Hmmm, where to start. I grabbed So Not a Hero by SJ Delos because I’m going through a bit of a superhero kick at the moment and the story sounded interesting.
It is, don’t get me wrong. The story and world-building is solid and enjoyable. The main character has a ton of back-story and issues she needs to work through and you begin rooting for her pretty much straight away.
A reformed villain.
After serving two years in a Federal prison, Karen Hashimoto is out on parole and eager to put her criminal past behind her. No easy task, since she’s also the former supervillain known as Crushette. A chance encounter leads to an unexpected opportunity, and she is recruited as the newest member of the city’s premier team of superheroes: The Good Guys.
A new hero.
Now Karen has new teammates, a new code name, and the daunting responsibility of trying to be the hero everyone thinks she can be. Becoming a champion for Truth and Justice is going to be rough, especially for the ex-girlfriend of the notorious Doctor Maniac. Karen will have to do everything in her powers to keep her past from ruining her future.
It was so much simpler being the bad guy.
Some of the support characters seemed a little cookie-cutter though. The story could have done without a lot of the deep-seated misogyny inherent to many of the male characters. The way the author treats the main characters made me a little uncomfortable. Sure, I get there are arseholes out there that treat people like this, but it came across as a little gratuitous at times.
There are a couple of sex scenes, one at the beginning which establishes Karen hitting rock bottom, and one multi-page effort midway through. About mid-way through the second one I found I just wanted the story to skip ahead.
I’m not averse to reading sex scenes, however this one did drag on a little. Plus, I couldn’t help but think it was maybe a little bit of wish-fulfilment for the author. A thought that occurred to me a few times while reading. A sexy, do-anything superhero who madly wants to make love… I’ll let you make your own mind up.
Will I read the next one? Sure. The story arc got me engaged enough to care about the characters and what happens next. The points I take issue with don’t put me off enough to not want to read the next one.
Great story with some hard-to-like characters. I recommend checking out the sample on Amazon first before jumping into the whole novel.
This was a funny and entertaining book to read. So Gary, our “hero” of the story leads a dull life where he wants nothing more than to be a supervillain. Of course this wish is fulfilled when the magical cloak of the foremost (and newly deceased) hero of the city turns up on his doorstep.
Suddenly he gets everything he wants and becomes Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy. The tautology alone should give you an idea what this book is going to be like.
Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown’s resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion’s magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy.
But is he evil enough to be a villain in America’s most crime-ridden city?
Gary soon finds himself surrounded by a host of the worst of Falconcrest City’s toughest criminals. Supported by his long-suffering wife, his ex-girlfriend turned professional henchwoman, and a has-been evil mastermind, Gary may end up being not the hero they want but the villain they need.
Yes, I know you’re not supposed to judge books by their covers but I’m talking about my own here so I think I’m okay.
I’ve never been 100% happy with the covers of Boneyards or Badlands – the two books of the FTW series, so over the last week or so I’ve been busy reworking them into something I’m happier with.
This time I’ve tried to incorporate something that feels more like the world described in the book.
Boneyards takes place (mostly) inside the Boneyards where piles of scrap are picked over by the people living there. Check out the Boneyards page for more on this book.
I think the new cover shows this much better than the concrete wall of the previous cover. The good news out of all of this is if you previously purchased a copy with the old cover it’s now a collector’s item! 🙂
The cover of Badlands has also been updated to look more like the environment our heroines are exposed to.
The book takes place outside the walls of the city, in the baron wastelands beyond, the imagery which I’ve tried to inspire on the cover. Check out the Badlands page for more about this book.
I’ve also made the two covers similar in both colour scheme and title area to help join the two together when seen as a set.
If you’ve not yet read the series, what are you waiting for? Check out the sample of Boneyards over at Amazon!
Both books as well as the combined edition are available on Kindle Unlimited as well if you’ve got that.
Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.
For the next few days I’m running a free book promotion with Amazon, which means you can read a selection of six of my ebooks for nothing!
Why? Well, mainly because I’d like to get more people reading what I’ve written, and what better way to do it than to give out a heap of freebies.
From now until about Tuesday next week you’ll be able to grab these six books from Amazon for nothing.
So what are the books? They’re a selection of five of my short stories as well as Boneyards – book 1 of the FTW series. Follow the links below to Amazon.com, and happy reading!
- Storm View
- Have Shovel – Will Bury
- Finsbury Park
- Boneyards – Book 1 of the FTW Series
- Death is for Other People
I’d like to share something I nominated over at KindleScout. The book is Victor Boone Will Save Us by David Joel Stevenson, and it had me hooked from the moment I read the sample.
At the time of writing this it has 14 days left in its campaign, so you should check it out before it’s too late. Of course, you could always buy it later on, but if you nominate it and it is successful, you can snag a free copy.
So what’s it about? The blurb:
Robby does the saving, Victor takes credit.
Victor Boone is a handsome jerk who uses incredible powers to fly around in spandex and save his city’s citizens from evil doers – especially the busty ones. But he’s not a superhero.
In truth, an invisible, insecure and overweight Robby Willis has the powers, but he’s so terrified of anyone knowing he exists that he’s not comfortable with a cliché disguise. The two men form a partnership: Robby does the saving and Victor takes the credit.
Problem is, Victor’s been murdered.
From the opening paragraphs of the first chapter you’re in the thick of the action, and by the end of the first chapter the “hero” is dead. No spoilers there since it says as much in the blurb. After which comes the fallout, with Robby dealing with the death of Victor and the potential new love interest in his life who knows more about him than he’d like. Read the rest of this entry »
A short story this time (just shy of 5,000 words) from a Reddit Writing Prompt. Written as 2nd person (a perspective I rarely read and up to now haven’t written in)… but it suited the “game” theme as many old point-and-click and text-adventure type games would employ this style. It’s written as if they’re scenes in a game.
[WP] You are the protagonist of a point-and-click game.
The Story: Maze Quest
Standing South of the Mansion
You are standing in the once manicured grounds to the south of a white stately mansion, but what have now overgrown from neglect. The mansion has stood abandoned since the former owner died many years ago and now, as the sole heir to the Stackson family fortune, the mansion and the acres she stands on are now all yours.
As you survey the lands to the west, the legendary hedge maze that has formed part of the scenery for over four-hundred years fills your view. To the east stand the burial grounds with mausoleums and monuments to the long dead.
Knowing that every window and door were padlocked and boarded over to deter thieves, you brought along with a rucksack which contains: Read the rest of this entry »
I very nearly passed this one by but now that I’ve finished it I’m glad that I didn’t. I say I almost passed it by because the way the opening chapters are written didn’t appeal to me. The quick chopping and jumping around between dreams was off-putting, but I skipped past them to where the real story starts. The opening is basically prologue and, thinking back on it now, could be dropped all together.
I get that we need to know the origins of what is happening, but I think it could be worked into the story much easier than how this book opens. Not all styles appeal to all people of course, so you might be different, but I found it difficult.
That said, once the real story starts just before the second Big Sleep, the plot takes off at a fast clip and barely slows down. It was this that kept me reading and why ultimately I enjoyed the book, even if I didn’t like the opening.
Mostly set inside the dream world, Ms Gray does an excellent job of keeping believability alive while injecting plenty of fantasy elements that could only be conjured up in a dream. The concept of the Greymen and the world they inhabit and what they do was a new one for me and were one of the things that piqued my curiosity about this novel in the first place.
A nice fat twist towards the end of the novel makes me want to read the next one, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next book in this series.
The only other notes I made while reading this was Read the rest of this entry »
Another suggestion by Goodreads and another home run. My profile over there is obviously tweaked to perfection because it’s been recommending a lot of winners recently, and Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers by Tom Moran was no exception.
If you were to merge Arthur Dent with Mister Bean and add them to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, you’d get something similar to this book. Walton Cumberfield is a character you can’t help but laugh at and with as he struggles on through his adventure. Read the rest of this entry »
To Cure the Humans by Douglas Lewis popped up on Goodreads as a suggestion for something I might like. I’ve said it before, but the machines are getting closer to taking over, because they were spot on. I did like it!
The story is well paced and filled with a cast of well-developed characters, this rather long novel (456 pages) kept me entertained from beginning to end. It’s funny without trying too hard (for the most part). The length took me by surprise (I didn’t look at how long it was before I grabbed it), so I was about half-way through when I thought the plot was wrapping up, only for it to take off in a direction I wasn’t expecting. Read the rest of this entry »