You Are The Hero by Jonathan Green
Book of the Month
I am a massive fan-boy for the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks as they are what started me off on the path of fantasy as a genre back in my very early teens. I suspect this can be said of a lot of people.
Jonathan Green’s history of the Fighting Fantasy scores very nearly top marks from me due mainly to two main things. The first is the artwork, the book is crammed with the cover and internal art from all of the Fighting Fantasy books – I don’t think I can express in words how iconic these images are for a generation of fantasy literature fans. It is true, as Jonathan Green suggests that one of the main draws for the series were the monsters and pictures of the monsters that accompanied them; this is true of this book as well. If you have no interest in the history of Fighting Fantasy (hard to believe I know) this book should take pride of place in your collection anyway just for the sheer amount of great fantasy art (sometimes in very different styles) in one volume.
The second is the nostalgia; the whole book took me back to my very early teens and great memories of the Fighting Fantasy books in particular. Notwithstanding how old it made me feel, I was taken straight back to the first time I saw the Bloodbeast and when I was in awe at the imagination of the writers. I also recalled my confusion over how a monster with no arms and legs that had to stay in a pit of slime could be so dangerous.
The book is extremely well put together by Jonathan Green with great features (such as the fact sections contained in scrolls) that are reminiscent of its subject matter. The book also contains sketches of concept art, maps of the structure of the gamebook created by the author and first drafts of narrative. This gives the reader access to see the thought processes of some of the heroes (well heroes to me anyway).
I also found the history of how the founders of Fighting Fantasy came together and the early days of their work together fascinating bearing in mind what these endeavours have produced for fantasy as a genre. It was also very interesting to understand the thought processes behind Penguin taking on Fighting Fantasy and how it had an impact in literacy for teenagers (boys in particular).
The insight of so many big names in fantasy (think John Blanche, Ian Miller and of course the founders themselves – Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone) is also great to see and it is impressive to see that they all pretty much were involved with or were inspired by the early days of the gamebooks.
Anyway, I think I have heaped enough praise on the book. A great recalling of this golden age of fantasy writing, the only thing that could have improved it would have been a new adventure slipped in to the already weighty volume. It also prompted me to find a second-hand copy of Deathtrap dungeon so I could fight the Bloodbeast all over again!
This You Are The Hero book review was written by Joe Warren
Have you read You Are The Hero?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
You Are The Hero reader reviews
9.9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Steve Jackson's The Trolltooth Wars is a graphic novel set in the Fighting Fantasy world of Titan. The original novel, written by Fighting Fantasy co-creator Steve Jack...
iHorror: Demon Hunter
Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore
You are the Hunter - destined to fight horror wherever you find it. The Japanese island of Okinawa is rocked by a massive earthquake - opening a fiery portal to the underwo...
Michael R Miller
Jack Kross only wanted to play the game. Now he’s fighting for his life. When a mysterious hacker takes control of Hundred Kingdoms, Jack is trapped ...
Appointment with F.E.A.R.
Fighting Fantasy is the brilliant series of adventure games where YOU are the hero. Your mission is to discover the location of the top- secret F.E.A.R. meeting, capture th...
Invitation to a Feast
The young rabbit, Jumpster has received his first ever invitation to the annual feast of the Noble Ranger, the caretaker of Woodland Forest. He soon discovers, however, tha...
Armies of Death
The kingdom of Allansia is under threat. Agglax the evil Zombie-Lord is amassing an army of undead warriors in easter Allansia, beyond the Forest of Fiends. His army increa...
What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower
Descend into the depths of the undercity and embroil yourself in the political struggles of colonialist gnomes and indigenous goblins. Fly in air balloons, drink mysterious...
Great fantasy books published in 2014
The Slow Regard of Silent Things
The University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below i...
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service ...
Words of Radiance
Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from ...
Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines betwee...
Queen of the Dark Things
Two boys, spirited away into a dark world of myth and folklore that has lived, grown and changed alongside our world, have grown into men and now make their way. But faerie...
Prince of Fools
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other. Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line t...
Dreams and Shadows
The Limestone Kingdom, a parallel universe where whisky-swilling genies and foul-mouthed wizards argue over the state of the metaphysical realm. Having left the spirit worl...
Actions have consequences. For Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg, those consequences involve prison. Specifically, an extraterrestrial prison where he and pretty much...
In Dark Service
Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ... on those occasions...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: