fainthearted. The ending sets us up perfectly for more despicable villainy, supernatural affairs and desperate heroics and I can't wait to discover what troubles lie in store for Layla next!

A Glimmer of Hope is published by 47North and available to purchase now as an ebook or to pre-order as a hardcover for its publication on 1st April 2018. Don't miss the other stops on this blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Steve's been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up 'One boy and his frog' was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn't for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.


  1. Thank you so much for the continuing support Karen x


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