Forging Hephaestus Book Review

15 February 2017
15 Feb 2017
4 min read

_This is something a little different than usual, but I’ll tie it all together. Indie author Drew Hayes has a new book coming out, and put out requests for those who wanted to cover the work in some way. He was kind enough to answer my questions about pricing and being an indie publisher, and I thought I’d add a book review for some background. Please let me know what you think. As far as disclaimers go, I was provided a review copy of the book early and didn’t receive any monetary compensation for such a review. _

I always struggle finding new books to read. The rise of online publishing means that it’s easier to create books, but unfortunately this implies a lower average quality per book.1 This means that finding an author who puts out great material on a regular basis is like striking the lottery.

To me, Drew Hayes is one of those authors. I started off with NPC’s, then Pears and Perils, and then moved on to his magnum opus, Super Powereds. For those that are unaware, Super Powereds is originally a serial online about students going to a super hero college.2 Once each school year is completed, Hayes publishes all of the chapters for that year in a book and sells it wherever one buys such things. The world the characters inhabit is complex, lacking the sharp moral divide that we expect from our marvel-based media.

Forging Hephaestus, Hayes most recent work, is no different in this respect. Although the protagonist now plays for the Villain side, the world is similar to that of Super Powereds - complex, with interesting characters and fascinating super powers. It’s safe to say that if you enjoy Super Powereds, you’ll enjoy Forging Hephaestus.

Our protagonist in this book is Tori Rivas. At the beginning of the story, she is a small time thief who gets caught. Yet instead of imprisonment, she is taught how to use her powers in a more effective manner. Bigger truths about the world are revealed to her, there are fights with super powers and it’s generally a good time. I found that I cared about her and her development. Watching the relationships between all the characters grow was satisfying in a way that made me feel that they would be fun to hang out with. This book doesn’t break any new ground, with all the typical tropes present one could expect.3 Hayes does execute these in a skillful way, leading to an engaging storyline.

On other notable aspect of this book is its length. There is enough material in here for two books and I appreciate the story building that goes on. The book ebbs and flows in a way that brings me deeper into the storyline, rather than being distanced by the traditional story narrative.4 I am glad that he didn’t split this into two books; the true buildup comes at the very end. In the last 20 pages, Hayes ties all of the storylines together in a satisfying way, while keeping the book open for the next entry into the series.

Those that have read Hayes before knows exactly what they’re getting into; snappy dialogue, believable characters, excellent world building, as well as great action. I’m excited for the next book in the series; considering that this book hasn’t officially been released, I think that’s quite an accomplishment. For those that haven’t read Hayes before, I think going onto his website and reading Super Powereds is a great start to see if you enjoy his writing. If you do (and I have a strong inkling that you will) I think this book would make a great next read. If you can’t tell by now, I thought the book was great. His books can be found on Amazon or his website .

Strongly Recommended.

  1. Think if J.K Rowling was the only person who could publish. Books would be pretty good, right? But then add in four random strangers. The overall quality would decrease. ↩︎

  2. A gross simplification, but it is fantastic. ↩︎

  3. I have a particular fondness for “character that travels between parallel universes to observe unique storylines” ↩︎

  4. The rising action -> climax -> falling action narrative we were taught in elementary school. ↩︎

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