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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
Character development: 4.5
Gary Karkofsky isn't your typical villain, or hero, or superhero, or even supervillain. However, he calls himself a supervillain, as this is what he has wanted to be his whole life. When the Cloak of Invisibility literally lands on his doorstep, he thinks he has now been given the opportunity to fulfill his evil destiny and Merciless is born...but things don't quite go according to plan. Or do they?
In The Rules of Supervillainy, Mr. Phipps takes an unlikable character and somehow makes the reader endeared to him. I say unlikable, because honestly, Merciless (aka Gary Karkofsky) is a self-admitted sociopath who has some very odd rules of engagement. The story is told in first person, so we have the pleasure of being inside the head of our protagonist for the duration. I rather enjoyed this twist in what is the norm for comic book style stories. I kept expecting him to grow a 'normal' conscious and end up falling within the parameters of what is acceptable superhero behavior. At the risk of giving too much away, I will refrain from saying what DOES happen...but it's not what you expect. Which is a good thing when it comes to storytelling.
The world in which Merciless runs amok in is one that any comic book lover will enjoy, full of all the cliche's you know and love. Mr. Phipps makes no pretense about this, but instead capitalizes on it and builds upon it so that The Rules of Supervillainy is sure to not only appeal to the genre, but also satisfy the craving for those that like to be in that world. If this is you, you will NOT be disappointed!
The writing is engaging and flows. There are times when it feels a bit forced in order to move the story, but I didn't find this too distracting. The story itself, as I said, is original but sometimes falls victims to its use of the cliche's, instead of perhaps developing more on its owns merit. I would really like to see that happen in Mr. Phipps upcoming books. He's a great writer and I look forward to reading more by him. I have absolutely NO doubt that this will be a hit among the superhero, supervillain, and comic book fans.
I have to add that I think the cover is absolutely brilliant!
I'd somewhat off the cuff describe this book as "Kind of like Batman had a special cloak no one knew about. So he had a lot more powers than we ever knew. And he died of old age. The Cloak goes to someone else. There is a mistake in the getting to someone else..."
As mentioned by other reviewers, Mr. Phipps rather skillfully manages to make the self-proclaimed "Anti-Villain" an interesting character, if not likable or sympathetic (as Gary Karkofsky IS a sociopath, casual killer, and thief, after all); the writer wisely chose to cast his Villain Without Mercy as evil but not depraved. The supporting cast isn't terribly well-fleshed out in the first novel, but more than enough is done to differentiate Red Riding Hood and Diabloman (among others) from the stock characters (sexy gang moll, hulking henchman) whose roles they fill. There are about a half-dozen or more instances of "Chekov's Gun" introduced-a veritable arsenal!-and the author's deft touch leaves one eager to read the inevitable payoffs coming in the series. The pace is crisp and the dialogue-banter, really-is clever and funny. Overall, I regret not getting to this one sooner, and look forward to reading the further adventures of Merciless and Company.
Note: If you liked this I would strongly recommend Off to Be the Wizard (either kindle or audible) and if you want a darker superhero novel Steelheart is the first in a great trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.