Hopeless Heroes #1: Here Comes Hercules! – Stella Tarakson

Illustrations – Nick Roberts

Here Comes Hercules! is a fun start to a new children’s series called Hopeless Heroes. Including plenty of illustrations by Nick Roberts, we’re introduced to Tim Baker who lives with his mother. Tim is often needed to help out with the housework as his mother is busily working two jobs trying to keep her small family afloat, while actively working on her dream of becoming an author.

One day while dusting an ancient Greek vase he accidentally drops it and it shatters. Unbeknownst to Tim, by breaking the vase he’s also accidentally set Hercules free after he was trapped inside by wicked Hera, the wife of Hercules’ father Zeus. Hercules winds up ‘helping’ Tim with his household chores as only a Hopeless Hero can.

Hercules’ funny attempts to help inevitably end in disaster and Tim’s poor mother thinks Tim is acting out because he’s sick of cleaning. Tim discovers he’s the only person who can see Hercules, which complicates his relationship with his mother, his friendship with Ajay and even with Leo, the bully at school. Hercules is desperate to return to his wife and daughter and Tim is determined to help him, if only they can figure out how.

This chapter book is suitable for younger children who will enjoy Hercules’ bumbling attempts to be helpful. There are some good giggles and great illustrations, along with some accidental education about ancient Greek mythology. Bullying is addressed and I expect this theme will continue in future books. There are also indications the bully is facing family problems.

Tim and his mother are likeable characters who both have room for growth in future books. Tim, while not a fan of housework, wants to help out his mother and is supportive of her dream of becoming an author. Tim’s mother only wants the best for her son and is working hard to support him. I will be interested in reading the next book in the series.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sweet Cherry Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When Tim Baker breaks his mum’s favourite vase, it’s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he’s released is in danger of doing far worse. To the flowers, the rug – Oh, no! Not the kitchen!

Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he’s just hopeless. It’s time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.

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