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Hero in Hiding

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Hero in Hiding by Mitchell Bonds

Reviewed by Eric Wilson

"Mitchell Bonds is clearly no one-hit-wonder."

Remember the fresh appeal of "Shrek," the tongue-in-cheek lampooning of fairy tales far and wide? For fantasy readers, Mitchell Bonds is the Kath's meow, providing that same bit of catnip that gets us smiling, laughing, and taking ourselves just a bit less seriously than we did before we picked up his books.

"Hero in Hiding" is the second book in The Hero Complex. In Book One, "Hero, Second Class," Cyrus Solburg was being mentored as a young hero. His trainer was the Crimson Slash, a hero who narrates his own fights mid-action. Cyrus met Kris, one of the feline Katheni, and together the newlyweds headed off into adventure. This time around they are hiding away in a seaside village, but adventure refuses to stay away long. Kris is catnapped, uh, kidnapped, and Cyrus is off on a quest to find the Elements in hopes of using them to thwart the plans of world conquest by one Voshtyr Demonkind. In the meantime, the Crimson Slash is finding iconic weaponry for the battle to come.

Once again, Mitchell Bonds infuses his story and characters with lots of grins and giggles. It's a world where a S.A.C.K. is a Sack of Alarming Carrying Kapacity, where villains who speak emphatically are warned that "Italics aren't good for your blood pressure," and where the LLC in Dragon Investing, LLC refers to Large Lizard Company. If it sounds a bit goofy, it is, but Bonds pulls it off with such fun and panache that we can't but help be drawn in. One of his characters even says "If I have to hear one more word out of the two of you . . . I'm skipping to the next chapter!" In the midst of imaginative scenes, magic, dwarves, orcs, and "an epic of disastrous proportions," we also find a bit of romance, legend, and wisdom. For good measure, Bonds even gives a sly nod in his final pages to Tolkien's work, showing respect amidst the continued humor.

It'll be interesting to see where The Hero Complex leads us. Mitchell Bonds is clearly no one-hit-wonder.

Eric WilsonEric Wilson is the author of twelve novels that explore Earth's tension between heaven and hell, the latest of which is One Step Away, a twist on the story of Job. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. Visit him online at his website.