Friday, August 10, 2007

Fallen Heroes by Barry A. Nugent (C)

Fallen HeroesBen is a thief known as The Hand, but during a job in Tokyo he is set up for a much more than just a simple exchange job. Reeling, he goes underground to try to figure out who set him up and why, his only clue-an encrypted disc. Meanwhile, TORCH, the UN special security force, operatives are dispatched to figure out what happened at the Tokyo lab, the Hand being their prime suspect. The shadowy forces responsible for the explosion want Ben dead and the disc destroyed. Into the mix is added another element-a murdered padre come back to Earth to mete out God's justice.

Fallen Heroes is an interesting, action packed novel, and Barry A. Nugent is obviously talented writer who will hopefully continue to write and hone his craft. But the book has some problems, and it's hard to keep reading past the first 40 pages because of their presence.

The first complaint I have about Fallen Heroes is the lack of standard formatting of the text. I don't know whether this is only a matter of a .pdf that the author sent me, but the formatting definitely must be fixed out of regard for the reader.

Another problem, one that is more serious, is the lack of attention to plot. Take the first major sequence of action: Ben enters a secret UN lab to make an exchange, but the action makes us believe that he's going into a highly secure facility to steal something. What is the reason for this when such an exchange could have been done in any location? It turns out that we've been misled, and not in a good way because the reversal is a letdown, not a true reversal, which would be, for example, if Ben had to steal something and found that it was already gone. Instead, Ben enters Fort Knox in order to have a chat with some guy who gives him a disc. This just doesn't work at all because no thief would agree to enter such a risky place merely to have meet and greet and exchange things. There must be a clear and compelling story reason as to why Ben takes this huge risk of walking into a beehive of security, but no such reason is provided.

It may seem that I am being pedantic about this by insisting on attention to plot, but great writing is in the details; indeed, good writing of any kind rests on masterful arrangement of details. When the opening action presents such a giant hole, the reader is left to wonder whether the book is worth reading at all.

Author's Website


paladinb said...

Hi there just wanted to come on and say thanks for reviewing Fallen Heroes.

Apologies that you found the format difficult to read. I've had no such complaints about the hardback and paperback editions. This is something I will definately look into before emailing it out again as a review copy.

With regards to the Ben comments for me, the compelling reason was that he was being paid a huge sum of money to do the job. His basic motivation at the start of this story is if you pay me enough money I will do what I'm being paid to do no questions asked. Also as you later discover there was a reason why he was supposed to be in that building (I won't say it as I don't want to spoil the story). I hope my comments won't be taken as sour grapes but rather trying to give you an idea what I was aiming for.

It may not have been the glowing review that every writer hopes for but at least it has bought my work to the attention of other readers. Being a pod author means that it's a lot more difficult to get your work reviewed by anyone, so I was grateful for the oppotunity.

I hope people will still take the time to check the book out. My website is can find a 15 page preview there).

Once again thanks for taking the time to review my work.

Barry Nugent

Anonymous said...


I have read the book and I have to say that for me the character of Ben seemed consistent because although the money is a motivation for him. He likes challenge whether it makes sense or not. He's in it for the thrill. His partner was not so pleased about the escapade which helped it all hang together for me. I really enjoyed this book and especially liked how the author handled the balance of so many characters.


Kristen said...

Just a quick comment before I read the review - I am continually impressed with the cover art on these books.

Barry Nugent said...

thanks kristen! It was a comic artist who did the cover for me. I figured if I was going to self publish I needed an eye catching cover.