Blog Tour/Book Review: The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway by Rhys Thomas


FINAL Unlikely Heroics Blog Tour Poster

I’m delighted to be co-hosting the final stop on the blog tour for The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway by Rhys Thomas, along with my tour buddy Sharon at Stardust Book ReviewsYou can read my review of this quirky, engaging and heart-warming book below.  However, first let’s see what a few of the other book bloggers taking part in the tour have had to say about the book.

Kaisha at The Writing Garnet described The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway as ‘thought-provoking and poignant’ whilst on her blog Ronnie Turner admitted that it broke her heart reading about Sam’s past.  Jo at Over The Rainbow Book Blog thought the book was ‘gorgeous’, managing to be ‘heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time’.  There was similar praise from Adele at Kraftireader who found herself ‘totally entranced’ by the story and thought it likely to be one of her top reads for 2018.  Amanda at My Bookish Blogspot concluded it was a novel that will stay with her for a long time.

I could go on but I think you’ve probably got the message by now so I’ll leave you to check out the thoughts of other bloggers on the tour.

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam HollowayAbout the Book

This is no ordinary love story and Sam is no typical hero…but he is a hero.

Sam Holloway has survived the worst that life can throw at you. But he’s not really living. His meticulous routines keep everything nice and safe – with just one exception… Three nights a week, Sam dons his superhero costume and patrols the streets. It makes him feel invincible – but his unlikely heroics are getting him into some sticky, and increasingly dangerous, situations.

Then a girl comes into his life, and his ordered world is thrown into chaos … and now Sam needs to decide whether he can be brave enough to finally take off the mask.

Format: Paperback, ebook (304 pp.)    Publisher: Wildfire Books
Published: 9th August 2018                 Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Purchase Links*  ǀ  ǀ (supporting UK bookshops)
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway on Goodreads

My Review

‘The two most important things in life are to be brave and to be good.’

As a child, Sam recalls being told by his mother that he was ‘a sensitive boy’.  He is indeed sensitive but I think a more appropriate description might be ‘humane’.  Sam is intensely aware of the needs of others, their daily struggles and their feelings.  He also has an appreciation of how each person in their own way contributes to society and, indirectly, to his own well-being and creature comforts.  ‘Sitting down to a nice cup of coffee.  And yet we go about our lives without ever thinking of the people working whole lifetimes on coffee plantations, living awful hand-to-mouth existences in the hope things will be better for their kids, but they never are, and all that so we may enjoy sugar-free gingerbread one-shot skinny decaf lattes with a sprinkling of cinnamon in lovely coffee shops who falsely claim ethical perfection.’

This aspect of Sam’s character really comes to the fore when an incident occurs that affects the operation of the company for which he works.  It also triggers distressing reminders of the traumatic and tragic event which has shaped his life and to which his response has been to adopt a regimented, ordered existence – what he himself describes as seeking a ‘stable state for his soul’.   Unfortunately, that stability will prove to be precarious as events unfold that are outside his control.

To my mind, Sam is a superhero, not just because of the brave and selfless acts he carries out when he becomes his alter ego The Phantasm, but because of what he has endured in his life and the fact he is still carrying on despite everything.  Having said that, I defy anyone not to shed a little tear at the description of Sam’s usual Christmas Day routine.  Then a chance – or if you believe in such things, fated – encounter brings him the possibility of a much brighter future but one which will test Sam’s fortitude to the limit.

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway is a story of grief and guilt but also of friendship, generosity, love, the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of community.  It delivers a powerful message about knowing when to reach out to others, having the courage to let people get close to you and being willing to accept help when that is the hardest thing you can imagine.   In case this makes the book sound heavy, I’ll also say that it is written with real wit and humour.

I received a review copy courtesy of publishers, Wildfire Books, and Anne at Random Things Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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In three words: Quirky, heart-warming, hopeful

Try something similar…600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster or A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (read my review here)

Rhys Thomas Author PictureAbout the Author

Rhys Thomas lives in Cardiff with his long-term girlfriend and two cats, Henry VIII and Sheldon Tilllikum Cooper.

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