Review: Escape With This Superhero Story

I love Urban Fantasy and superhero stories are, while a separate genre from the usual vampires and werewolves, still great escapist fiction. It is always fun to imagine yourself saving the world.

A great superhero story to escape with.

A great superhero story to escape with.

In superhero fiction, the villains stand in plain sight, usually in brightly colored leotards, and the solutions, outside of the death traps, remain simple.

Everyone wants to fly, read minds, or punch through walls.  The escapism of superhero stories are obvious, but sometimes it is good to complicate things up a bit.

Super Sales on Super Heroes is a good example

First off, I enjoyed William D. Arand’s Super Sales on Super Heroes very much. I wouldn’t have made any of this author’s choices, but he built a great world and a few great characters.

Second, it is a ‘builder’ plot, which can be a bit slow or boring for some people. You have to enjoy the simple process of problem-solving – point mechanics – which will be repeated a dozen times or more in each book.

And third, our protagonist isn’t a hero. It might be simplistic to call him a ‘Super Villain’ but let’s not quibble too much. He’s not the good guy. Luckily, everyone he faces in the novel is a worse version of a villain, so you don’t find yourself cheering on the opposition.

Negatives:

I won’t go into the plot, but there are plenty of villain moments that you may disagree with. His opponents end up dead. The sex isn’t explicit, so the harem aspects probably won’t be an issue for any reader, but he’s clearly not a role model for male-female relations.

Human and demi-human ownership is a significant theme in the novel, which also has tweaked a few readers. Overall, the protagonist is a nice guy and very relatable, but his choices run into the ‘evil supervillain’ side of the coin four flips out of five.

Minor issues:

The novel drops out of the plot for builder issues a few too many times. If you enjoy following the ‘character sheet’ mechanics, it is pretty fun. I’ve been building worlds and character sheets for over thirty-five years. I rather enjoyed it. 

There are far too many characters. If they were all minor it wouldn’t be a problem, but I occasionally got lost on who they were talking about. I think that he could have worked a greater characterization of those minor characters, then I might have remembered them better.

I’m usually reading multiple novels at once, so this is partially my fault. His major cast was a little confusing as well, but they were better characterized so that I could usually follow who was speaking. Still, I really enjoyed the top half-dozen characters, so he did a good job there.

I’m not sure I agreed with his world building. The world seemed to mirror ours in the first half of the first book, then it diverged significantly. Not really complaining, but the neighbor states showed up and vanished strangely. There was a lot of world issues that weren’t explained well.

Suddenly, the rules changed in the second book and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Let me just say that the world issues were a distraction to me, but may have no effect on other readers.  

Positives:

This book and its sequel are fun to read. I really did look forward to the sequel and bought it straight out. If he writes a third book in this series, I will read it. So, I would say that this is a recommended read – with quibbles.

Finally:

I’m giving these books three stars. They won’t appeal to everyone due to the constant ‘builder mechanic.’ Frankly, I’d recommend that you read them without too much distraction, to make sure you don’t lose the minor characters. But, on the fun scale, they are easily a four.    

About the author

Hawkings Austin

I'm a new fantasy author, but I've been reading since Ogg finished with the paint and went to play with his wheel-thingy. I'm a professional nuclear engineer, rocket scientist, and survivalist. I am a semi-pro historian as well, with some published work in both science and history. I play with fire, shoot guns, swing swords, and run with scissors.


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