Mar. 13th, 2012

maverick_weirdo: (Book Love)
In this story it is the year 2013 and super hero teams are like Major League Sports teams. While hero teams are government funded (to handle threats to big for police) that only covers about half the costs. The other half comes from corporate sponsors. Each team has a business office which is very concerned with public relations, team ranking, new costumes, contract negotiations and the spring Supers Draft when members of the teen leagues turn pro.

Of course not everyone makes it onto an official hero team. Some hire themselves out as private security, some become mercenaries or villains, and some choose to operate independently, fighting the crimes too “small” for the hero teams. These independent operators are the Vigilantes. Most people view them as “hero wanabees” with either powers too weak to join an official hero team, or no powers and just enough training and gadgets to make them dangerous.

This book takes place in an alternate history with a significant amount of backstory. Apparently sometime in the early to mid-twentieth century (when our world was fighting World War One and/or Two) the earth was taken over by aliens. Humanity prevailed but some alien tech was left behind (including some captured alien scientists) and mutants happen, but all of that was many decades in the past.

The primary focus is The West Pacific Supers, whose base is on West Pacific Island, off the coast of California (which I am assuming is Not-Catalina Island). At the start of the book they are ranked #6 in the West Coast Conference, and have spot #5 in the Supers Draft to pick a new team member. Unfortunately there is a bit of undercurrent in the team because two senior team members each want to pick someone they can train to be their replacement, so they can retire. An unexpected attack changes all those plans.

I enjoyed this book very much, and once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. The humor in the book is ironic without going all the way into satire. The characters are well thought out and believable. There are a dozen supporting characters that are as interesting as the West Pacific Supers themselves. I look forward to the next book.

Fans of the “Velveteen vs.” stories by Seanan McGuire, or “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty should read this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free in return for agreeing to write a review.

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December 2012

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