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Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Mix of Science Fiction and Horror

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

"What would Kurt Russell do?" Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He's a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI12 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO! Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?


I was intrigued by the imaginative mind of Wood. A secret agency of misfits working to keep our world protected against invading hostile parasitic aliens from an alternate reality. Our hero, Arthur Wallace, is an English detective trying to solve some bizarre serial killings. As the investigation continues, Arthur becomes part of a team composed of: a tattooed goth computer research genius named Tabitha; Clyde, the socially awkward scientist turned magic user that puts AA batteries in his mouth to power his spells; Kayla, a sword-wielding assassin with some serious anger issues; and their leader Shaw, a woman trying to keep the agency running with budget cuts and a mole in their ranks

I really liked Wood’s approach to magic. Since our world is just one of many realities that coexist together a person can, with the help of electricity, physically tap into those alternate realities and pull things into or out of our world. Among these reality-jumpers is a tentacled alien race called Feeders that release spore like eggs which can travel through the different realities looking for hosts. And guess where they land? Yup, our world! These “Progeny” are trying to bring their parents, the Feeders, into our reality. The fate of humanity rests on Arthur, his team, and his love of Kurt Russell movies set reality right again.

What I didn’t like about the book was the writing style. It is written from the point of view of Arthur in the present tense. While the prose is funny and clever at times, it feels devoid of emotion and passion. I feel like I am just reading a running narrative of events rather than the experiences of a character. At first I thought it was a style I wasn’t used to, maybe since I don’t read a lot of Sci-Fi, but halfway through the book it was starting to interfere with my ability to enjoy the story, which was a shame since the story was pretty kick-ass.

Clyde was my favorite character. His ADD ramblings were funny and scary at the same time. Here he is trying to explain what Dreamers are to Author:

“Probably not, actual real people. Reported to look like us, yes. Well not you and me, but, well people. In the reports that there are. Not that many of them, you know. Sparse on the ground. Like four-leaf clovers. Well…never seen one of those. But haven’t spent as much time looking for one as I have for accounts of the Dreamers, so maybe that is a persistency thing. Probably says something about luck, that. The more time you put in…But, anyway, they’re a cagey lot, the Dreamers. Usually exist on some of the less probable realities apparently. Don’t come our way. Sort of opposite of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Except without the religion. Suppose that means they’re not really opposites, actually. Maybe Satanists are the opposite to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They tend to keep to themselves too. At least I assume the do.”

This is one of those books that will appeal to some and not to others. Check out other reviews and try to get a few sample chapters before buying.

3 Parasitic Alien Sheep!

SS (edited by BAK)


  1. spore like eggs? ewwwwwww! *gag*

    But really how could you not love Kurt Russell! lol Arthur has that one dead on. ;)

    Great review Sharon, does not sound like one for me but well done.

  2. yeah, they explode out of people's heads! Good stuff ;)


  3. Sounds interesting, though I'm not a fan of present tense. Still, if it's interesting enough ;)

    Great review!

  4. If any one's looking to check out the first few chapters, Webscriptions has something like the first 17 up for free.

    And thanks for the review :)