The Myth Huntersby Christopher Golden
In this enthralling new tale from bestselling author Christopher Golden, one man is drawn into a realm just across the veil from our own, where every captivating myth and fairy tale is true, the vanished exist–and every fear is founded….
Yielding to his father's wishes, Oliver Bascombe abandoned his dream of being an actor and joined the family law
In this enthralling new tale from bestselling author Christopher Golden, one man is drawn into a realm just across the veil from our own, where every captivating myth and fairy tale is true, the vanished exist–and every fear is founded….
Yielding to his father's wishes, Oliver Bascombe abandoned his dream of being an actor and joined the family law firm. Now he will marry a lovely young woman bearing the Bascombe stamp of approval. But on the eve of his wedding, a blizzard sweeps in–bringing with it an icy legend who calls into question everything Oliver believes about the world and his place in it….
Pursued by a murderous creature who heeds no boundaries, Jack Frost needs Oliver's help to save both himself and his world–an alternate reality slowly being displaced by our own. To help him, Oliver Bascombe, attorney-at-law, will have to become Oliver Bascombe, adventurer, hero–and hunted. So begins a magnificent journey where he straddles two realities…and where, even amid danger, Oliver finds freedom for the very first time.
- Random House Publishing Group
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- 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.95(d)
Read an Excerpt
The Myth Hunters
By Christopher Golden
Random HouseChristopher Golden
All right reserved.
The promise of winter's first snowfall whispered across the low-slung evening sky. Oliver Bascombe shivered, not from the December wind but with the same anticipation he had felt at his seventh birthday party, just before the magician performed his act. Oliver did not believe in magicians anymore, but he did still believe in magic. He was stubborn that way.
The green cable-knit sweater was insufficient to protect him from the cold, but Oliver did not mind. At the edge of a rocky cliff a hundred and twenty feet above the crashing surf, he hugged himself and closed his eyes; felt the north wind prodding him and smiled. His cheeks were numb but he cared not at all. There was a delicious taste to the air and the scent of it was wonderful, exhilarating.
Oliver loved being by the ocean, relished the air, but this scent was different. This was the storm coming on. Not the metallic tang of the imminent thunderstorm, but the pure, moist air of winter, when the sky was thick and each misting breath almost crystalline.
It was bliss.
Oliver inhaled again and, eyes still closed, took a step closer to the edge of the bluff. All the magic in the world existed right here, right now. In the air, the portentous gray sky, the mischievous auguring of winter. A solemn oath from nature that soon it would bring beauty and stillness to the land, at least for a while.
A few more inches, a single step, and he would fly from the bluff down into the breakers and serenity would be his. One final enormous disappointment for his father to bear, and then he would not burden the old man any further.
A flutter against his cheek. A rustling in his hair. A gust swept off the water and struck him with enough force that he stumbled back a step. One step. Back instead of forward. The wind blew damp, icy stings against his cheeks.
Oliver opened his eyes.
Snow fell in a silent white cascade that stretched from the stone bluff and out across the ocean. For the longest of moments he stood and simply stared, his heart beating faster, his throat dry, holding his breath. Oliver Bascombe believed in magic. Whatever else life brought him, as long as he could hold on to such moments, he could endure.
He would endure.
Oliver chuckled softly to himself and shook his head in resignation. For another long moment he stared out at the ocean, his view obscured by this new veil of snow, then turned and strode across the frozen grounds of his father's estate. The rigid grass crunched beneath his shoes.
The enormous Victorian mansion was an antique red with trim the pink of birthday-cake frosting, though Oliver's mother had always insisted upon referring to it as rose so as not to impugn the masculinity of the household. Her husband wanted his home to be finely appointed, but drew the line at decoration that would be inarguably feminine.
The house was warmly lit from within. The broad bay windows of the formal living room on the south wing revealed the twinkling multicolored lights on the Bascombes' Christmas tree. Oliver strode up to the French doors, melting snow slipping down the back of his neck and into his shirt, and rattled the handles, sighing when he realized the doors were locked. He rapped softly on a glass pane, peering into the rear entryway of the house at dark wood and antique furniture, tapestries and sconces on the walls. When his mother was alive, his parents had done everything in their power to give the interior of their home a European flair, such that it looked more like an English manor than a place in which people actually lived.
Oliver rapped again. The wind whipped up anew and rattled the French doors in their frame. After another moment he raised his fist again, but then a figure appeared in the corridor. The house was lit so brightly within that at first it was only a silhouette of a person, but from the hurried, precise gait of the figure he knew immediately that it must be Friedle. He was more than simply a caretaker, but that was how the man himself referred to his job, so the Bascombes did not argue the point.
The slim, bespectacled man smiled broadly and waved as he hurried to unlock the doors.
"Oh, goodness, come in, come in!" Friedle urged in his curt Swiss accent, then clucked his tongue. "I am sorry, Oliver. I locked the door without even considering that you might be outside on such a chilly night."
A genuine smile blossomed on Oliver's face. "It's all right. All the preparations were becoming a bit overwhelming, so I thought I'd take a walk. And now it's snowing."
Friedle's eyebrows went up and he glanced out the door. "So it is," he noted appreciatively. But then his eyes narrowed and a mischievous sort of grin played at the edges of his lips. "We're not getting cold feet, are we?"
"I was out for a stroll in the first snow of winter. Of course my feet are cold."
"You know that isn't what I meant."
Oliver nodded amiably. "Yep."
Friedle handled all the day-to-day business of running the household, from the largest details to the smallest, leaving Max Bascombe to focus on his work. Friedle paid the bills, answered the mail, and attended to small repairs and general upkeep, while at the same time overseeing the employment of the twice-weekly cleaning service, the landscaping crew, and the hiring of a snowplow man in winter.
When Oliver's mother had died, it was Friedle who realized that someone was going to have to be hired to cook for father and son--the two men living in that silent old house. Mrs. Gray arrived promptly at seven o'clock every morning and remained until seven o'clock every night. Oliver hoped that she was paid well to spend so much time in someone else's home. Friedle was another story entirely. He lived in the carriage house on the south end of the property. This was his home.
Oliver smiled warmly at the man, wished him good night, then strode down the corridor. The paintings on the walls reflected his father's interest in the ocean--lighthouses and schooners and weathered lobstermen--and his mother's passion for odd antiques, in this case crude portraits most visitors mistook for Bascombe family ancestors.
His damp shoes had squeaked from the moment he entered the house and Oliver wiped them on the Oriental rug before striding through the formal living room and the vast dining room. Though it was still early in December, the entire house was decorated for the holidays, red ribbon bows and gold candles and wreaths throughout the house. And from the other end of the vast place came the scent of a fire blazing in the hearth.
His path took him past the grand staircase and to a room his mother had always insisted upon referring to as the parlor. Despite or perhaps because of the fact that it drove his father crazy, Oliver had for years preferred to cozy up with a book or a movie in his mother's parlor rather than the so-called family room. Katherine Bascombe had always kept her parlor filled with sweet-smelling flowers and warm blankets. The furniture was delicate, like his mother; the one room in the house where Max Bascombe hadn't trammeled his wife's decorative instincts.
Now Oliver paused a moment just at the door to the darkened room. The parlor was small by the standards of the Bascombe home, but it ran all the way to the rear of the house. The far end of the parlor was an array of tall windows that looked out upon the back of the property, at the gardens and the ocean beyond.
But tonight the view was obscured. Oliver could see nothing outside those windows but the snow that whipped icily against the glass. He looked at the small rolltop desk where his mother had liked to sit and write letters. Bookshelves revealed a combination of paperback Agatha Christie mysteries and antique leather-bound hardcovers. From time to time Oliver would take one of those older books down and read it, not minding the way the binding cracked and the yellowed paper crumbled. Books, he had always thought, were for reading. Writers put their heart and soul in between those covers, and it seemed to Oliver that if the books were never opened, the ghosts of their passion might be trapped there forever.
He inhaled the lemon scent of wood polish in the room, noticeable even over the powerful smell of flowers, and felt his mother's absence keenly. In the wake of her death, Oliver had done as his father asked. He had gone on to law school and become an attorney, passed the bar not only in Maine but in Massachusetts, New York, and California as well. You had to be versatile if you wanted to be a partner in the firm of Bascombe & Cox. The problem was, this particular junior partner had no interest in being a lawyer. He had spent all four years at Yale in the Drama Club, doing Chekhov and Eugene O'Neill.
Oliver Bascombe was an actor. He wanted to live on the stage, to travel the world not in a private jet but by car and train. As an attorney it was his job to erase the trials and tribulations of others, yet he barely understood what his clients were experiencing.
He was a fly trapped in amber.
"What are you doing?"
Oliver started. He turned abruptly away from the parlor to find his sister, Collette, standing in the hall gazing at him. She had an odd smile on her face and he wondered how long she had been there, waiting for him to notice her arrival.
"Way to go," he said, a hand over his chest. "Give the groom a heart attack the night before his wedding."
"My, my, little brother. You're not nervous, are you?"
Collette laughed and a ripple of warmth went through Oliver. So often he felt that the only warmth in this house came out of the heating ducts, but having Collette back in town, even if only for a few days, had been wonderful. Oliver, to his regret, was the image of his father, though somehow at once both thinner and more robust. But Collette was petite and her features fine and angular, so that she revealed in every glance the Irish heritage that had come down to them from their mother. A light of mischief gleamed in her eyes and, though she was his elder by six years, Collette was often mistaken for a girl half her age.
"Why would I be nervous?" Oliver replied. "It's just my whole life changing forever tomorrow."
Collette smiled again, the skin around her eyes crinkling. "You make it sound like a death sentence."
A shudder went through Oliver and he caught his breath. His good humor faltered a moment and though he tried to summon it again, he saw in his sister's gaze that she had noticed this lapse.
"Oliver?" she ventured. "Oh, Oliver, don't."
Collette shook her head as though she could deny what she had seen in his face. He had no idea what don't meant, exactly. Don't say it? Don't feel this way? Don't get married? Don't fuck it up? But he could imagine some of what Collette was feeling just then. Her own marriage--to Bradley Kenton, a television news producer out of New York City--had failed spectacularly. They had no children, but Collette had friends in the city, a job she loved as an editor at Billboard magazine, and no desire to live with or even near her family again.
"I'm fine," he assured her. "Really," he lied.
His sister responded with a long sigh, then glanced around the hall before taking him by the elbow and ushering him into their mother's parlor. She turned on a tall floor lamp whose glass enclosure had been designed by Gaudi. It threw strange, almost grotesque arrays of colored light across the room and upon Collette's face. Oliver never used that lamp when he came here to hide away.
"Is it terror or dread?" Collette demanded, as though the question needed no more explanation than that.
Oliver was unnerved to discover that it didn't. He turned away from her searching gaze and went to sit upon a sofa rich with deep crimson and blue. The tasseled pillow he placed on his lap as though it might protect him. Collette sat on the edge of the coffee table, arms crossed, one hand over her mouth. Speak no evil, Oliver thought as he turned to look at her again.
"I'm not afraid to be married. I guess I ought to be; I'm not sure I know anyone whose marriage I can honestly say I admire. But the idea of it is pretty appealing. The way a marriage is supposed to be, who wouldn't want that?"
Collette frowned. "You don't think you can have that with Julianna?"
Oliver swallowed hard and found his throat dry. Slowly, he shook his head.
"I thought you loved her."
Images of Julianna crashed through Oliver's mind like the ocean against the rocks. She was laughing and dancing on the hardwood floor in nothing but white socks and Oliver's flannel pajama top, her raven-black hair spilling around her face. She was playing the piano and singing so sweetly at her parents' fortieth anniversary party. What was that song? He could hear the melody in his head but was unable to put a name to it.
"I think I do," he replied at last. "But how can you ever be sure? Honestly. Still, the idea of being married is nice."
Collette leaned forward, her blonde hair draped across the left side of her face. She did not bother to push it away, but instead laid a comforting hand on his knee.
"So it's not terror. Where's the dread coming from?"
"I don't know."
His sister sat up straight, surveying him carefully.
A soft laugh escaped Oliver's lips. "Yes, I lie." The words were barely a whisper. "It isn't fair, is it? Not to me or to Julianna. It isn't fair that my cowardice has brought us to this."
Collette shook her head and threw up her hands. "You lost me, Ollie. Stop playing Riddler and elaborate, if you please. How are you a coward? The only person in this world you won't stand up to is . . ."
Her words trailed off and Collette stared at him.
Excerpted from The Myth Hunters by Christopher Golden Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Christopher Golden is the award-winning, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of such novels as Of Saints and Shadows, The Ferryman, Strangewood, The Gathering Dark, and The Body of Evidence series of teen thrillers. Working with actress/writer/director Amber Benson, he cocreated and cowrote Ghosts of Albion, an animated supernatural drama for BBC online.
Golden has also written or cowritten several books and comic books related to the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, as well as the scripts for two Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games. His recent comic book work includes the creator-owned The Sisterhood and DC Comics’ Doctor Fate: The Curse.
As a pop-culture journalist, he was the editor of the Bram Stoker Award-winning book of criticism CUT!; Horror Writers on Horror Film, and coauthor of The Stephen King Universe.
Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. He graduated from Tufts University. There are more than eight million copies of his books in print.
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I am a big fan of female writers but I gave this book a shot and This guy is great. This was a hard book to put down I will be reading more of his work.
This book is amazing. The fact that every borderkind and creature is an actual folktale or myth is astounding. There are myths from almost every continent in this book. Selkies, kappas, Jack Frost, Blue Jay. It really is amazing that Golden could fit in that many in one book. Even the Sandman makes a grissly appearance, true to ancient myth. This book makes one believe in the concept of The Veil. I mean, where did all the myths throughout history come from? Where did those civilizations that disappeared 'i.e. mayans, atlantians, etc.' go? This book is a very fast paced, and enthralling read. I highly recommend it.
Oliver Bascombe has already become a lawyer because that is what his father wanted. Now, he is about to get married to a woman that his father approves of, and though he loves her, he is having second thoughts. The night before his wedding, Oliver finds himself watching the blizzard outside when Jack Frost himself blows in and asks for help. Before he knows it, Oliver is taken behind The Veil and into another reality where characters from myths of long ago live -- and die. Oliver must embrace this new world and conquer his old fears and new foes. The Myth Hunters is urban fantasy defined: detailed, engrossing, twisting the myths of yesteryear with contemporary characters. This fast-paced novel, the first in a promised trilogy, is quite the page turner. Readers will root for Oliver and be intrigued by the multitude of characters, the vivid imagery, and the storylines taking place on both sides of The Veil. Christopher Golden, as always, is an amazing author. I cannot recommend his works highly enough. Fans of Charles deLint and Neil Gaiman (especially American Gods) must read this book -- then check out his previous books, if they haven't already! Join Oliver on this magical, mythical journey. You won't be disappointed.
Oliver Bascombe lives a normal life. He has caring sister, a domineering father and he is supposed to be getting married tomorrow. All of that changes when an old man claiming to be the spirit of Winter itself comes calling on Oliver to get him back across the Veil and a away from the Thing hunting him down. THE MYTH HUNTERS is the first book of a new dark fantasy trilogy The Veil by award winning horror author Christopher Golden. When referring to H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman has said that ¿Fantasy and Horror are linked¿twin cities separated by a dark river.¿ He went on to describe Lovecraft as beginning as a dark alley way that grew into a major four-lane highway. To continue the metaphor, Christopher Golden¿s THE MYTH HUNTERS is a dark path through the woods that both cities share. It is dark, twisting with half remembered tales and warnings from our childhood. There are creatures there, beautiful, fantastic and very deadly. In this new dark fantasy with a twist, Golden hones his finely tuned horror-craft on a fantastical world where the myths of our childhood are real, but darker than we have ever imagined. It is ¿Thomas Covenant¿ meets ¿The Tales of the Brothers Grimm¿, the original versions. Golden has mixed horror and fantasy before with tremendous success in GHOSTS OF ALBION. MYTH HUNTERS is the other side of the coin. While GHOSTS was horror with a fantastical twist, MYTH HUNTERS is fantasy tinged with horror. The result of this chilling alchemy is an extremely satisfying read and tale that immediately pulls you in. Like Oliver, we get pulled into a fantastic landscape where things are oddly familiar, yet far more dangerous. The result is equal parts enjoyment of the tale itself and enjoyment of seeing how familiar myths fare under Golden¿s craft. Golden gives us carefully measured doses of this new world. Again, like Oliver, we have learn on the run, and the effect is perfect. Unlike other ¿Stranger in a Strange Land¿ tales, we also get to see the fallout of Oliver¿s disappearance. The actions of his sister, his fiancé, and the police detective charged with finding him and finding the answer to the grisly murders left in his wake. This part of the book was equally enjoyable and followed more conventional horror fare which I believe is the point. Golden contrasts and compares the two worlds with a variety of parallels that are both subtle and rewarding. Are they two worlds that are the same and have grown apart or are they two worlds that different but linked? We the reader see them sooner than Oliver, but only because we have a foot in both worlds, or both ¿cities¿ as the case may be. My biggest gripe about this book is I now have to wait for book two!
I thought this would be a cheesy book, but after the second chapter, I was hooked. The characters are realistic, and Jack Frost's world is vibrant. I found myself wondering who the main characters were going to encounter next and how this book was going to end. I am excited about finding a new author to add to my current collection!
At first I was put-off by the fact that the book takes place both in the natural world and the myth world or "beyond the veil", for me it distracted from the fantastical feel of the story. However, once I got going, I found myself really wanting to read more and more and finished this one rather quickly. The characters are somewhat one-dimensional, and the story plays with romance, loss, and self-doubt, which again distracted me from the fantasy that I was excited about reading. Overall, though, Golden should be commended for creating a story that includes all of the different elements of good storytelling and tieing averything together flawlessly. A great, easy read - I have ordered the other two in the series!
This action-packed adventure story uses mythology and legend from all over the world. Some of the characters remind one of childhood; however, this book explores the dark side of folklore. Fans of the supernatural and the horrific aspect of fairytales will be well entertained by this novel which alternates between a magical parallel world and our contemporary mundane one. I believe this is the first book of a trilogy. Total cliff-hanger ending. You will be compelled to read the next one. Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel "To Be Chosen"
In wintry Maine lawyer Oliver Bascombe suffers from cold feet not just because he went outside in the snowy weather, but more because tomorrow he is to get married. He explains to his older sister Collette that he has doubts as he cannot think of one happily ever after marriage though he further explains that he thinks he loves Julianna yet wonders how can you be sure even if his fiancée is wonderful, intelligent and beautiful?...... While reading The Sea Wolf to pass time, the outside storm smashes through his Victorian home door carrying something inside a vortex. Suddenly 'the winter man' staggers from the middle of all that snow now inside Oliver¿s home. The newcomer pleads with his host to help him even as he informs Oliver he is known as Jack Frost and that he needs him to save his life from a deadly Myth Hunter from beyond the Veil. Ignoring his wedding, Oliver agrees. While Oliver enters the Veil on his quest to save the life of Jack Frost, his sister Collette investigates his disappearance and the murder of their father with the help of Police Detective Ted Hallowell..... This terrific fantasy grips the audience with the abrupt change from the calm of a reluctant groom pondering how he can be sure to when Frost busts through the door. The story line is action-paced but plays out with two subplots: a fantasy quest beyond the Veil and a murder mystery disappearance on mundane earth. Both work because of the strong cast that makes believers out of readers that Jack Frost, THE MYTH HUNTERS and the land of the fae exist....... Harriet Klausner
The twi story one. Ill give you 100 billion