- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 41 hours and 1 minute
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: August 23, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01KP2HXTS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Super Powereds: Year 3: Super Powereds, Book 3 Audiobook – Unabridged
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I always wonder a bit whether it's worth my time to write reviews for one of the later books in a series. I mean, either you're familiar with the series and need little help deciding whether to keep going – I certainly didn't wait around for reviews before picking up this one! – or you're not, in which case you'd presumably realize you should be investigating the first book. Still, even though you probably don't need my opinion to weight your purchase decision, I think Super Powereds 3 deserves all the praise it can get.
I tend to go on, so for those looking for the TL;DR version, here you go: Buy this. It's good.
If you're after analysis, though, keep reading.
I'm not going to bother rehashing the plot. For one thing, you can read the blurb and the other reviews as easily as I can, and for another, you already have a good idea what the HCP students' junior year will be like.
Well...actually, no, you probably don't. There are a fair number of surprises. I just don't intend to spoil them.
Drew Hayes came to my attention when I stumbled upon his book NPCs. It was on sale, and it sounded like a cute little diversion, so I picked it up...having no real idea just how good a writer he is. I know better now, but it's worth mentioning that there are some things he does very, very well.
Intrigue. Intrigue is hard for a lot of writers to write. Honestly, I have my doubts as to whether I'd be any good at it. It's not something an author can fake; his brain has to work in the same twisty fashion as his characters'. Hayes has the touch, though. He gets inside the heads of his criminals and his subtlety heroes and he makes it all authentic. It's really, really impressive.
Plot webs. SP3 – and by extension, the whole Super Powereds series – is not a run-of-the-mill linear story. He can weave mysteries and plots that resolve themselves right there in the book with multiple overarching slow-burning storylines, and he does it with great finesse. There's a depth to this series that's sadly lacking in a lot of the SF/F offerings we're seeing lately.
Density. Just like the earlier books, SP3 is LONG. Really, it has to be. Hayes has five main characters (or six, I guess, depending how you count Roy and Herschel), and many, many secondary characters that have nearly as much flesh on their bones as the mains. In a story that ambitious, the author can go one of two directions: he can skim the surface, or he can publish something with a massive word count. There are disadvantages to the latter route, naturally. Long books intimidate people, for one thing, and for another, an author really has to be careful not to kill his readers, slowly, one bit of minutiae at a time. Personally, I like long, involved books...but only if the story can support the length. Drew Hayes is a past master at writing a long, dense book while still making sure every word has a purpose.
Balance in action. Non-stop thrill rides seem to be popular lately, and really, I'm not a fan of the trend. I read to relax, and I don't much care for stories that never give me time to catch my breath. At the same time, a story has to have some excitement in it, you know? Hayes balances the mundane with action masterfully. There's nothing exhausting about SP3, which means we have the energy to tackle the climax...which is an edge-of-your-seat, searing blitz of an ending. Which brings me to...
The actual ending. You all have no idea how much I loathe cliffhangers. I can love a story with every fiber of my being, but if you dangle a cliffhanger in my face, I'll never pick up another of your books. They're manipulative, they're disrespectful, and, if you have any talent at all as a writer, they're entirely unnecessary. They're also popular lately, and I think every one of those authors who decided for whatever reason that cliffhangers are acceptable ways to end a book should pick up this one and see how it should really be done. SP3 wraps up the book's story nicely while leaving plenty of room for next year's adventures.
Now, you'll probably notice that, up at the top, I gave this book 4.5 stars. That wasn't a mistake; I wouldn't call this perfect. One thing that's not perfect is the editing. It's good, certainly, but I caught mistakes. (I can still recommend this, though, even to those readers who cannot abide errors; they weren't numerous, and they were easy enough to overlook.) Also, I mentioned in one of my earlier reviews that there's a bit of a same-voice issue, and that hasn't really been resolved. While I wouldn't say the characters all blatantly speak with the same voice, there are SO MANY characters, and some of them start to resemble each other. Similarly, the dry, sardonic humor that I like so much seems to come out of more characters than is maybe realistic.
But...pfft. Those are quibbles, and I'm really only including them because I don't believe there's ever not room for improvement. This is an outstanding installment of an outstanding series, and you should read it.
The characters are amazing! I love to see how they grow and develop; not just with the powers but as people too. I can not wait until the next book.
I would love to see a Graphic Novel version of these books or better yet...a cartoon series!!!
Never has being a student at a "special" university been so dangerous -- at least since the Harry Potter books. Good writing and good story make this a great read.
Don't sass the addiction monkey. You wouldn't like him if he's sassed.
Most recent customer reviews
Just like to know where the next book coming out