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No Hero by Jonathan Wood (early review)

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

Received through NetGalley from Night Shade Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
"What would Kurt Russell do?" Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He's a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI12 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO! Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?

P.S. There is a mistake in description. It's MI37, not MI12. Just noticed it. Bad Goodreads!

* * *
This was an awkward book. 
 On one side there is humour, there are distinct British accents and swear words, crazy dialogues, bunch of ditzy characters who look amazingly comical thrown together as a team of super agents: indecisive Arthur, nerdy magician Clyde, who pops AA batteries like there is no tomorrow, gothic and tattoed Tabitha, the researcher, Kayla, - manic depressive super Scottswoman with a sword...

Some of the descriptions also made me laugh out loud...
"Eventually we make it to the garage where it turns out Clyde drives a Mini that neither of us really fit in. Still, it's a classic vehicle and seems to accommodate Clyde's personality if not his form. We fold into it as best we can and he dials us into classical music, which also seems fitting until "Ride of the Valkyries" begins to accompany our inching crawl down St.George's Street."
 "Alright then, gents," Winston says, stepping back, "what can I do you for, then?"
"A book," I say.
"A book he says," Winston barks, his rough voice sharp and loud in the quiet space, "of course a fucking book. I'm made of fucking books. I'm in a fucking library. You're hardly going to be here to ask me about the pleasant summer weather, is you?" (cockney accent)
 Also there are prophetic twins in the water with lots of friendly squid :) Kind of reminded me The Minority Report. And there are magic mashrooms-induced aliens like Progeny, Feeders, Dreamers or Runners. The plot is wicked and feels very original.

Now I know you are waiting to hear BUT.

But I didn't like that everything was written from Arthur's point of view in Present Tense. I think it limits what the writer can do when there is only one POV. Also I didn't like Arthur himself. Sure he's got his moments and catch phrases like "What would Kurt Russell do?" but usually he does more harm than help people. I couldn't see why people thought he was a great detective. He is very unsure of things and charges ahead without thinking things through like a bloody teenager. Also I didn't like that his grief after a dear friend dies kind of disappears after a couple of mentions.

So, for me the book wasn't well done. I loved certain aspects of it but not the whole structure. However, I think fans of Men in Black and Gini Coch will like this book. Despite its flaws I certainly enjoyed it!

* * *
Очень неловкая книга, но с хорошими моментами.

Действие происходит в Оксфорде, где полицейский Артур Воллас расследует серию убийств на стройках. В своём расследовании он натыкается на безумную шотландку-суперменшу, которая обезглавливает различные оболочки людей, в мозгах которых живут инопланетные черви... У-гу, вы расслышали правильно! И если вам нравятся сумасшедшие книги Джини Кох (Gini Koch) и Люди в Чёрном, то вам как раз сюда :)

Артуру предлагают работать с супер-секретной организацией МИ12, и он соглашается. На самом деле оказывается, что МИ37 - типичная жертва бюрократии. С тех пор как в 1930-х гг. была найдена некая Книга, рассказывающая о магии и паралельных реальностях, страны начали Магическую гонку вооружений, пока СССР не совершило ошибку, из-за которой случился Чернобыль... После этого все испугались, гонка закончилась и МИ37потихоньку вымерло, и нынешние политики в инопланетян не верят.

Теперь в организации всего 4 агента плюс директрисса Шоу, которые противостоят коварным инопланетянам Прожени. Те  пытаются открыть портал на Землю и впустить к нам Фидеров - своих родителей, что питаются реальностями и опустошают целые миры.

Что понравилось. Чокнутые характеры, интересный и оригинальный сюжет, юмор и совершенно сумасшедшие диалоги.

Не понравилось то, что всё описывается в настоящем времени, и сам Артур, о котором говорится, что он хороший полицейский, этого своими действиями не подтверждает. Он - очень нерешительный и в чём его ценность я не видела. Некоторые моменты заставляли меня трясти головой. Например, человек пролетает через всю комнату от удара, бьётся об стенку, и потом встаёт как не бывало и дерётся. Учитывая, что у нет каких-либо способностей супермена, я ожидаю как минимум сломанные рёбра и большие трудности в передвижении... Ну, да бог с ним!

В целом, совсем неплохо. Иногда можно и такую глючную литературу почитать.
Цитаты (см.выше)


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