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Rogues: The Omega Superhero Book Four (Omega Superhero Series 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 343 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The premise of this book is Theo Conley, now the superhero Omega, is traumatized by the events of the previous book. This is understandable because not only did he lose one of his best friends and lovers but he discovered the Justice League-esque Sentienls were completely corrupt. Even getting his revenge on them has done nothing to lesson his pain and he's become a meaner as well as more ruthless hero. Unfortunately, it's also attracted Doctor Alchemy to form a squad of "Revengers" made from his former villains to kill him.
As mentioned, the book goes way over the top with Doctor Alchemy to make an incredibly disturbed yet simultaneously hammy villain. Doctor Alchemy talks to a statue of his wife, speaks in an exaggerated dramatic style, and drugs people so they sexually assault and eat the guy who attacked his wife. He's basically Doctor Impossible from SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE treated as a horrifying monster. Which, now that I think about it, is just a Frank Miller character. He's a little too dark for the series and didn't work for me.
The best part of the book is the insight we get into an older, more mature Theodore who is realistically coping with the darker side of being a superhero. He's gone through a brutal trauma conga line and become a more interesting character as a result. Some of his attitude is unearned but I think it reflects nicely the kind of betrayal he's suffered. I also like how Isaac and others try to draw him out of it.
Despite my problems with Doctor Alchemy, I still enjoyed the book and it had a lot of action as well as character development. I also like the fact they had a return of numerous characters from the past with Seer's handling being the highlight of the book.
Summary: The first half of the book was great, but once Dr. Alchemy and his crew show up, it's downhill from there. The rest of the book is Kinetic embroiled with Dr. Alchemy's revenge on Kinetic for his believed role in the death of Neha/Shadow, who is Dr. Alchemy's daughter.
What I did not like: There were quite a few issues with the latter half of the book. When 5 Rogue's battle Kinetic, they all have some kind of tech that negate his power on each of them. It is barely explained as tech adapted from another Rogue's Kinetic-power-nullifying suit. It is also used later in an entire room (how?). No Hero's are around to help, explained away by corruption high in the police force. Okay. Eventually Kinetic is captured and taken to Dr. Alchemy's secret lair. Then the next 1/3 of the book is Dr. Alchemy flashbacks with present day torture scenes, where Kinetic is basically skinned alive. The flashback was excruciatingly long and provided backstory, but it was simply too much. The author could have written a separate novella with the amount of time spent on the flashback. It felt out of place in a Kinetic novel. The torture was to show that hero work is not glamorous and is dangerous and gritty? Sure, but detailing how the skin is flayed seemed like too much.
Eventually Kinetic convinces a brainwashed guard to get his watch with a GPS panic button using his suit as a long appendage reaching across the room, without being caught. Eventually one hero comes to save him, his friend Myth. An Omega class Hero missing for days after being kidnapped by 5 teamed up Rogues did not warrant a rescue team of high profile Hero's? It feels like little effort went into that part, and just slapped together.
What I did like: The first half of the book. Kinetic has taken on protecting Astor City himself because of his guilt for the death of his friend/lover Neha. The author shows character development, progression on how Kinetic climbs out of his depression. The bridge scene with the potential jumper was great. Theo (aka Kinetic) agreeing to a blind date with Viola, making a connection was something I was hoping to see more development of. The witty repartee between the two was well done. Finally Kinetic realizes that shouldering the burden as sole hero was unrealistic and begins motions to create a new team, rising out of the ashes of the Sentinels. That’s what I was hoping to see more of, Kinetic moving on, becoming a leader as he grows into his Omega role.
If you cut out the Dr. Alchemy story line, you would have a fun little novella of Kinetic reconciling his guilt from perceived mistakes and growing as a person and Hero. I look forward to the next book, hopefully with more focus on Kinetic and his growing team.