Book - No Hero

No Hero

Steve Taylor-Bryant asks "What would Kurt Russell do?" as he jumps into alien infested Oxford...

I love books. Reading is a hobby as well as part of my job and I am very lucky to be sent some extraordinary titles in the course of a year. If you go back through all my reviews, correct me if I am wrong, but I have pretty much enjoyed most novels I have read. When it comes to No Hero from our friends at Titan Books though, “enjoy” is not quite a big enough word.

Arthur Wallace is a police Detective in the university town of Oxford but, when he chases a perpetrator into a construction site, he witnesses something never seen in Inspector Morse...Tentacles coming from a neck wound! After being stabbed with a sword, Arthur awakens to find he is being recruited by the mysterious MI37, a shady and underfunded government agency fighting the threat of The Progeny. Made team leader, Arthur very often finds himself very out of his depth. Not grasping the enormity of the challenge he faces and assisted by Clyde, an over-excitable possessor of magic, Tabitha, a geeky research assistant, Kayla, the not quite human violent one, and under the guidance of Shaw, the hard-nosed boss, Arthur starts his investigations and fights. Discovery of parallel dimensions, squid protected girls, magical books, super humans and monsters, a booby trapped Peruvian temple, all culminate in the most over the top finale I have ever read.

Jonathan Wood does not write like most other authors I come across. This book is full of very short chapters, punchy sentences and gripping, fantastical fight scenes. Wood has not swallowed a thesaurus, you won’t find long complicated words or over elaborate descriptive passages. What you get is a narration written as if a fan of action movies was describing his day. It is in this simplicity that the book works. You cannot help but be gripped by the weirdness of the tale, feel the highs and lows with Arthur, and THAT ending!

All through the journey Arthur goes on, is the question "What would Kurt Russell do?" as the detective tries to be the hero the world needs whilst in reality he is completely lost.

This book is fantastic and I beg Hollyweird to go straight into production with the film. There is over the top gore, fight scenes taken to an extreme new level and so much humour. One liners and funny thoughts litter the narrative and, by the time you are a third of the way into the story, you mentally drift into Kurt Russell mode and enjoy the tale as you would a mindless action flick.

I am really excited to find out that at least two more titles are coming and Jonathan Wood should be tied to a chair until he has written at least ten more Arthur Wallace adventures. This is Tango and Cash, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China mixed with Men in Black and really, really has to be read.

Image - Titan.