The Former Hero
One of the greatest fears parents have is of losing their child. When the main character in The Former Hero discovers this very fear has come true, she begins her frantic search through the city streets. Receiving help from a loner named Angus only receives suspicion from corrupt city barons. The only other person who may be able to help cannot be found. Meanwhile, the superhero Omni-man realizes he has lost his powers. When he joins the search for the missing girl, he is thrown into a psychological journey that will help him discover his true self.
This book has many fantastic qualities. Jeffrey Allen Mays weaves in mythology, religious allegories and rich characters to create a vivid and intriguing novel. His ambition works in his favor to create a philosophical novel that delves deep into the idea of what being a hero means.
As the story begins, the setting seems eerily ideal. However, the layers quickly pile on and soon Mays reveals an entirely corrupt city were laws are not enforced, the mayor employs criminals to control population and children are kidnapped for the sex trade. And these issues only scratch the surface. The further into the city the protagonists go, the worse the corruption gets. The plot is thickened by the presence of The Minstrel, a villain buried deep in the city’s past. These twists are turns are revealed slowly and magnificently, keeping the reader intrigued until the last page. Likewise, the characters are impressively complex. The heroes are the villains and vice versa. The plot is revealed bit by bit through these characters who may or may not be trustworthy, leaving the reader to sort out what is true and what is false. The fact that each character is hiding something doesn’t help the reader’s investigation.
The Former Hero is a beautifully complex novel with multiple points of view revealing subplot after subplot. It is a unique portrayal at a dystopia overrun with villains, allowing the reader to study just why the characters – and humanity in general – feel the need for heroes. If you are looking for a fun, light read, The Former Hero is not for you. This book is heavy, heavier than the summary on the back of the book would suggest. Nevertheless, if a reader is willing to put in the effort to read this book, unravel its complexities and find the truth, then it will assuredly provide a deep level of enjoyment and satisfaction.
AEC Stellar Publishing