Superhero Literature

The place to talk about your favorite novels, comic books and web comics.
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CTPhipps
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by CTPhipps » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:36 am

Love the book.

It's very very strange, though.
Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Rules of Supervillainy
Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

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CTPhipps
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by CTPhipps » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:18 am

Here's my reviews of TEAM UPS AND CROSSOVERS and I DID NOT GIVE THAT SPIDER SUPERHUMAN INTELLIGENCE.

T&C also led me to Grrl Power.

My new favorite web comic.
Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Rules of Supervillainy
Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:27 am

Free superhero books

(well, free as long as you accept getting signed up for author mailing lists...)

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:37 pm

I just finished Other People's Heroes last night. The basic idea behind it is that the protagonist, enamored with superheros since he was saved by Lionheart as a child, gains Power Mimic powers and decides to become a superhero, only to quickly find out that the system is rigged much like Professional Wrestling, with heroes and villains having their bouts coordinated by a promoter and many roles being played interchangeably by different people in the same costume. The reasoning for faking the battles makes sense, in that it reduces collateral damage, employs a lot of potential supervillains who are satisfied with just acting evil for a paycheck, and nearly eliminates crime because everyone's convinced that the heroes can easily squash any criminals who show up. I liked that concept a lot and I wish they had kept with that. Unfortunately, the plotline moves instead to a scheme by a master villain and we never really get back to the fun running the business.

Despite my disagreement on the introduction of the master villain, I enjoyed the book. The editing was a bit rough on the edition I read, and I've heard some of the other versions are even worse (the book reportedly being self-published). The main character, Josh, comes off a bit over-powered at times with his ability to essentially use anyone else's powers at all, and often using them better than the people who have been using them for years. There are a ton of characters introduced and then essentially disappear from the plot. But overall, it's a good product.

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L-Space
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by L-Space » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:00 pm

I remember Wild Cards being brought up on the last forum as having some good stories. A question I have regarding them, do you need to read them in any particular order or can you get by at any point?
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:52 am

In general, they're written such that you don't need to have read prior stories, but from my own experience, you will be spoiled for events of earlier books. I'd vote for it really not being an issue.

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L-Space
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by L-Space » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:29 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:52 am
In general, they're written such that you don't need to have read prior stories, but from my own experience, you will be spoiled for events of earlier books. I'd vote for it really not being an issue.
Ok, good to know. I found the e-books on the my local library's website, but the first one is checked out at the moment. I may just hold out until it's "returned".
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:20 pm

Ah. The first "book" was a collection of stories that were all over the place. :)

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L-Space
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by L-Space » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:04 am

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:20 pm
Ah. The first "book" was a collection of stories that were all over the place. :)
Well damn, now I don't know what to do! :x :lol:
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:43 am

The Pyrite War by Blake Petit is awesome. No, seriously, it is definitely the best superhero book I've read this year, and one of the better ones overall. The protagonist, David Ruston, does not have superpowers. In fact, in 1939, there is only one superhero, Guardian M, who comes off very much as a Silver Age Superman. David's brother, Gabriel, premiering in short story "The Ghost of Simon Tower" (which is good... but too short for the 99 cents it costs), was going to be the second, until he was found impaled on a church's fence, apparently having fallen while trying to emulate Guardian M. Except that David quickly finds out that Gabriel's death definitely was not an accident, and that this is not the first time someone has tried to be a superhero and been eliminated...

I'll avoid spoiling the twists of the story, but David quickly finds himself embroiled in the world of aspiring supers who know that they're marked for death if they reveal themselves, but also can't stand being who they are. Due to his relationship with his beloved brother, and his common sense from lack of powers, he quickly ascends to a position of leadership. Which is unfortunately, because it may have marked both him and his family for death. The story is just plain good, exploring the Beware the Superman phenomena and paying tribute to the little ways in which powers would impact a person's life. It's a bit of a gory outing, but there's also a lot of humor and sly references to comic book characters who neither exist as factual or fictional in this universe.

At this point, I think this and Other People's Heroes are the only novels written in this universe. The rest are short fiction and, while entertaining, lack enough substance for even their reduced price of 99 cents each.

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Arkrite
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by Arkrite » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:41 am

Well, looks like there's another Dire novel.

Downloaded the sample just to see if they were going to undo the ending to the last book.... nope.
And I'm going to pass on that one :~P

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:09 am

Huh. I must have left that review on the other site. My review of DIRE: Wars from Goodreads.
Will please fans, a bit weak on its own

I'll admit that I was expecting this series to end after the third book. Dire had her story arc, we were assured that her story would continue, but it seemed she'd had her time. I'm kind of glad it didn't end there, but this book probably suffered a bit as essentially the fourth book of a trilogy. Dire felt a bit directionless, not quite herself. Which kind of makes sense given the ending of the third book, but still...

Anyhow, how does the book stand on its own? Well, Dire continues to be entertaining with her relatively benevolent villainy. Her Master Planner credentials are a bit tarnished as she gets outmaneuvered several times. The characters were interesting, although I was a bit disappointed at the resolution with the tribe she was starting with, or the lack thereof rather. The book felt short, and the ending feels a bit rushed. Eh, I'm not complaining for the price I paid, but the book could have been better. It's not quite as good as its predecessors.

On a side note, the character originated as an original character in a fanfiction set in Wildbow's Worm universe and this book has more sly references to the jokes there, although the Canadian Girlfriend bit verifies they are not in continuity with the fanfic. Maybe that happened in one of the timelines Dire has averted.

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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:30 pm

I recently picked up three books related to Scott A. Bachmann's "Scott Comics" universe as portrayed in his "Our Super Mom" webcomic. The first two are novels of how Liza became the Paragon and how she met her husband. The third is an M&M 3E sourcebook. I will simply quote my Goodreads reviews for the two novels.

The Paragon of Animals
I was primarily familiar with the character of Paragon from reading his webcomic, "Our Super Mom". This book is, as might be guessed from the description, the story of how Liza became Paragon. And it was good. I enjoyed Liza as a character, and the world felt well-fleshed-out. As another reviewer noted, this is not so much a world of superheroes as a world with superpowered individuals and what they choose to do. The people are realistically flawed without becoming something that we cannot relate to (one of my pet peeves are superhero deconstructions where the heroes lack heroic qualities).

The book does lose a star for having so many glaring typos almost four years after its release. It took me out of the experience.
To Thine Own Self Be True
I didn't like this one as much as the first book. First off, the proofreading has gotten worse, which is always a black mark. Secondly, the characters just didn't feel right. I know... the author knows the characters better than the readers, but the Paragon of this book didn't feel the same as the one from the webcomic, or the one in The Paragon of Animals. I can't entirely rule out that it's the subject matter. I'm a bit of a prude in some ways, and this book felt like it could have been subtitled "or Liza's Search for an Orgasm". I liked seeing how she met and fell for Leon, but the implementation of the angle didn't work for me. It felt too much like their relationship was based on animal passion and being starstruck than an actual stable relationship. Similarly, Gwen went from a quirky friend who was sexually free to a raging nymphomaniac. Cinnaed went from someone tormented by her need to portray a party-girl image when she actually didn't dare risk touching someone in the heat of passion to a caricature from Sex in the City. It just did not gel for me.

I do like the ways in which the government tries to jag Liza. As the supermanalogue of this world, there's really not much they can actually do to stop her when she acts up, but they can make her life difficult by levying fines and enforcing regulations. And frankly, in this case, they have a bit of a point. Some of Liza's actions are because she's revolting against the government military machinery that emphasizes the status quo over making a difference, and treats superpowered individuals as tools to be used and discarded. But frankly, most of her escapades are just childish acting out.

Ultimately, I finished the book. I don't feel like it was a waste of time, and at 99 cents, it's a good deal for the amount of material. But I didn't like it.
Scott Comics Character Roster Book
I don't really have a lot to say on the book. It does its job, providing stats and a quick history of the characters. I think someone could play with the characters without reading anything else in the universe. I haven't really drilled down on the stats to ensure that they hit the right levels of PL, but the builds seem pretty good overall, clean and uncomplicated with the major saves balancing out for PL. And right now, for $3.99 for a few dozen characters isn't bad.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superhero Literature

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri May 26, 2017 12:42 pm

I received an ARC of Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis.

My review:
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When we last left Penelope Akks at the end of Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen, she has established to her parents that she has full control of her superpowers, and they've decided to begin to train her as a superhero. Now, all she has to do is shed her former identity as Bad Penny in a way which will convince her parents. Meanwhile, Claire and Ray support her fully, but aren't committed to the heroic route, and have their own plans for the summer. After a spate of inventions and a chance meeting with a former villain at the local hospital, Penelope has come up with what she believes to be a foolproof plan. An incredibly convoluted plan that involves body-swapping, cloning, robots, stealing precious metals... well, let's just say that a foolproof plan seldom survives encounters with the enemy.

The story had a slow start for me. I'd read the first four chapters or so as previews on the author's site, and the subsequent chapters seemed to be retreading old ground with Penelope coming up with amazingly apropos inventions that will trump upcoming opponents through seeming happenstance. But then, through the course of events, she really starts maturing, correcting old mistakes and attempting to plan for the future. She also encounters more significant setbacks that get her to realize that she can't just rely on winging it. By the first third of the book, it had me hooked back in and I couldn't set the book down until I figured out how it ended. And oh, what an ending... the author has stated that there will be only one more book in Penelope's tale and he's definitely set her up to face significant challenges in the final volume.
The review has a spoiler section, which hints at the shocking cliffhanger ending, fair warning. The author has said there's only one more book in the series focusing on Penelope, but that he has plans for others in the universe.

TVTropes Page

FuzzyBoots
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So Not a Hero

Post by FuzzyBoots » Wed May 31, 2017 1:44 am

So Not a Hero

Copying and pasting my Goodreads review. Four of out five stars for me.
I picked this one up on an impulse after Amazon recommended it to me and I found I couldn't quite put it down. It follows one Karen Hashimoto, aka Crushette, former supervillainess in the pay of Doctor Maniac. Now, she's an ex-convict on parole, finding that her criminal past and her powers mean that she can't hold down a job, can't retain a place to live. After aiding Mister Manpower, member of the Good Guys, the local superhero team, she gets extended an offer to join them. Can a former villainess turn to the other side? Why did she pull a plea bargain against her former employer and lover? And who is the mysterious villain who seems to have a vendetta against her?

I liked this book. It has its faults — as with many new authors, there are typos that failed to be caught in editing and still have not been fixed, years later — but ultimately, it kept my interest. Karen is your basic Brick, super-strong and super-durable, but she also has learned a lot of little tricks to keep an edge over her opponents. And, despite a very bad temper and a tendency to mouth off, she really does try to be the hero that her younger brother wanted her to be. I didn't see the twist, although in retrospect, it does make sense. I'm not quite convinced enough to buy the second book yet (the first was 99 cents, but the second is a full $3.99) but I liked this one.
Last edited by FuzzyBoots on Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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