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The Villain's Sidekick (The HandCannon Files Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 106 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
It begins with a scene in which our main character and narrator, a comic book villain named HandCannon, withdraws/escapes from a street battle with the crime-fighting hero Nightguard (where Night=Bat and guard=man). Nightguard has disrupted HandCannon's planned heist of a mysterious valuable item which turns out to be central to the plot. Why does Nightguard quit the fight? Well, because he realizes he's forgotten to feed his diabetic cat. Anti-hero with a soft spot, check. From there the author Stephen Brophy quickly establishes a comic book setting full of superheros and villains, the latter group of which HandCannon belongs to. Good guys, bad guys, check.
But that's where the ordinary ends. From this point on, having been set up to expect a standard anti-hero tale set in a standard comic book world, I encountered unexpected developments in both story and character on each page. Halfway through I realized that the template exposition was a setup that made later plot twists and character development all the more worthwhile. Speaking of which, Brophy has a talent for packing a lot of character development into an economy of words (which is a skill he must have polished doing writing for reality TV.) In the end, we admittedly land in a familiar spot for an anti-hero tale: HandCannon does some good for the world for selfish reasons and with evil methods--evil of which he is self-aware, as when he uses his 6-year old daughter as a lure to entrap Nightguard's sidekick Twiliter. That and other story-changing plot developments play out in a delightfully unexpected and often smirk-inducing way.
If you like a well-crafted story, read it! You don't even have to be a comic book fan (I'm not).
It's hard to believe I've never seen his writing anywhere - perhaps a pseudonym for some other established author? But no, impossible, as this guy has a certain unique style that blends dystopian sci-fi noir sensibility with a screwball mischievousness.
The result is a zippy, entirely satisfying page-turner (or Kindle-swiper, as it were) that left me eagerly awaiting more from this mystery man.
The Villain's Sidekick is told from the point of view of the main character, who makes for an entertaining, sometimes coarse, and humorous guide for the reader, through an underworld of large personalities and, of course, equally big problems. Among those complications, balancing child-care duties with work obligations. Not any ordinary work obligations either. Unlike the rest of us, his day job (night job, actually) is that of super criminal. High-tech killer gadgets, extraordinary strength, bad guy alias and everything.
Still, this is no kid's novel. Pick this up for a grown-up look at the lives of vigilante heroes and more fully realized malefactors. It's a fun and fast-paced ride.
The book was fun & the characters compelling, making me want to read more. Our protagonist was perhaps a little too good to be a villain, but he is our hero, and the author does address how he is similar and different from other super villains. The villain was fairly predictable, probably as a result of the small cast and short length of the tale. Too often we saw the results of action rather then action itself, when that would have been more interesting (but admittedly less mysterious). Much if the world follows the super hero tropes, which is somewhat fun, but no effort is ever given to explain why any of that is, which I would have liked
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