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Kingdom of Heroes

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Years ago, a gene virus ran rampant across the planet, leaving a small percentage of people gifted/ cursed with extraordinary abilities and humanity itself forever changed. Suddenly, there were people with super strength and speed, people who could read minds, people who could teleport themselves from place to place with but a single thought.

Several of these people joined together to form The Seven, the most powerful group of supers the world had ever known. Led by the enigmatic Agent America, The Seven kept the country safe from threats both foreign and internal. That is until the United States government decided the threat of the supers outweighed any protection they could offer.

After a war between the super powered and the normals (as non-powered humans are now referred), The Seven have placed themselves as the nation’s rulers, controlling the country through fear and intimidation. But now, someone or something is murdering The Seven one-by-one, single handedly attempting to make them pay for all of the sins they have committed.

To stop a killer, The Seven turn to a man who hates them as much as anyone. An imprisoned man known only as The Detective finds himself in the unenviable position of helping the people he despises in exchange for his freedom.

324 pages, Paperback

First published March 15, 2013

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About the author

Jay Phillips

2 books27 followers
Jay Phillips lives on the Gulf Coast with his wife and two children. A lifelong lover of comic books, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and everything else from the nerd culture, he prides himself on writing fiction that crosses boundaries. To reach Jay for comments or questions, feel free to email him here: jmp2y@hotmail.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 60 reviews
Profile Image for megHan.
604 reviews83 followers
June 9, 2013
Have you ever read a book that made you speechless, that left you without the words to describe it, where the only word that you could think of was "Wow!" but even that was not enough? THAT is how I feel about this book.

When I first started the book and realized it was about superheroes ... with superheroes that you weren't quite sure if they were good or bad ... I knew I was going to love this book. As I got further and further through the book, I knew more and more that I liked the "main" character. I just have this thing for cocky, smart-allick, anti-heroes. Each page left me wanting more and more - and the way the book was layed out was great - including journal excerpts - and a "bad guy" that you think you know who he is but you're not quite sure but maybe it couldn't be him but then wait right there well he could be but eh maybe not ... and then you find out and you're like "YES!" Wow!

I guess what I'm trying to say is ... You should definitely read this book. It is by far one of the best I have read in a long time ... and I don't usually say that unless I mean it. Superheroes ... action ... each page making you want more and more ... and an ending that just, well, you just have to read it.

Great job, Jay. I sure hope you write something else. :)

(By the way, I received a free copy of this book so that I could write a review on it. I, however, will not write a good review just because I got a free copy. My review is based on my true opinion of the book, so please don't hold it against me that I got it for free haha.)
Profile Image for Angie.
105 reviews9 followers
August 4, 2013
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book when I first started reading it, but before I knew what was happening I was pulled into the mystery of what was going on trying my hardest to figure it all out. I have to say it was a very entertaining read.

It was like taking all the super heroes you hear about changing their names and then spinning them around and showing how the good guys could easily turn around and take control of everything they stood to protect. This book really reminded me of every super hero movie I have ever watched at some point, but at the same time is able to stand on its own.

I have to say The Detective was a great character, though his super powers aren't anything super great he could handle himself well. The witty banter he kept flowing made what could have been a very serious book more lighthearted.

This book touched on a lot of different things, and though you knew what Agent America was doing was wrong at the same time you could see why he was doing the things he was. Honestly he reminded me a lot of my Dad and his views, and lets just say I hope nothing like this ever happens for real cause Agent America could very well come to be.

At first I wasn't to sure how I liked the journal entrys placed though out the book, but after a while I started to like the way you could gleam some different information from them. Like when you would start thinking Agent America really wasn't so bad you would come to an entry that would have him doing something horrible and you remembered why you aren't suppose to be on his side again. It fit into everything really well and gave you the information that everyone else already knew about.

I have to say I did figure out part of the mystery before The Detective did but it didn't take him to much longer to figure out the same thing that did. But I was completely clueless to the reason behind everything else right up to the end.

Would I recommend this book? Yup, anyone that has even the slightest like of super heroes will enjoy this book, and if you like a good mystery all the better.

Profile Image for Jay Phillips.
Author 2 books27 followers
May 16, 2013
I wrote it, so of course, I'm going to like it. I hope everyone else does as well.
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,228 reviews195 followers
July 27, 2019
The world is full of books about superheroes, but only a handful revolves around a murder mystery and incorporates neo-noir aesthetic. Kingdom of Heroes contains most of the stock ingredients of the genre; the femme fatale, the morally ambiguous hero, complex plot, hard-boiled dialogue, and so on. It never wastes a second - thanks to short, action-packed scenes it’s ridiculously addictive.

Set in a world ruthlessly ruled by former superheroes known as the Seven, it pulls no punches in presenting a new form of dictatorship. We learn about world-altering events through a short introduction and skillful use of the newspaper clippings, transcripts of recordings and diaries between the scenes. Before the change of the power structure a gene virus affected a small percentage of the world population by mutations that manifested as enhanced mental and physical skills. Each mutated individual was affected with different abilities, some got immense powers while others useless ones.

Philips paints a gruesome picture of people discovering their powers:

“A woman in Peoria accidentally burned her husband alive when her ability to manifest flames turned on as she was climaxing during sex; a college student in Houston inadvertently lobotomized his History professor while searching the teacher’s mind for the answers to a test; a child in Denver was killed when he unknowingly teleported himself onto a major highway.”

Initially, superheroes wanted to protect the United States against crime and supervillains. But then the government made a fatal mistake and started to perceive them as a threat to the world’s safety and to persecute them. Agent America, and his team of powerful mutants, The Seven conquered states and created a dictatorship their leader perceives as a real-life Utopia. When a mysterious killer murders The Seven one by one (in gruesome ways), Agent America offers a deal to Canadian superhuman knows as the Detective who hates The Seven himself. Mayhem ensues in the best possible way.

The novel draws from famous comic book arcs and presents characters similar to Marvel’s iconic characters. It starts almost like the Watchmen - with a brutal murder of the member of the Seven, a brilliant scientist Anthony Barren who flies around in technologically advanced suits. When the killer puts his hand on Anthony’s most advanced suit, he gains access to the hidden records concerning the strengths and weaknesses of members of the Seven, which include plans to neutralize them allies in a fight (an arc inspired by excellent JLA: Tower of Babel by Mark Waid).

You won’t have to look very hard to spot characters inspired by Iceman, Captain America, Colossus, or Cloak&Dagger. And if like me you’re a geek raised on Marvel and DC, occasional nods to well-known characters will add another layer of fun to the edge-of-your-seat narrative. The action moves at a breakneck pace, from one location to another as The Detective tries to solve the murder mystery and stop the killer. The Detective himself is an intriguing character with a knack for the witty that’s top of the line (as long as you enjoy lines from 80’s B Movies). He speaks a lot and I could describe him as a mix of Peter Parker and Deadpool. See for yourself if you’ll enjoy his voice:

“Nothing like a bullet wound and sex with a beautiful woman to make a man feel the pangs of freedom.”

Or this exchange with a gal who’s just about to kill him:

“Oh well,” she said. “At least we had tonight. That means something, doesn’t it?” “Not to me,” he said, smirking for what he assumed would be the last time. “I doubt I’ll even remember you in the morning.”

Such cheesy lines brighten otherwise gruesome and violent reality of survival in the world rules by Agent America. You just can’t approach them seriously. The characterization has enough depth to make the reader care, but it doesn’t try to explore the deepest layers of a human psyche. Despite some shortcuts, I would never call the Detective one-dimensional. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about female characters who are shown as hot and flirtatious types who can’t resist the Detective. Sure, it’s part of neo-noir canon, but it’s also sexist. As long as you accept it and turn a blind eye to the flawed characterization of females, you’ll enjoy the story. Dissect it, and I don’t think you’ll want to finish it.

Kingdom of Heroes is an excellent popcorn fun. It’s fast, furious and loud. If you like Hollywood pacing, superheroes, and crime you’re in for a rare treat.
Profile Image for Jessie.
2 reviews3 followers
June 9, 2013
Jay Phillips, can I be your official groupie? I've never asked a question like that before, but I never quite read a book like this before either. How does a bargain, self published, ebook on Kindle about superheroes become one of my favorite novels of all time? I'm not sure, but it has.

The dialogue in this novel is so crisp and witty, so fast paced, it reminds me of watching a Joss Whedon TV show or movie. The characters were so much fun and believable. The Detective has to be one of the most well written and crafted protagonists I've encountered in a long time. As someone else said in a review, Jay Phillips has a gift for characterization. And this is his first book? How is that even possible?

I'll admit it. I cried like a baby at the end. The ending was so happy and sad at the same time, and it kind of took me by surprise. The one death I didn't want to happen happened, but it was so heartfelt and emotional that it just blew me away. This is the kind of book that leaves you thinking about it long after you've finished. I was breathless by the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is that good and so worth reading. Keep this author on your radar. Big things are coming his way. And Jay Phillips, if you're reading this, keep me in mind when you start collecting groupies.
Profile Image for John.
3 reviews1 follower
May 22, 2013
I really, really wanted to hate this book. I am currently writing (okay, thinking about writing) a similarly themed superhero novel, and I kind of viewed this one as the competition. I really wanted to hate it. But I couldn't. It was just too d-mn good.

It has almost a Watchmen quality, but it takes it to a different level. I love anything where the heroes become the bad guys, and you can see their fall. This has that element. I loved the main character, and just the fact that, power wise, he's probably the weakest super in the book, but I'll be d-mned if he doesn't still manage to kick butt.

I believe that if this book managed to attract a following, it could reinvent the superhero novel in much the same way that Watchmen and Miller's Dark Knight Returns did for the standard comic book. It's that d-mn good.

And in the greatest compliment I can give any book (or movie/ tv show/ entertainment) is that it has inspired my own work now, as I will be borrowing several ideas of inspiration I received while reading this and incorporating them into my own work.

To sum it all up, all I can say is that this book comes with my highest recommendation.
Profile Image for Jess Friday.
24 reviews17 followers
June 6, 2013
4.5 Stars

But I gave it a 5 anyway, because I'm a sucker for anything that appeals to the fangirl in me. And whether you like comic books or your interest in such things only applies to the film adaptations, you might want to give Kingdom of Heroes a try.

One caveat, sometimes it's obvious that Phillips is a fanboy himself. For example, one of the characters in this novel, Anthony Barren, goes by the moniker The Iron Knight and is a genius-engineer-playboy who builds himself a metal suit that can fly and shoot stuff at people. Barren (as an adjective) has a cousin called "stark." Get it? No? Also, Tony is short for Anthony. Still don't get it? Then there is no hope for you.

For those of you still with me, I could see where Anthony Barren might grate into the squeamish nerves of the critic, but critics tend to be irritated by nearly everything, so take the similarities with a grain of salt. Or go find a sense of humor if it bothers you. I loved it.

I also loved the Detective. Maybe even in an I-want-to-have-your-babies kind of way. (FYI: babies are right up there with slow and painful death on the list of things that I want. Anyway...) He's the real hero of this novel, a loveable rogue who exudes a nearly-perfect combination of reluctant hero, smartass, and dog-petter. The Detective's cohorts and gatekeepers along the way were equally interesting I might add, each with a distinct personality and motivation, though perhaps the mystery villain in the stolen armor was the best of the bunch. Phillips definitely has a talent for characterization.

The plot lures you in with swift world-building and an irresistible mystery in the first half, followed by a big reveal around the mid-point. I've seen that come as a disappointment to some other reviewers, and though I felt the slight change of pace as well, Phillips keeps plenty of threads hanging and many body parts flying. That's enough to require me, at least, to spontaneously generate a superpower just to put the bloody thing down. And those threads lead to a fingernail-biting, will-he/won't-he climax that seems impossible to resolve, yet somehow wraps up in a way that is both believable and satisfying.

In the interest of disclosure, included in this freshman effort are sparse profanity and much-less-sparse gore. In other words, AWESOMENESS.

All things considered, you'll feel a bit guilty for not paying at least double the book's retail. Yeah, it's cheap, so you have zero excuses. Go buy it, now.

Profile Image for E.S.P. E.S.P..
Author 3 books17 followers
May 11, 2013
Jay Phillips is an amazing author.

He is like a mix between Stephen King and James Patterson. I know for a fact that if a big publishing or press company got a hold of his book, they'd have a field day with him. The book and his writing are incredible.

I love the concept of the book. The Supers VS the Normals is just an awesome plot. It reminds me of the TV show, Heroes. Not only was the plot great, I think he executed it very well. There were always things that would surprise me. Of course there were some sad parts that I wished didn't happen, but overall it just enhanced the quality of the book.

Our main character, the Detective, is hilarious. If he was a real person, we would be best friends. He is so witty and sarcastic, yet outspoken. One of the things that is just hitting me now is, we barely know anything about the Detective. We don't even know his name, or his past, and neither does he. But like I said, that doesn't take away from the book. It only makes it greater.

I also love the layout of the book. It alternates between third person narrative than some journal entries that have articles about the world the book takes place in. At first when I saw that, I was like, "There is no way I have the attention span to read these articles." But I did. The articles were extremely awesome and provided insight. Plus, because my book is written in a similar way, it was cool to see how Jay used the tactic.

The ending was freakin' awesome. You'll love it, trust me.

The only thing I didn't like was the amount of profanity in the book. I know it was part of the main character, but I still wish that it wasn't as...much as it was.

Overall, Kingdom of Heroes is my new favorite book. Marvel fans, science fiction lovers, and anyone who has ever watched a super-hero themed show will CHEER for it.

I give it a 9.5 and choose to keep it on my shelves.

Jay, I hope a big publisher finds your book, and gives you the recognition you deserve.

See more of my reviews at whoistheserialreader.blogspot.com and see how you can get your book reviewed by me.
Profile Image for Majanka.
Author 81 books410 followers
May 23, 2013
Originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/...

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading Kingdom of Heroes, but I certainly didn’t expect this epic, heart-wrenching, dynamic, action-filled story that reminds me of all the comic books I read when I was a kid. All right, so I didn’t read that many comic books, but this book certainly reminded me of my comic-book days. The book is very much about people with supernatural abilities vs. normal people, pretty much like X-men, but in a totally different way. There was a lot of mystery going on as well, and I liked the eclectic mix of superhero genre and mystery.

The characters were awesome. They were well-developed and thought-through, and each of them had an unique personality. The main character is called The Detective, which I thought was strange and at the same time hilarious. The other members of the seven were fun as well, and I particularly enjoyed the small snapshots into their history.

The author created an imaginative, intriguing world that I thoroughly enjoyed exploring. The only downside? The plot reached its climax about halfway through, and everything from there was less magnificent than this large build up and the climax that followed. There were some other moments afterward that made the characters shine, but nothing as spectacular as in the first half.

Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to fans of the superhero genre, fans of comic books and just fans of good old mysteries with a supernatural twist.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway to win an eBook copy of Kingdom of Heroes.
Profile Image for Allie Tyler.
3 reviews
May 6, 2013
I bought this book after seeing it recommended on the Kindle forums. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not after reading the description, but I gave it a chance anyways. and to be honest, I rank it as one of the better books I've read this year, if not the best. The characters were very well written, the plot was fun and interesting, and I loved the dialogue. The Detective was like a character from a 1940's pulp novel. he was full of one liners and jokes, of course, like any good hero, this was all just a mask to hide his true feelings.

My only complaint is that it seemed like the mystery was solved a little too soon. Maybe this could have happened a little later in the book. It's a minor complaint, because everything that happens after the reveal is still just as entertaining.

The book was very well written and descriptive without being overly descriptive. The author never lingered on things, and the book was never dry. it was a fast paced read, and the plot never dragged.

All in all, I really loved this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fast paced action novel that mixes in superheroes, mystery, and just enough romance to keep a chick like me happy.

It was definitely worth the purchase.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1 review15 followers
May 27, 2013
I thought this novel was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the story line and the characters (especially the detective who was very witty and funny). This book is for anyone that is a fan of superheros, mysteries, action, and overall heart pumping, page turning anticipation. This book was very well written. I hope to read more from this author in the future and strongly urge others to check this book out for themselves. You will not be disappointed!
Profile Image for Amber.
986 reviews
August 11, 2013
Here is what the story of Kingdom of Heroes is about:
Years ago, a gene virus ran rampant across the planet, leaving a small percentage of people gifted/ cursed with extraordinary abilities and humanity itself forever changed. Suddenly, there were people with super strength and speed, people who could read minds, people who could teleport themselves from place to place with but a single thought. Several of these people joined together to form The Seven, the most powerful group of supers the world had ever known. Led by the enigmatic Agent America, The Seven kept the country safe from threats both foreign and internal. That is until the United States government decided the threat of the supers outweighed any protection they could offer. After a war between the super powered and the normals (as non-powered humans are now referred), The Seven have placed themselves as the nation’s rulers, controlling the country through fear and intimidation. But now, someone or something is murdering The Seven one-by-one, single handedly attempting to make them pay for all of the sins they have committed. To stop a killer, The Seven turn to a man who hates them as much as anyone. An imprisoned man known only as The Detective finds himself in the unenviable position of helping the people he despises in exchange for his freedom. A noir detective mystery wrapped around the superhero myth, Kingdom of Heroes is a character driven novel that will leave you guessing and entertained until the very end.
Here are my thoughts on this book: I thought this novel was pretty good. I loved the interesting storyline, the characters were well developed (including the Detective who reminded me of Jude Law), and this book is for anyone that is a fan of the superhero comic books. I basically liked everything except for the cursing. Besides that, this book was very well done and I hope to read more from this author in the future because Kingdom of Heroes was a good start at Jay Phillip's unique storytelling style. So my final score for this book is a 8/10 stars. I congratulate this author on his international fanbase of this book so far and I hope others will check this book out for themselves in the future. They will enjoy it. If you enjoy Superheroes, mysteries, action, and romance, then this book is for you. This book is currently available to buy on Paperback through Amazon's Createspace self-publishing format and on the Amazon Kindle at these links and you can read an excerpt there as well so definitely check this book out.Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-of-Hero...
Paperback version:
Profile Image for Jaime Jeffrey.
186 reviews5 followers
April 21, 2013
If you're a cominc book fan, I think you're gonna like this book. The book characters were like a cross between the X-Men & The Watchmen w/ Superman as their leader. A very twisted and crazy Superman. It answers the question, what if those Superheroes went off the rails and decided they would b better off runnin the world instead. Absolute power, corrupts absolutely. The book is dark, which I like and u should know b4 pickin it up. The main character of the book was SO LIKEABLE and I got very attached. This is a character driven book. U have The Seven, a group of Superheroes much like The Justice League only darker and SO FLAWED. Someone is killin the 7 off 1 by 1. I thought I knew who it was, and then I was CERTAIN who it was.



I was never sure if the main character, known only as The Detective, was gonna die. I kept thinkin this is it, then it wasn't it. Oh no this has got to b it, nope he's still kickin'. Ok, he's NOT gonna make it out of this, yes he does. Then finally, at the end, when I was completely invested in his character and I actually thought he was gonna make it, he dies and I was so upset. He found love after bein toyed with by 1 of The Seven. He saved the victim this time and there's this potential for love. We even got to see what their love would look like...and he dies. At least he got to save the day and destroy the super powered dictator, which wouldn't have been possible w/out his love interests help, who is also the sister to 1 of the 7. I wish we could have seen more of her, after she tapped into her full power. Even tho The Detective dies, I still liked the endin.
1 review
May 3, 2013
Full disclosure: I rceived a free copy of this book for a review on my blog.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book, and I am realy shocked that this is a first time author. The characters were very well thought out, and I enjoyed each of them (more on that in a moment).

The plot is accesible without being simple, and at first, I was a little irritated that the mystery aspect seems to clear to be resolved at the novel's halfway point, but then I came to realize that the real mystery wasn't the who but more of the why.

Without giving any spoilers away, I docked it a half point just because there was a character who I really enjoyed, and I was hoping she/he would make it to the end. When they didn't, I wasn't too happy. But that just goes to show how invested I became in these characters that one of them dying would give me this reaction.

All in all, I really enjoyed this, and I believe comic book fans would really get a kick out of this. I wished I had more of a history in that genre, as I felt there were probably allusions that I was missing.

This is a book that was definitely worth my time.
Profile Image for Jon Cillian.
2 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2013
I received the Kindle copy of this book as a gift from a friend. She said I would love it. She was right. It was like a comic book in novel form, but without any of the comic clichés. The characters were fun, and the plot was very surprising. I didn't figure it out until right at the very end. Great book. Here's hoping for a sequel.
Profile Image for April Smith.
10 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2013
This book is amazing. I loved every minute it, could not put it down once I started reading it. I highly reccommend this book. I am looking forward to other projects from this author.
Profile Image for Myriam.
345 reviews42 followers
January 13, 2023
Unfortunately I had to DNF. A wonderful idea but unfortunately the author needs an editor. They fell victim to the idea that every sentence needs to be a banger. But for a good reading flow the writing has to disappear for the reader. And if you insist on writing like that you need have a handle on the english language.

Just in the first 10 pages I stumbled over so many awkwardly worded sentences that I started to wonder if the author is maybe not a native speaker. It's grammatically correct but subtly off. I couldn't keep reading.
Profile Image for M. Joseph Murphy.
Author 10 books54 followers
June 24, 2013
I love me some superheroes. I've been a comic book geek pretty much my entire life. It started with the X-Men in the 70's. During the 80's I walked to the comic store every week, usually spending over $300 a month to feed my addiction. The only reason I'm telling you this is to help you realize I'm a bit of an expert on the 'genre'.

Kingdom of Heroes is takes superheroes out of comic books and mixes in elements of film noir and old-style murder mysteries. Similar to the George R. R. Martin's Wild Card series, a virus hits the planet and gives some people superhuman powers. Phillips skips ahead several years and gives us a world very likely to exist if this did happen.

Our hero is The Detective. A He is contacted by The Seven - a group of superpowered beings now running the United States. They want him to track down a killer.


1. Worldbuilding
At first I was a little nervous because that's how many in the DC universe refer to Batman. However, The Detective is a fully realized character nothing at all like Batman. The start of the novel is similar to the start of Watchmen - brutal murder of a member of the supergroup followed by an investigation into his death.

However, Kingdom of Heroes is not fan fiction. There is careful worldbuilding that makes it a unique universe. You have a sense of what is happening all over the planet without Phillips spending page after page in exposition. Instead, Phillips uses newspaper clippings, recordings of video, and diaries to fill out the world.

2. Crisp Writing
The writing is very professional: well-edited with strong proofreading. The pacing is quick, the very definition of a "page turner". I read the entire book in 24 hours. That meant no sleep, little time eating, and no writing. But I couldn't stop.

Information is carefully given to the reader. We know what's going on before The Detective which creates extra tension. Phillips doesn't dumb it down for us. He tells his story and expects us to keep up. I couldn't be happier.

I did notice a few wrong word choices and have sent my suggestions to the writer.

3. Characters
I firmly believe that character trumps plot. When you finish Kingdom of Heroes, you'll find the plot is very smart. The hero realizes the big picture a little too late which creates even more tension. But it is the characters that sell the story.

The Detective is a smarmy bastard. He's cocky and paranoid and, more importantly, a hero. I feel like I know everything there is to know about him. Writers should look at his work as an example of how to create personality. There is nothing one-dimensional about The Detective.

Phillips does not use Chapters. There are very obvious breaks in scenes that replace the start of a chapter. I've seen a few ebooks attempt this. Phillips manages it better than any other I've seen However, I'm old school. I want to see chapter endings. It helps increase tension.

My other dislike is something typical of the genre. All the women are very attractive and love flirting with the hero. I've been criticized for the same type of sexism in my own work so, as I'm pointing the finger at him I'm also owning up to it myself. If you've seen any film noire, you know this is an expected element. Comic books are also guilty of this. What I'd like to see in Phillips new work is more realistic female characters.

Kingdom of Heroes is a very enjoyable read. If you love a good mystery, you will enjoy this. If you've grown up on comic books and want a story that treats you like an adult and doesn't hold any punches, you will also love this book.
Profile Image for Jen.
153 reviews
June 18, 2014
I really wanted to like this book but several factors removed me completely from the narrative:

* Editing. Oh goodness but this was a mess. Missing punctuation was only the tip of the iceberg. Which kind of leads me to...

* This was either a major editing issue or the author literally FORGOT the gender of a character in the Detective's backstory! The 'normal' who was shot in a kidnapping was originally a she and then three paragraphs later was a he!

* I'm sorry but the Ice Queen goes from mourning two of her now dead friends to knocking boots with our main character? Really? That's awfully sort of gross...

And I got really tired of hearing how gorgeous the women were. I know it's a superhero trope but it was constantly shoved in our faces. I also found the banter grating and not funny. Interesting premise but not executed well. :/
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Marie.
246 reviews3 followers
September 1, 2016
I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Okay so, here it goes.

First of all, I'd have to say that there aren't a lot of novels out there with superheroes as their main premise. Personally, this is my first time reading a book (aside from D.C. comic books) with a plot that revolves entirely around actual superheroes: people with superhuman abilities who literally wear masks and costumes, save powerless citizens and battle with super villains. This, for me, is what sets this book aside from other adult novels. And what makes it even more interesting, is that it has a Utopian setting and involves a tyrant government led by the superheroes themselves.

What I loved even more about this book is its main character. Prisoner 616, or The Detective, as most people call him. He has such a witty, hilarious, and at the same time mysterious personality. I loved him from the very first chapter he was introduced and I also loved how his character developed as the story progressed. It's a shame though, that even til the very end, his real identity was never revealed.

Kingdom of Heroes is a really funny read with such a fast-paced plot and awesome characters. There's so much going on in this book that there's not a single dull moment. You could even see how heavily it has been based from the influence of actual marvel characters. What stopped me though, from giving it five stars was the fact that it wasn't edited thoroughly and there were a lot of typos and errors. Some things were pretty inconsistent too. Here's one example: If you could recall, Emily was first introduced as a pretty brunette in the first couple of chapters, right? But at some point of the story, Phillips suddenly described her hair to be raven black in color.

Overall, I'm giving this book four stars. And though I did not like the ending, I have to say that reading this gory book was a truly frightening yet enjoyable experience. The author of this book has a very wide imagination, and he's done a pretty good job.
Profile Image for Leah.
693 reviews76 followers
May 12, 2014
I received a digital copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review of it.

Kingdom of Heroes is about one super hero (The Detective) being released from a prison that holds supers to help the leader of the United States, Agent America discover who killed one of The Seven (the leaders of the new America), in exchange for his freedom. Of course, nothing is that simple, especially since Agent America is a bastard who’s created a Utopian society at the expense of freedom.

The Detective was a such a well written character, and I just wanted him to get out of the craziness that was the new US of A and get his ass back up to Canada. He should have left, but he was a hero. He had to see his mission through. He had to have the answers to this mystery, even though he didn’t care about the majority of The Seven.

The Detective was the ONLY redeemable character in this. I didn’t care about any of The Seven, and I honestly believed they ALL should have been killed. “I was just following orders” is never a legit excuse in any society, when it comes to murder and the revocation of freedoms.

I went ahead and gave this a 4 out 5 stars (though my real thoughts are around a 3.5) because it did keep me entertained, The Detective was a great character, and the readers got to see inside the killer’s mind via a journal and knew why he was killing The Seven. Everything else about this novel was just OK. Except for the instant love. It was unnecessary and unrealistic.

Decent novel, with grammatical and some other minor mistakes. To me, those issues didn’t take me out of the story, so 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would try this author’s work again.
Profile Image for Steph Moore.
2 reviews
July 4, 2013
I freaking loved this book. Okay, let me get all the technical stuff out of the way. It was very well written and edited. I noticed maybe one mistake/typo, and for an indie book, that is very rare. The plot was extraordinary. The characters were very well thought out and written. Technically, it was great.

As far as the story, don't let the idea of superheroes scare you away from this. This is so much more than just a book about superheroes. There's mystery, romance, and plenty of action. it was truly unlike anything I'd read before. And the ending, that ending. I was holding back tears at the end. It was sad but fulfilling. I know of quite a few authors who cannot end a book. This author is not one of them.

I'm not sure what else to say other than reading this book made me begin an account on Goodreads just so I could get on here and talk about it. Seriously. This book comes with my highest recommendation, and I hope we here more from Mr. Phillips soon.
Profile Image for Lawrence Brennan.
12 reviews1 follower
April 15, 2014
Great idea, really poor execution

Honestly, the title says everything. It was a great idea but the way it was written was......lacking. It was very difficult to follow the story, one minute it's current time then it jumps to the past, then back to current time. The beginning of the story tried being The Watchmen, but after the first death, it was cliche after cliche and cliche. There was very little depth to the characters that never made me care for whatever happened to the characters. In novels, you are conditioned to always care and root for the main character and while he was very sarcastic and funny, he could've and for the sake of making the story interesting, should've died halfway through the novel. If the price is right, I think I got this for $1.99, I say there are worse books out there but don't spend more than two bucks.
Profile Image for Grace.
4 reviews11 followers
July 1, 2014
I really wanted to love this book...premiss is great I was really excited to delve into a gritty twist on your run of the mill superhero story.
What I got was a juvenile, sarcastic string of clichés.
The writer does not trust the reader to be able to jump to any conclusion no matter how obvious and so everything is spelled out in painful repetitive chunks.
I did not like a single character , they were all flat with no development, the females were all there to aid in teenage boys' wet dreams and were basically an insult to my gender.
Quip after quip from the detective and others characters were too much and rendered all speech completely false feeling.
At best this felt like a extended piece of fan fiction that really wasn't worth the £2 I paid for it, very disappointed
Profile Image for Bill Thomas.
3 reviews
August 2, 2013
I'm going to share a few quick thoughts about this book. First off, this is a very dark novel. That is in no way an insult. It is dark, and it works. And second, these are not your Dad's superheroes. These are dark and twisted superheroes who have been turned that way by the world around them. Again, not an insult. This is a real good novel, well written, great world building, excellent setup with an even better pay off. I give it my highest recommendation, but if someone is expecting a standard superhero story, like something from the 50's or 60's, that is not what you are going to get. This a superhero novel for adults that doesn't attempt to talk down to the reader nor pull any punches. Again, it has my highest recommendation.
Profile Image for Jack.
179 reviews
February 11, 2016
This follows the plot of a man who was paid to solve a crime, but instead participates and observes as they are committed. Lacking in plot or finesse, Kingdom of Heroes will take you into a ride that you may never recover. From the depths of despair to fierce anger at the author. What a great book.

Join the hero of the book as you and him are killed slowly by the world's worst flirter. A woman who is supposed to be sweet and funny. (Yes, my eyes are still bleeding from reading that crap that she called witty.) Watch as the author takes away characters that were so much more interesting than the world's worse flirter and general bitch.

This is excellent book for penance for a great sin, make that very, very, very great sin.
Profile Image for Randall Beem.
20 reviews3 followers
February 1, 2014
This book is everything that I had hoped that it would be!! The Detective was an amazingly funny protagonist. The book moves so fast and smoothly. The end is one that will stay with you after you're done reading it. I am definitely a fan of Jay Phillips and am eagerly awaiting whatever it is the he writes next, hopefully a sequel or a standalone book set in the same wonderful world.
1 review
June 30, 2013
I loved this book. It's not often you find something that can so effortlessly combine genres, in this case hard boiled detective with superhero, but Kingdom of Heroes manages to pull it off. It is deftly written and filled with action, mystery, and a surprising amount of romance.
Profile Image for Jk997.
11 reviews
March 17, 2015
Holy crap, I finished this book in 2 sittings, it was that good. I don't usually give 5 stars to books because there is usually some aspect of the book I don't really like but this book had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Great mystery, very suspenseful read good job Jay:)
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