I just told my friend that I need to read her earlier memoirs because this one seemed like more of a confessional about her affair with Harrison Ford.I just told my friend that I need to read her earlier memoirs because this one seemed like more of a confessional about her affair with Harrison Ford. I imagine she sat at the keyboard while listening to Confessions by Usher while scream-singing, "These are my confessions... If I'm gonna tell it then I gotta tell it all."...more
Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary citizen living in a city filled with heroes and villTL;DR Review
3 stars. This gif sums the whole thing up.
Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary citizen living in a city filled with heroes and villains. After receiving a magical cloak that once belonged to the city’s most beloved hero, Gary does what any self-respecting ordinary person would do when gifted such power. He becomes a supervillain. Except he’s not very good at it. However, that doesn’t stop Gary. He has his ambitions set to becoming the city’s most notorious villain as long as it doesn’t require him to kill anyone or inconvenience anyone less fortunate than himself. He just wants to make money. Aided by his wife and a few villain friends, Gary sets down the path of making the city tremble at its knees one bad pun at a time.
This is a by the book hero–ahem, I mean villain–story. It crams all the superhero and villain cliches in it that you could ever want. Everything is over the top and exaggerated in a way that can be a little exasperating at times. Gary is a bit bumbling in his quest, but no one can ever accuse him of lacking the proper motivation. He often finds himself at odds with other villains in the city such as the Typewriter who wears a–wait for it–large typewriter on his head and spouts phrases from bygone eras. In other words, this book is extremely campy. What I really enjoyed about this story was Gary’s relationship with his wife. Early in the book, he makes this statement: “Supervillainy seemed like the sort of thing you needed to be upfront with your spouse about.” His wife sets down ground rules of his reign of terror which includes only stealing from people who deserve it, no killing, and not bringing his work home. It was fun to see a positive relationship being portrayed in a heroic story, as Gary sees his wife as one of his biggest allies.
Given the way this is written, and this is a criticism that I could level at most superhero stories, this does come off extremely immature at times. The characters aren’t developed that well and had a tendency to disappear when they were all used up, but this relies more on its quips and Gary’s clumsy adventures in supervillainy. So, I can’t expect this story to be a shining example of character. Parts of the story just seemed to drone on about things that didn’t seem important to the plot at all. Jeffrey Kafter fit the part of Gary well, and the quips rolled off his tongue with ease. Some of his voices for the characters weren’t distinct enough, but overall, he did a fine job.
This isn’t a bad story, but I was expecting something more. However, the premise for this was an excellent one, and I did find myself smiling at Gary’s misadventures. I’m curious enough to continue this adventure and see how Gary’s story progresses. I waffled on whether to rate this a 2.5 or 3, but decided to go with a 3 since it did manage to make smile a fair bit.
Twelve years prior to this story, Calamity appeared in the sky and burst, gifting astonishing powers on ordinaryRead more reviews @ The BiblioSanctum
Twelve years prior to this story, Calamity appeared in the sky and burst, gifting astonishing powers on ordinary people. Instead of people using their powers for the betterment of mankind, these people–called Epics–use their powers to dominate their fellow man. Two years after Calamity appeared in the sky, David Charleston’s father is murdered by an Epic named Steelheart who takes over the city of Chicago, dubbing it Newcago, and ushers in a new age of terror. David makes it his mission to study Epics and learn their one weakness (which is the only way to destroy them) in order to avenge his father. David joins the Reckoners, a group of ordinary humans who assassinate Epics, and convinces them to embark on an ambitious plan to take down Steelheart.
This was like reading a novelization of a comic book arc. It’s fast paced, fun, and teeming with action and cool gadgets. It manages to be touching and smart, and while it’s fairly straightforward, it does present a couple of quandaries–one of which is considering the ramifications for the citizens of Newcago if they should defeat Steelheart. David is a likable character–intelligent, brave, brash, and bit of a nerd. His awkwardness makes him easy to like and to relate to. The Reckoners are a motley crew of characters who have banded together to form something of a family. I wished there had been more character development for a few of them, but I like them all the same. MacLeod Andrews provides the voice of this series. He brings exactly the right amount of youthful exuberance you’d expect.
I probably would’ve rated this higher, but the romance angle annoyed me so much for most of the book. It always felt inconvenient and out of place when it showed up. I did not care how tight Megan’s shirt was or how curvy she was or how pouty her lips were. I just wanted to get to this fighting Epics business. It stalled the story from getting to the point at times. However, the romance did start to feel more natural toward the end. This book probably won’t work for people who enjoy grimmer hero tales. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s more fun than dark.
Prior to reading this novel, I’d been having some problem completing a Sanderson book. It’s not that I think he’s a bad writer or anything. His writing just never engaged me before this book. It could’ve just been the particular reading mood I was in before, but I think it has more to do with the fact that this gets on with the story and doesn’t dawdle around. I certainly plan to read the rest of the books in this series, and I think this book has convinced me to give his fantasy books a second chance if the payout is equal to the enjoyment I gained from reading this.