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Publisher's Summary

After her apprenticeship was done and a place in the guild of villains secured, Tori's life was supposed to get simpler. Unfortunately, a poorly timed errand sees Tori caught in the debut of a new team of capes, one wearing an all-too-familiar name.

Thrust into the spotlight, Tori will have to navigate her unwanted fame as well as the suspiciously superheroic new neighbors down the hall, all while keeping up with her own villainous enterprises. With the guild no longer a secret, Hephaestus needs to grow as strong as possible to face her mounting threats.

Ambitious gangs, battling against mechanized traps, and brawling with capes are only the beginning. Behind the scenes, a hidden enemy works to settle an old score, one that has burned for decades. This secret scheme will not only endanger Tori, her friends, and the guild, but the very world itself.

©2020 Andrew Hayes (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Bones of the Past

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Drew Hayes is Great, This book is only good.

I was so excited to get the sequel of this series and so long I could spend a full week. The summary is yes it's pretty good but I also almost gave up on it with 4 hours to go.

Good
* Drew Hayes characters and relationships between them is always amazing. Love character first writers and he is awesome fun. Second Hand Curses is an amazing book.

Bad
* The entire plot/plan of the "bad guys" just made no sense. I kept waiting for the clever pieces to all connect and make a clever plan but it never.
* I get that Monologue-ing is a thing and a joke of sorts. But every single person present doesnt have to express their feelings and backstory on every "battle". "I am so scared it feels like that guy is gonna kill us or something" just felt like a young adult book in those parts and dragged as every single person in the room has to have a line. Epic global battles to the death and like one person died on the planet. Bad guys who are like "Lets not hurt them" just feels so watered down. The worlds worst villains and I think Harry Potter was more hardcore.

So good for first half, then dragged and felt like it went nowhere and was Disney level intense...then the epilogue was great.


Drew Hayes is amazing, characters are great, story felt like 75% filler with no payoff. Could have left 20 hours out.

Narrator is really good. Best female narrator I have downloaded to date.

19 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Teletubby's Justice League

This book has no tension. Its a society where a media snafu is treated as a major issue and a single kidnapping is national news. The climax of the book is the equivalent of annihilating all human life on earth so you never have to go to an awkward christmas party and its solved in a day. Maybe in the next book the entire universe will attack the protagonists and ruin their picnic.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A True Master!

Drew Hayes is always amazing ans Amy Landon does a fantastic job! If you liked book 1, you will NOT be disappointed!

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Super Powereds the College Years?

This series quickly devolved into YA hovering dangerously close to fart jokes. The language and adult themes have become more rated R which seems to unbalance the book. Hayes just isn't a good writer. He should be doing comics. The dialogue in this book was a joke and the story lacked continuity and direction.
Apparently one character, who just makes up his own rules (Nexus) wasn't enough, so Hayes added another. Hey, if you can't steer your story, just have 2 characters that can move your chess pieces anywhere at anytime without justification or explanation. It might not be so bad except those characters are never explained, never explored, and never really real characters.
I like the ideas here but the execution is horrible. The antagonist tips his hand early on with a very lame labyrinth. 30% of this story is just filler and reiterations. When Hayes doesn't know what to write, the characters all have a party. When you're looking for more story and wondering where this is going, guess what, the main characters are all having a party now. Check back in 45 minutes book time.
If you normally like anything Hayes writes, then you might like this, though it's not mediocre like most of his writing, it's more on the cheap trash side.
The characters have no growth or change. They've all fallen into a single mold, their previous personalities forgotten. They end up in situations that make no sense, like Ivan with the "star scouts" because he beat up the normal star scout leader.
Donald's team doesn't really do anything. They get sidelined and now there is another new team. This shouldn't be called Hephaestus 2, it should be called Hephaestus Again.
I'm pretty disappointed. Just like Super Powereds, Hayes has a good idea but he can't write it. Skip this one.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An amazing follow up!

If you thought the stakes were high in Forging Hephaestus, get ready for a surprise!

Join Tori, Ivan, and the other villains as they work to rebuild their guild! Follow Cybergeek and his team as they deal with rival superheroes, train their powers, and work to protect the people of Ridge City!

Amy Landon provides an amazing follow up performance and gives life to every character!

Drew Hayes delivers another standout book in the superhero genre! Get your copy today (because it will take several days to listen and you won't want to stop).

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

dude seriously needs an editor

the story is great and I love the characters

BUT

There are some tendencies to Drew Hayes's writing that seriously grate during long listens. One is that he over-explains the crap out of absolutely everything. We seriously don't need a rambling inner monologue about the sound tactical decision making behind one character giving another character a hug. They can just hug and the scene can continue. In writing, there's the phrase "show, don't tell," and Hayes both shows and tells EXTENSIVELY and it drags the pacing to a grinding halt. Your brain starts to glaze over and then you zone out in the middle of a fight scene because the character is once again thinking about how badass they and everyone else are with every single motion, even though the reader has heard this exact monologue a bajillion times. If you cut out the unnecessary bits of this story it would be ten hours shorter.

This is where I think the phrase I hate most in the world now—"to his/her credit"—comes from. It seems like Hayes uses those words multiple times every chapter, because the writing is so self-conscious that he has to over-justify every single thing the characters do at all times. And the thing is, sometimes this explanation has the opposite effect. instead of getting you further on board with whatever innocuous thing just happened, it instead makes you think "actually, no, people don't act like that" and you have to work to get back into the story, whereas if he had left it alone, you would have simply rolled with it.

Drew, for your next novel, Ctrl-F "to his credit" and delete every instance of it, as well as probably whatever comes after, for the sake of my sanity. because I will absolutely still be reading it because like I said at the beginning, I love this story and the characters. Just had to vent.

EDIT: Upon actually finishing the novel, what comes to mind is, that's it?

spoilers

The villain's plan... isn't one, and the final showdown with him—well it's too slowly paced to be called abrupt, but for the life of me I did not believe that I only had a couple hours of listening left when it started. I could only think, "Wait, all that plotting and foreboding foreshadowing and his big move was to ambush them in the field?" It's like watching someone pull of an incredibly intricate chess strategy only for him to move a pawn to the other end of the board and say, "King me."

Further, the I kept expecting actual stakes for the primary protagonists to appear at some point, but instead they're almost peripheral to the story. Instead, the main storyline is entirely centered around a team of intensely uninteresting newcomers who I halfway expected to die simply because they seemed exactly like the kinds of cardboard cutouts you'd expect to find in a shooting gallery. They were the ones in the center of everything, they were the ones who ended up making the big sacrifices, and they had almost two whole personality traits between the four of them. The story ended up feeling like a sidequest where we followed around a bunch of background extras. And the worst part was, their involvement with the actual characters we've come to know is almost entirely coincidence-based. Tori just happened to be walking down the street when they just happened to show up and just happened to put her in danger in the most contrived possible way.

Needless to say, there were a lot of strange choices in this sequel, which is weird considering how good the first one was. Overall it was meandering, lacked any real drive or focus, and this really ended up shining a light on Hayes's propensity for telling instead of showing.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An ALMOST perfect book

This is a really good book. I don't think anyone that reads this can deny it. The plot is great and characters are well developed. it has the amazing ability to make the unbelievable just feel if not mundane then at least logically acceptable within the bounds of the universe. The problems start to show up later in the book. And that's saying something because this is a 35-hour long book and it took me until 5 hours were left In the book before I could find a gripe with the story.

The gripe I have with it is that it loses all tension. Throughout the book they build up to this massive fight scene and you're supposed to feel tens and invigorated by it but I just really couldn't get any emotion about it whatsoever. in fact the only real feelings I have about the later part of the book is boredom. the characters are just imbalanced. it feels like nothing bad can happen to them. No characters can die that are good, and obviously I don't mean good considering this is a book about villains but any characters that have any positive traits it feels never die. all this violence and action feels so hollow when you realize that nothing bad really can ever come of it. The only interesting parts of the books were when the characters were fighting each other and those only happened once. we have a world that is rife and story rich in characters and honestly one of the most well-developed universes I've seen in a while but when that universe refused to have any consequences attached to it

I just stopped caring all together about it.

I may buy the next book. I don't really know yet but I can tell you one thing I'm not pre-ordering it like this one. I waited months after the book showed up on kindle to get the audio version of it. the moment I saw it I pre-ordered it. I don't think I can say the same thing about the next book in the series. The last one you could relisten to because there was tension, there was stakes and everything felt like it actually was able to change. but ironically enough that seems to be the one thing that has changed. obviously this is a beautiful book that's masterfully written and I can only hope that the one flaw it does have dragging it down will be cut off by the author.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too wordy.

Love this series. Enjoyed this book but some editorial finesse would have really improved it. So many story lines that go on too long. Too much dry explaining of fairly obvious insights mixed side by side with the occasional gem.
Worth the read if you like the main characters. Looking forward to next installment but hoping for some tighter editing.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

lol DISTURBING!!!

Drew is definitely enjoying writing a book about villains... also showing a bit of his inner Quentin Teritino with certain dialogue. This book was a quite literal BLOODY good time. While at first i was not a big fan of the new team (seemed a bit redundant) they quickly grew on me. Plenty of potential there. I love how much exploring we get with this book, world or character you get a lot of what you want. My favorite character continues to be Chloe, but Tori and Beverly are very close seconds.
My Only real nitpick is a bit two fold. Because of an additional team, we get less time with Donald and his team than i would have liked. As i said above the new team is cool, but i did keep wondering why we were doing a rehash of the new team story instead of watching Donald and them make it to the next level and dealing with the Apollo fallout.. I mean it becomes clear in the end. However, the same result could have come about by just giving Donald's team the....thing. I know, backseat writing is annoying.

P. S. Does this world not have good games or something? I'm not a gamer but i could think of several games in our world with god or planet destroying weapons and vehicles that are just given to the player no leveling required. Where as Donald's game items seem barely more than pong or packman level.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Editors matter

I love Drew Hayes generally, and this is one of my favorite series of his, but please just trim the padding. The story is fine, this could have easily been a couple of hours less considering just how often they repeat character motivations or aspects that we already know by now. Even if we didn't we'd get it by reference 5, 6, or so on.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aslanenlisted
  • 08-30-21

Deviously Brilliant,

The second book in the villains code series packs several punches through out it'd sizeable read. The narration is brilliant and the story just moves !

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-21

A Good Follow Up

Great characters and a brisk pace make this a fun ride.
I was glad to return to the world and it's inhabitants and after reading the second book it is clear there is more to come.

I would have preferred if a lot of the major events weren't so heavily signposted in advance as this detracted from the impact they could have had.

Looking forward to the next one!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-12-21

Another superhero masterpiece

one of the things drew Hayes shows continuous full understanding of. is the superhero genre. and this is another great addition

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr WJG Horton
  • 08-09-21

Great Story

Amazing story. Whilst the narration is fantastic, the male voice attempts are a little off kilter. never the less, i enjoyed every minute of this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mat brown
  • 06-19-21

Awesome awesome awesome

Bloody hell but Drew delivered brilliantly here as always

the story and character development is sublime and I was hooked for the full (and amazing valued) 35 hours!!!


Amy’s narration is second to none and you can easily differentiate between the seemingly endless characters Drew has subjected her too

Just great

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G J Thom
  • 05-25-21

Another fantastic book from Drew Hays

Another fantastic book from Drew Hays and a gripping continuation of Hephaestus's story. New villains, new superheroes and new & evolving superpowers - what's not to like? Excellent narration by Amy Landon too. Can't wait for the next book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob Lowe
  • 05-11-21

Another Stonker

Another”superhero” book written with character development and humanity (capes can be arses too), twists and engaging characters with more clearly to come. Looking forward to the next one.
Drew Hayes clearly loves the genre :)
Next please.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anon
  • 05-05-21

The wait for the next will kill me

I found Drew Hayes first through his NPC series (another great listen btw) and saw Forging Haephestus thought give it a try and quickly loved it. I was very happy when the next book showed in my recommended books and quickly got it.

The story is a step up from book 1 as it can focus on the characters and expanding the already good world-building.

I found myself at times laughing and genuinely invested in the characters and what they were going through.

Amy Landon is a superb narrator and her giving each character their own voice is really appreciated especially as among my large library of audiobooks a number of narrators just keep the same voice for everything.

I honestly can't wait for the next in the series, hopefully, it won't be too long.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-20-21

Right Another Book i could not stop with.

Mr Hayes i am happy and sad with your books happy because they are excellent sad because I have to compare them to other book when I have finished yours and allways too soon I must add and the nearly all the other books are missing something when compared keep writing and hurry up please.

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  • Mr Michael Cudmore
  • 11-03-21

Villans Make Super Heros Redundant

Amy Landon continues her excellent performance in this second installment of the Villan's code series.
If you liked the first book, this is all that and more. Once Tori escaped the sword of damocles hanging over her in the first book, the world is her oyster in this next.
It's easy to fall into the classical idea of Heroes = Good, Villans = Bad when approaching such stories, but I like how Drew has fleshed out the idea that Villans have their own personal lives with decisions, challanges etc and they aren't just evil for the sake of evil.
With that said, LoadStar, the cream of the crop as far as heroes is by far the highlight of this book and how she connects with the villans to try and win them over rather than just condem them.
I'm very much looking forward to the next installment, I hope Drew doesn't stop at 3 for this series.

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  • Q.
  • 10-03-21

even better than the first one

Pacing was a little odd on this one but yet still managed to be better than the first one. This is probably thanks to the lore unlocks that this one unveils while also being an interesting story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • thomas postlethwaite
  • 08-18-21

Couldn't stop!

This is an amazing series, well written and well read. Great character development, it really draws you in. I cant wait for the next book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Hancox
  • 06-30-21

great read

I really enjoyed this series. funny at time and a touch of sadness as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-17-21

The best book and series I've ever read

Literally perfect. Everything about it was perfect. My favourite series and now favourite book. Such a perfect sequel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jessica
  • 04-14-21

Worth the wait

Amazing, it’s taken years but was worth it. I’m absolutely gripped to see what happens next. I hope I’m not the only one who secretly hopes Donald and Tori become an item?!