Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Publisher: Amber Cove Publishing (2015)
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes
Series: Book 1 The Supervillainy Saga
Set in the imaginary Falconcrest City, superheroes, monsters, and supervillains clash and clatter together. Gary Karkofsky has delusions of grandeur, specifically of becoming the lead supervillain for the city. He was given a magical cloak that gives him formidable powers. With this new wardrobe and a small group of henchpeople, Gary has big plans for the city.
First and foremost, there is humor everywhere in this book. I love that much of the humor is told in a straight manner, the characters taking the plot seriously even as they come up with corny supervillain or superhero names. For instance, Gary’s alias is Merciless: the Supervillain without Mercy. Now wouldn’t that make you quiver in your boots? 😉
So Merciless gets on the bad side of the Malt Shop Gang when one of their own, the Ice Cream Man, is taken out in a robbery that Merciless interfered in. The plot thickens when Merciless is contacted by the police to assist in a kidnapping – the girl’s parents are rich and Merciless is poor. He’s in it for the money. However, the local superheroes don’t take kindly to Merciless’s misdeeds. That’s quite a bit on the man’s plate!
You recall that magical cloak? Yeah, well that cloak actually has a personality and likes to be called Cloak. And it likes to argue with Merciless at the most inopportune times. Ha! This often incited chuckles from me. Cloak turned out to be one of my favorite characters.
Mandy, who is Gary’s wife, doesn’t feel quite the same way about supervillainy as Gary does. In fact, you could say she’s a bit on the opposite end of the spectrum. This causes some grief and consternation for our main character, partially because he really does love his wife quite a bit. I really enjoyed that Mandy was not a toss away character and held her own throughout the story, adding to the plot and the humor. She’s got some skills herself and that adds some twists to the plot.
I was very happy to see characters of various sexual orientation in this book. Hooray! SFF needs more of this! The story wraps up well enough, with the main characters going head to head with an unexpected monster. Not everything was tied up neatly but the next installment of the series is already available, so I think enthusiastic listeners/readers like myself can just jump into that. It was really the humor that made this book excellent for me. The plot was secondary to the characters and their interactions with each other.
The Narration: Jeffrey Kafer was a great voice for Gary/Merciless. He delivered the humor in the intended dry tone which made it that much more amusing for me. As usual, he had distinct character voices for everyone and his female voices were believable.
What I Liked: The humor; supervillains unite! or not!; Cloak and his timely lessons; Mandy and her skill set; great cover art; excellent narration.
What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this book!
What Others Think: