Astounding Antagonists – review

Astounding Antagonists by Rafael Chandler.

Dr. Agon, a megalomaniacal inventor with an arsenal of lethal gadgets. Motley, a wisecracking jewel thief with nothing left to lose. Chillpill, a cryogenic drug lord who just wants a normal life. Baelphegor, a demonic psychopath with an ugly score to settle.
They’re the most dangerous supervillains on Earth, and they’re about to pull off the perfect crime. There’s just one catch: if they succeed, they might accidentally save the world.
From the skyscrapers of Apex City to the gates of Hell itself, the Antagonists are pursued by violent superheroes and billionaire vigilantes. But as loyalties are tested and old hatreds are rekindled, the line between friend and foe begins to blur… 

I really expected to enjoy this one, but it didn’t work for me at all. There were a few characters I liked, but for the most part that were just really unpleasant. I hate books where I don’t like the characters. Then the superheroes and the villains all sit around discussing politics. Really? Socialism vs. capitalism? That’s your banter?

I think the author had some interesting questions in here, like what happens when the heroes get powerful that they can’t be controlled, what would happen to an average dude who got super powers, but it was just so preachy. I was so disappointed

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Comixology Unlimited

cmx-cu-sash-lg.png_0,0,361,532 208,379,152,152_QL80_TTD_ Any of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I love Kindle Unlimited. Being you know, a speedy reader, I go through books pretty quickly when I’m in the mood, too quickly for me to be able to buy them or get them from the library. With my Kindle Unlimited membership, I can read all the books I want (from a limited number of titles, granted) and it only costs one flat monthly fee, which is less than I’d spend on one book.

Comics and graphic novels are kind of tricky though. I love them, but I never know where to start and my library only has a few. I don’t feel like spending lots of money on them either. Still, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to join Comixology or not.

This month, I decided to go for a trial 30 day membership and see if I liked it. Well, yeah! I’ve been doing nothing but reading comics for two solid days now. I got through all the issues of the Runaways that they have on Unlimited, lots of Wonder Woman, Luke Cage, She Hulk, and this graphic novel called The Sword, pictured above, about a woman’s quest for vengeance against the gods that killed her family.

I don’t know yet whether it’s really worth $6/month. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you add up the subscriptions and stuff plus the fact that the selection included in that price is MUCH more limited than the Kindle subscription, I’m not sure it would be worth the cash.

I am looking for more recommendations though. If there’s a comic or graphic novel that you loved, please tell me about it! I love the superhero stuff but I’m willing to explore beyond that. List your faves in the comments.

Review: Invinciman

Title: Invinciman

Author: Ricky Leone

Note: This review was requested by the author, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Setting: near future Canada

Format: ebook

Engineer Ray Martin has this one friend. You know the kind, the one that gets you into trouble, but then gets you back out again? Except that this friends gets him into the kind of trouble that’s going to get him killed; and he may not get him out of trouble ever again.

Ray and Daniel are both engineering students when they meet. Their skills complement each other, and they wind up teaming up to get their projects done. Only trouble is that Ray want to graduate and get the job and Daniel? Well, Ray can’t tell what he wants.

His friendship with Daniel, if that’s what it is, is told in flashback. The story actually opens with Ray being shot in the head and left for dead. And that’s really where I had trouble with the book. The story, and the complicated relationship between the two guys, was really interesting. They want to make robots – excuse me, a “super advanced artificial intelligence robot,” which will fight in an arena like Robot Wars on TV today. Except bigger and badder and more awesome. I absolutely can’t argue with that. It’s the terrorist angle which had me scratching my head. I was excited for the rivalry and the robot fights. And while I knew this was a superhero book, it never felt like the two halves of the story worked together as well as they should have. By the time I got to the ending, I was quite confused.

I’m not sure who I would recommend this one for. I see that it got good recommendations from most other readers, so it might just be me being picky. I would be willing to give this author another try though. I’d like to see some female characters and more diversity too. Thanks for the chance to read this one.

 

Book Review: Steelheart

I’ve been on a Brandon Sanderson binge lately. I got this bundle through Humble Bundle lately, and part of the proceeds go to charity. But then I didn’t have enough storage on my Kindle for all my lovely new books, so I’ve been frantically reading them all day today. I’m not called Speedy Reader for nothing! I got through several short stories today alone. But I also have a review on Steelheart.

Title: Steelheart, Book 1 of Reckoners series

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Superhero sci-fi, near future

Found it: Favorite author

Format: Physical book

Synopsis: “Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.”

David is this nerdy guy who wants to take down the Epics – the Superheroes. But I have to say that the character he reminds of the most is Spiderman. See, David/Spidey has secret knowledge/spider senses and that gives him an edge over the city bad guys. The twist here is that the bad guys are the Supers, and David is just a nerdy guy. Instead of spider senses, he has detailed dossiers of information on every Epic known, their strengths, their allies, their habits, their weaknesses. And despite what you might think, they all have a weakness.

David hasn’t shared his information with anyone, because the cops are all working for the Epics. Average people are just trying to keep their heads down and not attract attention. The only ones willing to stand up to the Epics is the Reckoners. So David’s job is to join them and then convince them to go after the biggest target of all – Steelheart.

I really liked this series. It’s written for teens, but it’s a very complex world. I followed it up with the short story Mitosis, which is 1.5 in the series, between this one and Firefight. I loved the worldbuilding in here. Sanderson is great at that, always, he just really thinks the world through before he writes anything. I’m anxious to see what happens next. So anxious, in fact, that I went back on my promise to stay out of the library until I read some of my own books and got the next book in the series. If you like superhero stuff or dystopian books, I’d definitely recommend this one.