5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2013
I was a bit sceptical about the story line of this book not something I'd normally pick up. but credit has to go to mark Wilson for such a great read had me hooked from the start and could actually picture every scene and imagine every detail. loved it
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2013
After downloading and reading the Kindle version last week I bought this as soon as it became available so I can give it a permanent place on my bookshelf, it's that good!
As the characters evolve and the story builds you will find yourself reading this at every opportunity until you reach the end. The descriptions are so vivid you can really put yourself into each scene and see what is unfolding and feel as if you were there. I really can't wait until they make a film of this book and see it on the big screen.
I don't want to spoil the story by writing anymore other than to say it is full of decisions, drama and excitement and plenty of "what would I do in the same situation" moments so buy it today and you will be happy you did.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2013
I started reading this book with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.
The author has pulled off a story with a superhuman as the main character, and still manages to convey suspense and peril. This book pulled me in faster than I thought it would. The characters in the book are both believable and interesting, and all have their own little flaws to offset any perfection. Apart from the main character. He's almost too perfect in his attitude towards his power and how he uses it, and that made it difficult to suspend disbelief. This is why I marked it down to 4 stars.
The pace of the story is done well, and the various events described in the book lead neatly on to the next.
If you're looking for something a bit different to read, I'd recommend this book. You won't be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2013
The second book I have read by this author and I am very glad I did.
Again,as with the first I read the description and perhaps it was something I would not normally read, I think I am being converted. An intriguing storey line and well written. It is easy to read though not easy to put down. A couple of discreet references to the story line in Bobbys Boy would not distract too much form the action in this book if you were reading it as a standalone story.
I downloaded this for free, the next one I will be buying.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2013
This book had me hooked from the 1st page. The descriptions and use of imagination is second to none. Wilson maybe a new author but it does not show in his work. The level produced is so high the reader has to remind them selves it is actually a work of fiction. There is just the right amount of info to picture the scene but not so much it borders on graphic. Mark is one of the best authors I have read, with each page showing the work that has gone into his writing while flowing as tho it is no effort at all.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
...and glad that I did. I'd seen it mentioned on Twitter and took the plunge. This is an interesting take on issues in the recent past. The characters are believable even though they shouldn't be. I was pleasantly surprised and look forward to the sequel!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2013
Again this new author has blown me away. I started reading this authors works with an introduction to Paddys Daddy, he continues to amaze me. I was drawn into the pages and discovered a new love...fiction. I felt I knew the characters, I knew Robert, I knew Arif but most of all, I knew Kim.
Mark takes time to introduce you to the people in his mind, he takes time to show the strengths and weaknesses but most of all he shows a love for writing. If you ever pretended to be Superman or Flash Gordon when you were a child, read the book, it can take you places you never dreamed you could go. Excellent
on 12 August 2013
Let's start with a disclaimer. Superheroes aren't my bag. I've never read a comic, or graphic novel where the protagonist can shoot lasers from his eyeballs. Can fly at the speed of light. Has X-ray vision. That kind of lark. It's just not my thing. Seriously. My knowledge of superheroes and their kin starts and ends with where there's a bad Christopher Reeve having a fight with a good Christopher Reeve in some distant Christmas TV memory from my childhood.
So then, Naebody's Hero by Mark Wilson had to pull some extraordinary superpowers out of its metaphorical bag of tricks to gain any kind of interest from this reader.
It's primarily the tale of Rob, a young lad from Bellshill, Scotland, whose parents inexplicably disappear one night in the early eighties, leaving he and his sister Cara to fend for themselves until they're split up and taken into care. Rob is increasingly withdrawn from the world owing to a feeling of being different to everybody else, and his dreams are plagued by bizarre abilities that he refuses to acknowledge. A chance encounter with a rampaging bull brings everything to the fore and Rob, with the help of his surrogate father Frank, learns to accept, control, and even embrace his incredible 'gift'. Down in London the young Arif Ali is being brought up by loving parents who embrace the culture of a Western world that struggles to accept or understand 'Pakis' and everything they stand for. And across the pond, Kim Baker is a federal agent who's immersed herself in a vendetta against a mysterious Muslim extremist who has accepted responsibility for the bomb which killed Kim's husband and baby boy. Each of the trio struggle with their own fights throughout the eighties and early nineties, eventually their worlds collide and the story hurtles toward an alternate reality which re-imagines the horrific events of September 11th 2001.
Okay, so the appraisal of a superhero story by a man who just has no interest in superhero stories. Naebody's Hero has something different to it. It's difficult to entirely place my finger on what it is that's different about it, but I like it. I'll start with the way that Mark Wilson approaches the superhero genre. It has a self aware and post modern feel to it, with nods and winks to stories past, such as Rob's propensity for flying in the same pose as Christopher Reeve as Superman, just because it feels wrong not to. The characters are great, they compliment one another in their personalities, and each have a plausible goal in life. Rob himself is a kind hearted, strong charactered fella. He refuses to bow down to the expectation that one day he'll find himself in a position where he has to kill somebody for the greater good, and it feels natural. It's not a forced effort by Wilson. The characters of Arif, or his parents could easily, in the wrong hands, become an embarassing parody of what our perception of Asian families and their culture represent. Not so in Wilson's world. He doesn't skirt around potentially touchy subjects, nor does he turn them into a crass exploitation device. Everything seems to feel right. Kim Baker, the grieiving vengeful federal agent has just the right amount of drive to her to push the story where it needs to go without it feeling coincidental and forced for the purposes of convenience.
The plot is a tightly woven conspiracy theory cum alternate reality, which, although it borders on preachy at some points (for my taste), is a perfect foil for Wilson's superhero device. The shady American government organisation and their evil plans are portrayed to perfection, the Al Qaeda training camps and what drives the cruel taskmasters feel real, and the empathy that Rob shows the entire world feels as natural to his well drawn character as a smile might be to a child.
Overall, I couldn't say that I've been converted to the superhero genre, not by a long shot, but the fact that I simply couldn't stop reading once I'd been hooked is down to Wilson and his skills with the written word. This novel is akin to a big budget blockbuster movie, but with a strong conscience, and a big heart which beats throughout. In a cinematic sense, it's like Michael Moore was given Michael Bay's budget and did something worthy with it. Recommended reading, without a doubt.
on 27 March 2013
Rob Hamilton, abandoned by his parents as a child, one day learns he has extraordinary powers – incredible strength, speed and the ability to fly, among others. He’s a superhero with a powerful sense of right and wrong.
Whilst Rob is growing up Kim Hamilton, US secret agent, is trying to track down the terrorist group that killed her husband and son, the shadowy al-Qaeda which spreads its tentacles ever wider over time. Eventually it touches on Arif Ali, a young, increasingly radicalised Pakistani boy living in England and exposes him to some horrible events.
The first draft of this review started with the phrase ‘This is a powerful story, a superhero tale with a difference.’ However that was a shallow assessment of a powerful story. That Rob has super powers is incidental, it is simply a part of who he is.
Naebody’s Hero is an international thriller. Wilson cleverly blends three storylines over some thirty odd years and several continents leading to its climax on 9/11. The characters are excellently rendered. Driven Kim, desperate for revenge on those who stopped her life in its tracks (ironically she affects herself perhaps even more by being unable to move on from her grief). Rob himself, who learns to use his powers and his touching relationship development with his foster parents. And, most interestingly of all, is Arif Ali. I really liked the additional window this strand opened up, into the lengths terrorists would take to ensure conversion to the radical cause. There are some difficult, disturbing, and surprising subjects addressed. The sense of place is consistently strong, wherever in the world the action is taking place.
Another fascinating turn is the events running up to 9/11 and the day itself – the conclusion fitted perfectly into the world Wilson deftly created.
In conclusion this was a very strong book, intriguing and unusual. I understand there’s a sequel in progress. I’ll be picking up a copy.
**Originally reviewed for Books and Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**
on 22 March 2013
Naebody's Hero is wishful thinking in the purest form. It speaks to how much could be prevented if only there was someone with the proper skills and talents to do it. In the case of this novel, there is: Robert Hamilton.
Robert Hamilton has powers. He's virtually indestructible, can fly, run faster than the speed of sound, and lift impossible weights. Yet the best thing about him is his unwavering empathy and desire to do good in the world. He is so unrelenting in his desire to help as many people as possible, and I really enjoyed reading about him. I think it has a lot to do with how everything he did to help people were things I'd imagined doing as a child to help others. Kicking butt and helping the hungry, abused, and poor. I felt like I was living vicariously through him, and I was ecstatic every time we got mention that he had done something great. Admittedly this was really the only information we got about him, since he was basically perfect. In fact, most of the characters in this don't really have any flaws; they're all pretty black and white. Raheem and Shaaytan and Frank Jr. are bad. Robert, Arif, Azam, Mimi, Frank, Mary, Cara, Jack, and Mike are all good. Kim was the only exception to this, and I really liked that. She was a good guy, to be sure. But her goodness is tinged by the desire for revenge, and it nearly costs the lives of Arif and herself. While I inwardly scolded her for being so crazy, I liked the realness to her character in that way.
Of course, one thing I really loved about this was the result of the terrorist plot. Thanks to Robert, Kim and Arif, the terrorist plot doesn't go as planned. It's the way I think many people would prefer it to have gone in reality, but sadly that's not the case. However, I don't see this as disrespecting of what happened that day. I know that sometimes movies and books will use major events as a kind of cop out, but I didn't get that from this. I didn't feel as if it was just a cheap way of adding emotion to the novel, and I really appreciate that. Instead, I felt as if it was the manifestation of a desire to change what happened somehow, and I can absolutely relate to that.
My only complaint is that the beginning was a bit repetitive and slow to start off. There was a lot of buildup with Cara that I felt wasn't really necessary to the plot (I'd go so far as to say Cara isn't really needed at all) and just slowed the progress. The repetition for me was in the early descriptions of Arif through his father's eyes; each chapter about him in the beginning was essentially the same and didn't bring too much new information. Most of it centered around "my boy is handsome and smart and will do great things when I look in his eyes". It wasn't a deal breaker by any means, but it is noticeable.
I was very satisfied with Naebody's Hero and I'm happy that I was able to read it. It sets up the next book nicely (I saw it coming!! I knew that person would come back!) and will hopefully answer some questions of mine that arose: Why did his parents leave? Who was that boy who gave him the note? Why isn't Cara gifted as he is? At any rate, it's a great standalone book as well as an action-packed beginner to a series.