Let’s start this review with some harsh honesty. Heroes started as a fantastic show. The acting, the directing, the pacing and, most importantly, the story – they were all brilliant. Unfortunately, like a shooting star, Heroes has lost something major in its last two seasons that it is still trying to recapture in its fourth.
I personally still have hope that Heroes will regain its former status as being the most amazing show on TV (after Supernatural, of course), and there are little things that kindle that hope every once in awhile. One of such things are companion books, one of which made its way to my desk recently. I am still not done relishing it.
Printed on heavy glossy paper in brilliant colours and packed full with photos, Heroes: An Insider’s Guide to the Award-Winning Show is at the same time a great trip down memory lane and a reminder that Heroes used to be great and could become great again. And I think it’s proof that fans are more than willing to forget about the less stellar episodes were Heroes to pull off such a comeback.
And even if it doesn’t, this book is still worth every penny spent on it. The die-hard fan who has yet to lose hope in Heroes’ greatness will relish pouring over the reminder of where this hope took root, and the curious newbie will quickly be sucked in and become hooked to the show, hoping for the same thing.
Other TV Show companions tend to go over the plot, episode by episode; this book chose to go on a different path. Instead of being plot-driven, it’s character driven, as we find out more about the plot through the presentation and analysis of each character. And this analysis is provided by the help of none other than the actor who portrays him/her.
There is a lot of text in the book, and it’s all rather interesting. Yes, that’s surprise I’m expressing, since many companions end up being quite a drag to read. (“Then he went up the stairs, and then she followed, then they saw the open window…” I know! I watched the episode! Tell me more about WHY it happened!) But Heroes: An Insider’s Guide does provide a lot of, well, inside information. It’s probable that many hardcore, Internet-obsessed fans already know most of the information in this book, but for those of us who don’t have as much time to surf the Internet looking for information, this book will provide for a lot of Oh! So THAT’S what happened! moments.
I love those moments.
There are also some great sections taking a closer look at the characters’ special abilities, explaining the biology as discovered by Dr. Chandra Suresh and the various types of powers that exist. I still hope that Dr. Suresh’s book will be published, fake research and all, just for the fun of it. It would be really interesting to see how the writers of the show explain the details of these abilities.
The physical quality of the book cannot be overemphasized; the pictures are beautiful, the colours are vibrant, and the style of the book mimics closely that of the show in its use of colours, pictures, drawings etc for dramatic purposes.
I do have to wonder why this book is only being published now, since it ends with an interview of Kring where he talks about the "upcoming" Volume Three, and mentions of Zachary Quinto’s upcoming movie, Star Trek (which is coming out soon on DVD! Yay!) I hope the publisher will consider updating it before printing out a second edition.
Heroes: An Insider’s Guide to The Award-Winning Show is a great addition to the collection of any avid Heroes fan, and perhaps the first of many books resuming the hopefully upcoming return to greatness of this show whose sparkle has somewhat tarnished.