Originally published 2015-11-04: Heroes: A TPQ Anthology | Book Review Wednesday
As a young, angsty tomboy in a town that lived behind-the-times, I often took solace in fiction. Books, cartoons, movies… and comic books. A lot of my favorite comic books were hero-based, especially dark heroes, anti-heroes, and tough female leads.
So when Ashley Cyr asked me to review the anthology she edited, Heroes: A TPQ Anthology, I was keen on the idea.
If you’ve been craving short stories about heroes, and not just the kind with shiny spandex and a winning grin, this is the anthology for you. Within these pages are different takes on heroes and heroism. There are big damn heroes and every day heroes. There are sword-wielding women and gun-toting men, there are people scraping to get by and members of royalty, there are those looking for a job and there is even a young man wearing his underpants over his bluejeans. Every one of them is a hero, and I hope this inspires you to your own acts of heroism, big or small.
You’ll get thirteen original, never before published short stories ranging across multiple genres. Featuring stories by Laura Johnson, Shelley Roe, C.P. Roelke, Thomas Atwood, Lindsay M. Toomey, Lilian Oake, Shannon Hawthorne, Gina Covelli, Paul Davis, John Ryers, Jasmine Brennan, and the best-selling Joshua Robertson and Beth Hammond.
There are thirteen stories in this anthology that range across many different genres. These aren’t all spandex-and-cape stories. On the contrary, most of them aren’t focused on that kind of hero. They’re much more than that: they’re tales of heroes of every caliber, from every walk of life, in many different situations.
“Sidekicks Wanted” throws the superhero mythology on its head by making it a vocation instead of a calling. “The Prince’s Parish” is a haunting tale about one boy keeping secrets for another, and the dangerous consequences of his silence.
“Twelve Mile Limit” reminded me a lot of 1984 with the omnipresence of a force not unlike Big Brother, the narrator’s resistance, and the unique method of telling the story.
And “Harold the Hero” left me grinning. Everyone loves an underdog story, and Harold is nothing is not an endearing mess.
There were a few misses in Heroes: A TPQ Anthology, but that may owe more to my own genre preferences than to the stories themselves. All in all, this is a collection is a great read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys heroism in its many forms, and give it three of five stars.
This is an affiliate link; click on it to buy & I get a percentage of the sale, but it doesn’t cost you any more than your regular purchases. I received a complimentary copy of this story in exchange for my honest review.