Englewood Review of Books

“Jeffrey Allen Mays has…written a philosophical masterpiece that really makes readers think about what it means to be a true hero in his debut novel: The Former Hero…through the pain and the suffering Mays’ story conveys, he could not be closer to the truth.” – Alicia Smock  [full review]

San Francisco Book Review

“This book has many fantastic qualities. Jeffrey Allen Mays weaves in mythology, religious allegories and rich characters to create a vivid and intriguing novel. His ambition works in his favor to create a philosophical novel that delves deep into the idea of what being a hero means….The characters are impressively complex…”  – by Magie Marshall. [full review]

Review by Greg Lamb, author of A Dangerous Element and The People in Between

“Jeffrey Mays showed me what is in the art of the possible with his debut novel, The Former Hero. I hadn’t read anything as good in the genre of experimental literature since the early ’70s when Ishmael Reed wow’ed me with The Last Days of Louisiana Red

The Former Hero is a novel that will provide readers with a lasting impression. I haven’t stopped thinking
about the plot or the characters since immersing myself in the first chapters. Each of the character’s backstories is perfectly synchronized to keep any reader’s interest. I hope Jeffrey Mays can crank out another masterpiece like this one soon.” [Full Review]

Portland Book Review

“…an ambitious and philosophical novel that looks at the concept of a
“hero” while following three protagonists are caught in an
overwhelmingly corrupt city… characters are well developed. For readers
looking for a bit more depth to their novels, this book might be just up
your alley.” – by Whitney Smyth[Full Review]


“…a fascinating world…deftly combines elements of noir, comic book,
and westerns into a captivating descent into the psychological
underpinnings of heroism, villainy, and the everyday man who just wants
to live his life…If the reader digs deeper, and Mays worked hard to make
this worthwhile, there is more to discover.” [Full Review] – by IndieReader

Review by Oliver Chase, author of Blind Marsh and Marsh Island

The Former Hero is a dark adventure that sometimes scared the hell out of me. The pages were filled with bad guys and gals, high speed motorcycles, dank basements, and an occult figure dismembering a society that gave up. Set in a gritty and disturbing dystopia identified only as the ‘City of Man’, I wondered if author Jeffrey Allen
Mays wasn’t describing today’s world. This is a psychological thriller that keeps the reader rooted in singular, hard hitting, divergent stories cleverly brought together in the end and reminiscent of a superhero, graphic novel, but this story however is far more complex and engaging than any comic book.

The reader should save The Former Hero for a dark Saturday night alone and with a glass of wine. Come to think of it, you may not wish to read the book by yourself. Put your latest Stephen King back on the shelf because once you start, the insane asylum is not that far away.”  [Full Review]

Juniper Grove

“The story is gripping, the characters are original with their own
self determination. A unique psychological suspense, that kept me up
late into the night, just wanting to read one more chapter. I do believe
that lovers of psychological thrillers will enjoy The Former Hero by Jeffrey Allen Mays.” [Full Review] – by Sheri W.

Review by Chris Pavesic, author of Heart & Mind and The Caelimane Operation

The Former Hero, by Jeffrey Allen Mays, is
a complex novel that I can foresee re-reading several times…[It] will
have a special place in my library. Where to begin this book review is
problematic for me because there are so many good aspects to the
writing. The sense of place, the mythology of the hero, the concepts of
good versus evil, the religious allegory, and the rich tapestry of
characters created by the author are all stand-out aspects in the
novel…” [Full review]