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H.E.R.O. - Riftguard (Volume 16) Paperback – March 2, 2014
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Carey is another interesting character. Despite being on the wrong side, I can't help but feel sorry for her as she is turning into a rather tragic character.
This story suffered from that and from what I've criticized Kevin for several times in the past. He can't seem to stick to one character. This take have at least six different characters who are the viewpoint character for one or more chapters and as usual that tends to greatly diminish the quality of the character development.
However, if that was my only complaint I might have given this story a low four star rating. I do like many of the characters and several of the storylines were interesting. Unfortunately as Kevin extends this series of stories a new and in my opinion critical flaw has emerged. To put it simply Kevin has become addicted to the action and to constantly increasing the power of his characters.
This is something that I dislike. And it means that one of the focal characters of this entire story, Blake, turns me off about the story. There was one point I nearly stopped reading and deleted this tale. The scenes involving Blake annoy me that much. I hate the character, I hate the concept and I find that his power perfectly fits one of the complaints I've seen used multiple times when people review books with a magic using character. If the magic is too flexible and present, it ruins the story. Right now in the story Blake appears effectively invulnerable and with his growing group of apparently credulous minions he's clearly being set up to be a permanent figure in the story.
It's rare that I'd take one character in a story and say that this is the one flaw, but here that is exactly what turned me off. The other major villain the Nightmonger is in my opinion nearly as bad, although it's his minions who are the superpowered force.
the original comicbooks gained a lot of fans because the stories were more than the monthly beatdown of the ever more powerful villains, but this series is turning into the fight of the book club. Each one introduces some villains who will plot throughout the first three quarters of the book while the heroes run around getting a few errands run and growing a bit as characters (Psystar, Chrome and Diva all have good scenes in this book.) But the final part is a fight involving whichever heroes that Kevin decides to drag into the fight. In Riftguard some formerly major characters like Spartan and Black Tiger barely get any page time, and miss the majority of the fights completely.
This series has been quite erratic when it comes to the quality of the story and storyline. When Kevin sticks to building up the heroes that he clearly likes, the story works. When he tries to add the action, he seems to keep resorting to making them more powerful rather than interesting. And the story is hard to read because of that.
Lovers of the series may enjoy this book, but I will warn that Blake gets a lot of page time and if you don't like seeing the story distorted from a story about superheros to one that seems to concentrate on an insane anti-hero who has unlimited abilities his scenes will frustrate even fans of the series.
Don't start with this book, you'll never understand who is who.
Also Please do more of a story with Spartan, He seem to be falling to a 2ndary character.
Even Rayna's sex life is discusses (ooh hot! Psystar can 'see' their hot sex lives (gag). Please, leave your school-boy girl on girl (all lesbians don't hate men) fantasies to another series,please? (oh wait, maybe we can get a sissy boy gay stereotype character?). Or maybe I am not your intended market? 20 something horny straight men?
Not digging the new 'villain' Blake (yawn) ooooh "wraiths" ooooh...yawn, and a veiling spooky warning..... This read like a 20ish man/boy/writer (not someone in their 40s) Maybe this was just an 'off' book? cutesy talking stuffed animal? check, inner city fight scene? check, One-shot of other hero with quirk (fear of heights)? check. Hot Girls shopping for super tight clothes (complete with 'I like to show off my breasts comments)? check.
Def a miss, but since you have read the 14? 16? books you will read it, as I did. sigh.
Keep up the great work, Kevin! And, thank you: it's great reliving those years as a kid, blasting through the newly released comics, thirsting for more.