Sometimes you're the hunter. Sometimes you're the target...
The amateur superhero Kynetic knows what she wants: her own vigilante license from the government and to be partners with Failstate, both as heroes and romantically. And what Kyn wants, she usually gets.
But this time, she's facing an obstacle, namely Failstate's girlfriend, Charlene. If only Kyn could get her out of the way...
When a trio of supervillains known as the Hel's Belles offer to help Kyn take out a more powerful criminal, she knows they can't be trusted. But Kyn recognizes it as a way to not only advance her career, but drive a wedge between Failstate and Charlene.
Kynetic could get everything she's ever wanted, but only if she can remain on target.
Unlicensed vigilante Kynetic has a plan to get her license but it's not what anyone would call heroic. She plans to become the sidekick and girlfriend of licensed hero Failstate by ensuring that his existing girlfriend Charlotte breaks up with him. To do this, she actually befriends Charlotte and hatches a scheme with small time supervillains to confront a heavy hitting supervillain with the goal of setting Failstate up to have to break a big date while trying to secure a license for herself.
To be honest, while I liked Kynetic in Failstate: Legends, I really had trouble liking her throughout most of the story as she really came off as a designing woman willing to sink to almost anything in order to get what she wants. However, I kept with the story and was satisfied at the conclusion. The plot and action are good throughout and there's a positive message that's well-said at the end of the book.
I also liked the character of Charolotte, who is a sweet person. (Though how sweet she was tended to make me less sympathetic to Kynetic.) I'm not certain she's a good fit for the Failstate universe as she seems to play that role of the superhero's girlfriend who doesn't know about the secret. Thus, she ends up constantly frustrated and disappointed by her beau's failure to appear and follow through commitments which allows her to serve as a festering source of guilt and stress for our hero. Here's hoping that Otte comes up with something else for Charlotte to do in the next book.
I've been wanting to read the Failstate series for a while, so when I saw this short story for free, I picked it up.
I can certainly see how this is an entertaining and engaging superhero series! Kynetic makes for an interesting protagonist because her primary goal here is--seduce the hero. Indeed, her scheme of "break his heart, so I can have it" is villain worthy. But don't worry--while Kynetic might not recognize this as wrong at first, the author does. So without giving away any spoilers, I'll say that the story has a satisfactory ending and Kynetic remains a sympathetic heroine with a better future ahead of her.
Update: After reading Failstate, I just realized who Mike is. *slams head against wall* THAT'S why it's better to read books in order.
This is the first book I've read from John Otte (besides a sampling from "Numb"). I didn't realize that it was a novella when I got it and don't usually care for the shallowness of typical novellas, but this one was worth it. It had a great voice, written from the viewpoint of a high-school girl with superhero powers. It left me wanting to read more and guess what! There are three other books in the Failstate series! My only detractor would be that it was somewhat predictable, but one can only expect so much from a novella. I'm hoping the full-length books are a little more developed. Overall, it is a fast, easy, entertaining read and I would recommend it.
I'm about halfway through the first book in the Failstate series but when this mini-adventure came out for Kindle, I jumped into it and really enjoyed reading it. You can definitely follow the plot even if you haven't read the previous books. It's a quick, entertaining, worthwhile read if you enjoy fantasy/superheroes at all. Now I need to go back and catch up on the rest of the series!
While John W. Otte's superhero trilogy centers on his original hero Failstate, he has given readers more insight into secondary characters through the release of short novellas between each installment. This latest one focuses on a female superhero introduced in the second novel. It largely succeeds as a fun romp in between his larger stories.
The Failstate novels are solid YA territory, and this novella continues in the same vein. Teenage romance and problems at school all circulate around the larger issues of the fight between good and evil. Fortunately Otte keeps his focus squarely on the ordinariness of these issues and their impact on the characters rather than cheap, melodramatic angst. These young people aren't overburdened; while they do face serious problems, they also have a lot of fun.
While the writing is solid (albeit a bit sparse), Otte excels at creative world building. His love for superheroes really shines through with the different unique abilities he gives his characters, the names of villains and groups, and the overarching structure required to make these competing powers work in our world.
Even the more mundane aspects of his world are filled with life. The reader is pulled into Kiesha's story, her desires and needs, her drive to succeed, her fear of failure. She's powerful and ambitious, yet just as muddled in exactly how to grow up as any teenager. Her interaction with Charlene Gardner, Failstate's girlfriend, fleshed out a character we had formally only seen through the lens of her effect on the hero.
The brevity of this story weakens it. There's simply not enough time to really explore how Kiesha's past has made her the person she is now. We get fed backstory through a contrived conversation and confession, and the heroine's transformation from selfish to selfless felt a bit rushed. It's a testament to Otte's firm grasp of his characters and world that despite these flaws, I still felt fully immersed in the plot and eagerly anticipated how it would conclude.
If you're already a fan of Failstate, you'll definitely want to read this novella. Readers who are new to the series may need a little explanation to fully appreciate some of the character's actions, but will be able to follow the story. If Otte should decide to give us another Kynetic adventure some time down the road, I'd be glad to dive in.
My first intro into Otte's writing, and I was pleasantly surprised! I'm a sucker for good superhero books, and I now need to get my hands on Otte's other books in this series. Perfect for the YA audience, but also great for the young at heart (and those who love Marvel movies!) Great balance of action, angst, and Christian threads.