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Hero, Second Class Paperback – October 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Marcher Lord Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098210491X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982104910
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,839,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Hero, Second Class is one of the first novels released by Marcher Lord Press, the Christian publishing house. It is penned by Mitchell Bonds. If the idea of reading Christian fiction puts you off, relax. Hero, Second Class is a romp through the fantasy world in the tradition of Terry Pratchet. The discussion of faith takes second place to the story itself. Here is a book that has heroes who narrate their battles as they fight, villains who belong to a Brotherhood who monitor the dastardly deeds of their members.

Cyrus has always wanted to be a hero just like his father. He gets his chance and is apprenticed to the Crimson Slash, also know as Reg. As Cyrus is learning the ropes he meets a dragon and brother and sister Katheni, who are cat people. He gets involved in the battle against an arch-villain that has a grudge against his mentor and a determination to rule the world. (He is after all, a villain.) As it become clear that Voshtyr Demonkin is no ordinary arch-villain, there are also hints that Cyrus may not be an ordinary hero.

The humor in Bonds' writing had me laughing out loud. He manages to poke fun at every convention of adventure writing. Between monologuing villains, narrating heroes, Capital Letters and Arbitrary Numbers, he tells a story of a young man who is coming to grips with a world that is a lot more complicated than he had thought. Many of the characters are deliberate caricatures, but they have enough extra foibles to make them real. The real story that takes place between the lines of the epic battle between good and evil is touching and true to life.

Hero, Second Class is a first-class book, and I will be waiting eagerly for the next installment of mayhem.

Armchair Interviews agrees-good job Mitchell Bonds (who is only 20).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, this book parodies the fantasy genre. So, there are a lot of bits that are "bad writing", but they're done that way to make fun of a cliche. This works... most of the time. There were many such moments throughout the book that made my laugh out loud. However, there were also quite a few that made me think: "Okay, I get the cliche that this is making fun of, and said cliche needs mocking, but for the same reasons the cliche is painful to read, this passage is also."

So, I'm not quite sure what I thought of the book over-all. Most of the characters are parodies of cliches... which are funny, but that makes it really hard to connect with them. Also, it took me a really long time to read.. there were times when I just put the book down and didn't come back to it for a few days. I'm not sure if this was the story, or just that I've read about five fantasy books in a row...
Anyway, three stars. I liked it, it just didn't suck me into the story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hi, my name is Eric. I'm a read-a-holic. And yes, my latest little vial of yum-yum juice happened to bear the label: "Hero, Second Class." In my years as a fiction lover, I've adored the rare discoveries of something fresh and distinctly different, something fun and well done. Mitchell Bonds' 600 page tome qualifies on all counts. Not only does it read quickly, it puts a smile on your face and makes you chuckle.

Our Hero, Reginald, faces off with an Arch-Villain early in the story --don't skip the prologue, don't do it!--then later finds himself the mentor to a new recruit named Cyrus. This young trainee becomes increasingly aware of his own abilities, while also awakening to his feelings for Kris, a speaking cat-like creature. As the Hero, his trainee, the purr-machine, and a few others head off on separate Quests, they find themselves drawn back toward a cataclysmic clash with Voshtyr Demonkind and his acolytes.

The story, on the surface, sounds somewhat routine, but that's where Bonds refuses to be pigeonholed. He pokes fun at the genre, at the staples of storytelling, and even at the English language. With a Hero who narrates his own battles, a beautiful cat with a knack for puns, and the author's brief interruptions (and one particularly funny and wise removal from the scene), "Hero, Second Class" refuses to take itself too seriously. Even in the midst of a prophetic poem, the Hero questions his own propensity for rhyme!

Mixing the best elements of "The Princess Bride" and Monty Python, the story is entertaining, fast-paced, and delivered with a wry grin throughout. That isn't to say there aren't monsters, or sword fights, or gruesome decapitations. Oh, yes, there are plenty of the genre standbys.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you love fantasy? Are you tired of all the same old fantasy tropes you find in every other fantasy novel? Well, I don't know if you will like this book. It has pretty much every fantasy trope you could possibly imagine, but it makes fun of it in a new way. Full of puns and satire, you could easily imagine Mel Brooks wrote this story. Similar to Pratchett, but lacking the British humour that draws the laughs out of you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a big fan of fantasy and satire along with silly jokes and puns I really got a kick out of this book. Rarely are books this much fun. Mitchell makes fun of the genre by doing EVERYTHING fantasy novels are known for and doing it over-the-top. Even cracks political jokes now and then.

I had purchased this book quite a while back but sat on it due to the author being a mere nineteen years old. I figured what could a child possibly know about writing a good book. In an interview I had read that he was home-schooled and starting classes at Hillsdale College so I decided to start the book. The brightest kids I know (including my own) are home-schooled and reading this book confirmed it to be true. (I was schooled by the government so don't grade my poor English.) Mitchell has a great way with words - so much so I'm glad I read it on the Kindle so I could look up the meaning of a lot of them. His storytelling was unorthodox in many good ways. Unpredictable comes to mind throughout the entire tale.

Some have complained there was not enough of a Biblical message but I say it was well-done and made into part of the story. Since this is only book one my guess is there are unanswered questions that will be answered (such as who the priest was) in book two.

If you are looking to get this book please be aware that you'll need to get book two "Hero In Hiding" also since this book is not a stand-alone. At approx 1200 pages for the two books you will definitely get your moneys worth.

Now for the problem. The main character Cyrus falls in love with a cat girl. Literally. A feline that walks on hind legs. Now I understand this is fantasy but I could never get the human-with-an-animal thing clear in my head.
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