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The ABLES Paperback – May 1, 2015
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The heroes of this wildly inventive and unpredictable superhero epic don't want to be ignored, or pitied, or placed on a pedestal. They want what all of us want: The chance to forge their own destiny. The fictional world The Ables inhabit struggles to admit it needs its team of Special Ed heroes. But it does, and I would say our pop culture landscape (and, you know, your bookshelf) needs them even more.
Executive Editor of Cracked.com and NY Times Bestselling Author
About the Author
Jeremy Scott is a writer and entertainer from Nashville, TN. He is the co-creator & narrator of CinemaSins, a YouTube channel dedicated to movie-related comedy that has amassed over 3.8 million subscribers in under two years' time. A former online marketing consultant, Jeremy spends his time writing, being sarcastic, and generally hoping to find a good laugh once a day.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book centers around Phillip, a blind telekinetic and his group of friends, each of whom has a different superpower and disability that renders them an outcast even in the superhero community. But, over time, they learn to fight the forces of evil together.
Like I said, the book is fairly Harry Potter-lite. Plain every-boy character discovers he has hidden powers and goes on adventures with them and his friends. In the beginning, the prose was decent, but nothing truly memorable. However, after the first third, Scott kicks the writing up a notch, taking his characters through some unexpected trials and tribulations I had not expected and were quite fun to read.
That's not to say that they're weren't flaws. There was maybe one good female character worth mentioning, and her scenes are a blip in the radar of a 300 page book. The plot twists are all things anyone could see coming a mile away without even trying. And, of course, they're were a handful of notable plot holes. The only one I'll mention is that they do have healers, and they don't explain why they can't cure most of the disabilities.
All in all, this book was mostly just average. If you like superheroes, you'll probably like this.
BOOK SIN TOTALS: 4
SENTENCE: SUMMER SCHOOL
Let’s get the bad out of the way, and then end on a high note.
First off, the entire formatting of the book was a confusing choice. Having non indented paragraphs with large spaces between them was distracting and difficult to ignore. My thought is that the author did this intentionally to imitate how I imagine brail might read. Large spaces to separate thoughts and an unattractive presentation that is easier for the blind to read. If that was an intention decision then I applaud the originality. If it wasn’t, well… I would just pretend that it was.
I also noted several errors in formatting. One paragraph was split at the end leaving three words floating, another chapter ended on what I assume was supposed to be the heading of the following page, and several pages were left entirely blank. As a self-published author myself I understand how difficult it can be to catch everything, but some of these were fairly obvious, and a quick look would have found them.
I also found myself confused on the time line of things. One chapter would end, then in the next the character says it’s been weeks when it only read like one day. I went back several times to ensure I didn’t miss anything. Another character who I originally thought was only deaf was then referenced as being both blind and deaf, and lastly the character’s blindness augmented by his friends sight was often confusing as to how he saw certain things, even after it was explained. I found myself thinking, how could he see that through his eyes? Are they both looking at that spot? Does he have sight now? A lot of that had to do with the No Power Zones that played a large part of the story. It wasn’t always clear when they were or weren’t inside of one, and a reminder from the character would have been helpful.
These are just small issues that broke my immersion, and I only draw them out to make the point that I enjoyed this book so much; these things annoyed me for getting in the way. This is also a cinemasins book, so I feel the need to be extra nitpicky. On to the good, which there was a lot of, but I’ll only name a few.
The main character was likeable, relatable, and I was constantly rooting for him to overcome. At no point did he seem weak or powerless, despite the hurdle he was forced to overcome. At the half way point of the book when they learned to use their powers together I was almost disappointed, as I wanted to see him kick ass as a totally blind superhero. Still, I was happy to follow him to the logical conclusion of the plot.
The author did a fantastic job of treating his characters like normal well rounded people, who happened to have some hindrance in their day to day life. The book did not beat you over the head with trying to sympathize with the characters for their disabilities, instead it just treated them like any other character might be; nice, funny, sarcastic, and even mean. The self-deprecating humor and dialogue were so realistic, that I went out and googled to see if I somehow missed the author himself being blind.
The story is well told, a blend of typical high school drama intermixed with super hero tropes, and with a running narrative of evil in the background that reminded me of the Harry Potter series. I was equally invested in both the struggle to fit into school as I was to see the characters take on the big bad. The twists were predictable, but still well done, and the character’s reaction to them made it worthwhile. I saw both of the big twists coming when the foreshadowing was introduced, but was still surprised by the way everyone handled it.
All in all, it was a good first novel, and with an obvious hook for a sequel I have no doubt I’ll be enjoying the author’s work again in the future. I will probably buy the audio book just so I can enjoy the author’s voice outside a cinemasins video, and so I can see the story as he meant it to be heard.
Having said all that, the writing itself is pretty enjoyable. Given that this is the author's debut, it's a credible effort. I'll be interested to see how much his craft improves on his next book.