The following review is written by two young men with differing viewpoints. One follows the other.
Hero, Second Class by Mitchell Bonds is a work of fantasy fiction, complete with dragons, zombies, elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, and all the other races commonly found in fantasy books.
Meet Cyrus Solburg, from the island of Starspeak. Cyrus has always had a dream of becoming a Hero, which, by the way, is different from a regular hero. Heroes are super-humans that dedicate themselves to the furthering of all things good and the eradication of all Villains. Now, in case of misunderstanding, a description of Villains is in order. Villains and villains are two completely different things. As the author put it, "There are villains, and there are Villains. The kind that run their own Guild and command entire armies of henchmen are Villains. Any buffoon who beats his wife or throws rocks at a parade is a villain." Through the ages, Villains and Heroes have always been bent on destroying each other. That said, we can now continue with the story.
One day, two Heroes (not heroes) come to the island of Starspeak to look for recruits. After some persuading, the two Heroes decide to take Cyrus, who is then apprenticed to a Hero named Sir Reginald Ogleby, also known as The Crimson Slash.
During the apprenticeship, The Crimson Slash and Cyrus sack the lairs of Villains like Rish-Tak Plainscale, Eldrin Afterglow, Mortimer Clawhand, and several others. And after a gloriously narrated battle with a very large dragon, the Hero and Hero-to-be run across Kris and Katana, two Katheni humanoids who decide to join the Heroes on their travels. Katheni are in the form of large cats that stand on their two back legs.
Then much later, a Villain by the name of Voshtyr Demonkin, who is a mortal enemy of Sir Reginald, captures Cyrus with the intent of using him for bait to catch the Crimson Slash. Unfortunately, Voshtyr succeeds in tricking the entire Hero army into a Villainous trap. Despite all the strength that the Hero army can muster, the Villainous (and villainous) Army of Darkness(TM) succeeds in destroying the Hero army. Cyrus gets blamed for the incident, and Reginald banishes him from the entire Hero order. The book ends with an acute sense of hopelessness and depression as Cyrus tries to re-create his life. The Hero Complex Series will continue in book 2.
Hero, Second Class is written on a sixth-grade reading level. While this book was highly entertaining and hilariously funny at times, it is lacking in one of the most important qualities of a good book: a good ending. Mitchell Bonds obviously put a lot of effort into this book to make it enjoyable, but at the end, all his hard work is ruined by evil scoring a very large and important victory. The main character, Cyrus, is blamed for the whole affair and is forced to give up his dream of being a Hero. In this, Mr. Bonds has failed to make us wish to read any other book that will come after this one in the Heroes Complex.
The second perspective:
Hero, Second Class starts with an interesting look into young Cyrus Solberg’s
life: catching, salting, and selling fish at the markets or to the occasional
merchants. It is all that really happens in his rather boring life. Not much
changes in Cyrus’s life at Starspeak, other than the yearly coming of
the Hero Scouts. The story starts with Cyrus seeing the Heroes Ship dock at
the harbor. Cyrus salts his fish and at dusk, heads towards the ship only to
find the Heroes almost ready to leave.
Desperately, Cyrus challenges one of the Heroes to a foot race. Without knowing
it, Cyrus takes on one of the fastest Heroes in the Guild of Heroes. The Red
Death (this certain Heroes Heroic name) soon leaves Cyrus eating his dust but,
as it is now nighttime, almost falls down a cliff and is suspended by just
his hands. When Cyrus finds the Red Death he helps him up. The race is soon
resumed and Cyrus is already far behind the Red Death, but because of Cyrus’s
Good Deed the Hero Scouts decide to test Cyrus’s other talents on the
The next day Cyrus passes the testing with flying colors and is soon introduced
to his new Mentor, Sir Reginald Oglby or The Crimson Slash. Cyrus is soon thrown
into the wild, wacky and wonderful world of the Heroes, in which Heroes narrate
while fighting and follow rules such as: Take Unnecessary Risks and Always
Fight Climatic Duels in Ridiculous Locations among a few. This book is a hilarious
read. It will leave you raging for the Book 2.