Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Hero, Second Class by Mitchell Bonds

I expected Hero, Second Class to be funny but I wasn’t prepared for the laugh out loud giggle fest it turned out to be. I learned fast not to drink soda while reading. Or tea. And forget coffee. Not unless I wanted to change my blouse after spitting all over myself laughing.

But enough about me!

First time novelist Mitchell Bonds takes the reader on a hilarious jaunt through the imaginary kingdom of Centra Mundi. Along the way, he manages to skew every time honored fantasy tradition in the history of literature. Possibly even in Hollywood. Most definitely on television and certainly those that have been canonized ad infinitum in video games. Maybe because Bonds was only twenty when he wrote this tome (607pages)—nothing was sacred.

Ah youth.

The main character,Cyrus Solburg languishes on the tropical isle of Starspeak, second largest in the Citrus Island chain (loved Bonds’ gift for world building) and dreams of becoming a Hero just like dear old Dad. His chance comes when two members of the International Guild of Heroes land on his isolated island seeking recruits. And yes, Heroes have a guild with by laws, training manuals and standard issue weaponry. As do their dastardly counter parts. After a few miss steps and some infuriating roadblocks …things are never easy for our heroes … Cyrus is accepted as an apprentice.

Young Cyrus’ journey to full herodom is complicated by a valorous mentor who narrates his battles, a half-demon arch villain bent on world domination, a droll dragon, and most notably, a feisty cat girl with amorous intentions. There are Manticores, Chimereas , good Mages, evil Mages, High Elves, Mean Elves, and the little known Average Elves. And did I mention Cyrus’ bizarre, uncontrollable ability to shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips?

Bonds’ writing is fresh, witty and packed with some of the most dazzling action scenes I’ve read in a long time. Characters are fully fleshed out, surprisingly; even minor ones. The world of Centra Mundi is so fully realized, I found myself reluctant to depart after reading ‘the end’.

Luckily, there’s a sequel coming soon and frankly, I can’t wait.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

sold Feb.2010

Blah, blah, blah!



Here it is only eighteen days into the new year and already I'm dragging my feet.

I hate organizing.

Especially my desk.

I mean what am I supposed to do about that foot high pile of paper. Sure something important could be lurking amid the sprawl.

But if I don't bother it...maybe it won't bother me.

Fat chance.

I'd rather be like the lady above. Standing on the balcony in some exotic locale, staring at the natives. Not squinting at scribbled notes on wrinkled napkins, old Pathmark circulars and over due Con Ed bills I've been trying to ignore anyway.

Light bulb moment.

I'll think about it tomorrow. Hey, it worked for Scarlett!

Sort of....

Thursday, January 13, 2011


 Just the tell the story… sage advice I read in a book somewhere. The author recommended that we writer chant that whenever we sat at our computer...laptop...I Pad ...whatever...and set our hands to create yet another breathtaking work of fiction. A Pulitzer at least.  

If we want to entertain the reader, that is. 

You smile. I smile.   

Actually we want readers to lust after our books the way a coffee-holic gulps down a Starbuck's hot white chocolate mocha on the way to work.  Coffee. Chocolate. Yum.

Just tell the story...remember.

Uhhh. Right.

Personally those words are written on a heart shaped post-it hanging above my monitor. Can’t tell you how many times my blocked brain sort inspiration from them. 

Because when push comes to shove…after the titillating characterization, seat grabbing plotting, exposition sharpening, adjective paring and adverb deleting…all the things needed to make that manuscript shine brighter than a Macintosh red…there better be a rip roaring tale left.


I sure hope so.