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The Rules of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 242 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
Forget everything you think you know about heroes and villains. Phipps redefines the genre. The Rules of Supervillainy is wildly entertaining, delightfully original, and will make readers everywhere yearn to don spandex and join the crusade.
Gary is just a regular guy, with with problems. Money woes, a checkered family past, and a whole lot of resentment plague the unemployed protagonist until a superheroes death finds him in possession of the deceased's magical cloak. Don't get confused, though. This cloak is so much more than Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility. This cloak imbues the wearer with some powerful tools to add to his arsenal of supervillainy. Unfortunately for Gary, he finds out the hard way that super strength is not one of its benefits. The cloak, a character all on its own, is a snarky addition to the story. Besides giving Gary superpowers, it's a wealth of knowledge, outside of Judaism, of course.
As any comic book fan will tell you, no supervillain is complete without his henchmen, and in this case, henchwench. I was so nervous to read this book. I know Charles Phipps. He's read my own books and has made it no secret that he's a superfan of the Time of Death series (much appreciated Charles!). This is first book I've ever read in the superhero genre. To say that it's way out of my comfort zone would be an understatement. So, I was apprehensive going into the read that I would not be an appropriate target audience for the content. I underestimated Charles's ability to spin an entertaining tale, and for that, I'm a bit ashamed of my original apprehension.
I couldn't begin count the number of times I found myself chuckling out loud at the witty banter flying back and forth between Gary, the cloak, his wife, and the plethora of other superheroes/villains and antiheroes. Not to mention his inner dialogue, which was just as enjoyable.
As its title would suggest, The Rules of Supervillainy reads almost like a manual for becoming Super. Chapter subheadings sets the readers anticipation of what's to come. With every new chapter I found myself envisioning how it set the scene in graphic form. Much like the movie, Kickass, I could see this going to the big screen.
Supervillains have real families with real problems; ex-wives, the struggles of raising teenage kids, college loans, and the ever-important task of keeping their wives happy. Merciless, Gary's moniker of choice for his alter ego, is married to Mandy. It's fun to witness the progression of their marriage during Gary's transformation into Merciless and even more fun as she reveals hidden parts of her past to Gary for the first time. Like Bruce Wayne's dark spiral to becoming Batman, Gary's past defines him and drives his yearning to become a supervillain.
What's great about this book is that there's no long buildup to explain how the Supers come to be. It's a world where people have powers, objects of power exist, and the war waged between good and evil is prevalent. Phipps doesn't pussyfoot around. Instead, he dives in with the (accurate) assumption that readers will accept the reality he's penned. I like that boldness, and to his credit, even with a nonbeliever like me, it was a successful risk, and one that paid in dividends. Because, let's get real, if I had to read chapters of fluff just to lead up to the meat and potatoes, It'd likely have been yawn central.
It's also worth mentioning that this is the most impeccably edited book I have ever read. Normally I'd find at least minor typos missed, like it instead of if, but there was absolutely nothing I could find.
Let me close with this. It was such a joy to find my name among those receiving thanks in the book's acknowledgments. Not only because I respect Charles as a writer, and friend, but also because my name is inside a book that's sure to become a smash hit. I've always known he was a hugely talented writer, but I never realized just how funny he was. Though, in hindsight, the fact that he enjoys the "poopy" humor in my books should have been my first clue. I never turn notifications off on my phone, but while reading, I did! I was so into the story I didn't want any interruptions. If that isn't a testament to The Rules of Supervillainy's awesomeness, I don't know what is.
From page one, Gary Karkofsky, a former bank teller turned criminal opportunist jumps—well, levitates—into action! Enhanced by the late Nightwalker’s cloak, Gary must stop the Malt Shop Gang from stealing his score. What’s worse, if Gary manages to take these villains down, he still has to go home to his wife and have that “Guess what, honey? I’m a supervillain” talk.
That’s okay, Mandy is rational and more than capable of handling her husband’s new “life” choice. Deep down, the story is about the characters and their relationships. That’s what drew me into this book. Peel away the rich world building (Superpedia, yes!!), the amusing banter, the insane situations Gary finds himself in, and you have a conflicted man who loves his wife! No, Supervillainy is not a mushy love story, but there are layers of complexity that make these over-the-top core characters breathe.
The other characters strut across the pages quite memorably. Cloak was a riot. His story arc developed nicely throughout the book, and even surprised me a few times. Henchperson Cindy, a.k.a Red Riding Hood, would give Harley Quinn a run for her money any day! I loved how Cindy arrived at her villainess name. Diabloman. He was my second favorite character, next to Gary. The whole chapter at the Night Tower! Actually, any chapter with him in it! The superhero and villain names were chuckle-worthy in their own right.
The story’s pacing moved rapidly. Zombies, demi-gods, anti-heroes, and a half dozen other horrific monsters kept Gary and company busy and the scenes flying. Several boss battles lent an appropriate “epic proportions” feel to round off the book.
Charles Phipps packs plenty of humor, wit, and action into this quick read. I laughed, I cheered, but most importantly, I turned pages! The chapter subheadings were humorous and built anticipation for what was to come. Micro fiction at it’s best! More books should do this!
Overall, I enjoyed The Rules of Supervillainy and look forward to reading the next in this series. Count me in!