Friday, August 9, 2019

Book Review: 'I Hero' by Jason Zandri

I Hero: The Beginning by [Zandri, Jason]
Connecticut author Jason Zandri has six books to his credit thus far, each with fascinating titles: AS LIFE GOES BY: ELEMENTARY, ANOTHER SUNSET, BEFORE ANOTHER SUNSET, I, HERO: THE BEGINNING, and I, HERO: NATHAN RETURNS (and a technical book pertinent to his career in the information technology field). He now works full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group.

Jason's writing style is comfortable to read, making the reader not only become involved with the concept of his story, but also grow into the metamorphoses of his characters. For a story that is going to involve the life (albeit unexpectedly) of a super hero, he offers this sensitive Prologue: ' Nathan stepped to the side of his ailing father's bed. The cancer was about to have its endgame. Nathan did the best he could to keep a strong face forward for his father. If he opened his eyes again, he would want him to see that he wasn't upset. "When it's your time, there's nothing you can do to change that outcome. The only thing you can do is meet it head on," Brian Devron had told his son the last time he'd been fully lucid. "I've done the best I could to teach you everything I know. A father does that his whole life for his children. Some have very little time. Others have decades. I don't feel robbed having only twenty-three years of your life to do that. It's not about the quantity of time, it's the quality. That is what we've had. I don't know what life has in store for you. No one really does. You move about it the best you can with the gifts you possess. Give back more than you take. Compete only with yourself. Live life by your own measure; no one else's." Those would be the last words of wisdom that he passed along to his only son. The son would bury the father on a Thursday and spend the next few weeks settling his estate and liquidating his assets. He would spend the remainder of that school year finishing up his degree. Over that summer, he then moved from Connecticut to an apartment in the Kips Bay area of New York City. With the following fall, a year later, came change. Nothing was ever the same again.' There is more humanity expressed than in most authors' entire books. And it sets the pace for what is to follow.

In the synopsis enough of the plot is shared to entice the reader into the book: `An everyday man, living less than ordinary life in New York City, simply makes his way about his work life and one at home. A kind heart and an empathetic soul, who tended to think of others before he thought of himself. With his childhood totally left behind and gone with the final resting of his father, Nathan has come to terms with his past as he forges his life in the present, unaware of what lies ahead. An unlikely friendship, a random act of violence, a budding romance, all part of a life changed.' Add to this Nathan's befriending a homeless woman who is stabbed and places special superpower bracelet on him, powers Nathan being a good man uses only for positive actions, a bit of a love interest, and the story begs for sequels - and that is what come next in I,HERO: NATHAN RETURNS.

Jason's skills are plentiful and his concept of humanity's potential is evident. Yes, some will think this is a sci-fi story and it does have superhero elements, but the philosophy Jason spreads throughout this book makes it far more relevant to a larger audience. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, August 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.