By: Corey Lack
No Hero by Jonathan Wood was a book published in 2014. It features the main character, Arthur Wallace, being a London cop seeking a serial killer that appeared to use a sword, while following his guiding question: What would Kurt Russell do? Yes, that’s right. Wallace is a man who is guided through his life by following the example of the famous actor’s various characters. As he seeks to find this serial killer, he stumbles upon a bigger problem than some samurai-wannabe attacking random people. There are creatures from beyond our dimension that have been possessing people while seeking to bring their eternally hunger masters to our world so they could devour everything.
The world building of the story was certainly unique. It had magic and tried to explain it in a more scientific way. In fact, the various magic-users conjured spells by using electricity, specifically batteries of varying sizes depending on how big the spells were. It also explained the way the progeny went through their life cycles and possessed humans. There was also the secret department in the British government that dealt with various supernatural threats, like the progeny and their masters. As I mentioned, this whole idea was unique, but it wasn’t well-done. The description of their version of magic was so confusing at times that I didn’t fully understand the whole ins-and-outs of it until about halfway through the book.
Then, there’s the comedy that the descriptions and the reviewers of this book focused on the most and I have to say…I didn’t see it. The main character had a lot of potential to be a comedic character, but it all just fell flat. If you are familiar with a bunch of stories, tv shows, etc, think of a character that is kind of a dork and tries to be cool only to fall flat on his face, but still manages to have some minor importance by the end and you’ve got Arthur Wallace. The whole idea that he tries to follow the teachings of Kurt Russell movies had a lot of potential to be hilarious, but it never panned out. In fact, it is barely focused on beyond a few mentions throughout the book.
There’s also the characters that appear throughout the book and, to be honest, they were all as disappointing as Wallace. Even now, I couldn’t tell you all of their names. They were just that forgettable. There was the hot woman that becomes Wallace’s boss/love interest, there’s the woman who worked with Wallace before he went to his new job and clearly had a thing for him, there’s the weirdo magic user who constantly went off on tangents, the rude hacker girl with a thing for the weirdo, the believed serial killer who is portrayed as a badass, but is pretty much useless through most of the story, and the set of twins with psychic powers that I called having a major part of the end twist when they were first introduced.
So, this book reported as having a main character obsessed with following Kurt Russell’s example fighting against Lovecraftian horrors and it certainly had that, but somehow it still managed to miss being actually interesting. I won’t go so far as to say it’s boring, but I wouldn’t recommend this one and I’m a fan of Kurt Russell, magic, and Lovecraft. I’d give this one four hatched Progeny eggs out of ten.