Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Supervillain of the Day Season One

Supervillain of the Day Season One by Katie Lynn Daniels (Omnibus Edition)

Recommended for: Ages 10 to Adult

Rating: PG (mild action violence, supervillains, and one instance of brief mild language)

All six novellas and two short stories now combined in a beautiful collector's volume with never-before-seen illustrations! Supervillain of the Day: Supervillains are wreaking havoc all over the world except in England, and Floyd must figure out why before he loses his job as a reporter. Fire and Ashes: While a human torch devastates London Floyd deals with sideshow villains and struggles to accept that he's become the city's superhero. Inspector Floyd: When a string of murders goes unsolved Floyd accuses the police of not doing their job, only to discover a master of hypnosis is behind the crimes. Supervillain Hunters, International: All the villains are leaving London for an unknown reason. Fearing a dangerous coalition Floyd and Adams pursue them all the way to the Middle-of-Nowhere, which happens to be located in Kansas, USA. Mister and the Kid: Floyd meets his match in a sixteen-year-old kid who has been assigned to keep him out of trouble. Dreams and Shadows: Floyd wakes up in the dark, alone and a prisoner, with no memory of the events leading to his capture. Supervillains of London: In the aftermath of London's most devastating supervillain attack, Adams tries to keep order while searching for Floyd. Silent Night: It's been two months since Tower Bridge, and Floyd is still having nightmares. Even Kate's return to London, just in time for Christmas, is not enough.

I'd seen stuff about Supervillain of the Day about the homeschool author community for awhile, and been interested by the popularity of it, and how much people loved Jeffry Lewis Floyd. Supervillain is written sort of as if it is a TV show, with short stories as episodes making up a season. I got the omnibus edition on kindle, so I had them all at once. It's superhero fiction that makes fun of superhero fiction without any actual superheros but plenty of supervillains and specially trained alien Jeffry Lewis Floyd to stop them. And we loves it. (Sorry, I've been in a Gollum-speech thinking mood lately.) Because of the series nature of Supervillain of the Day, I've opted to ditch our regular review structure in favor of writing a bit about each story.

Supervillain of the Day
This one sort of introduces what the series is about. It explains the supervillain outbreak on Earth, the failure to create superheroes, and then the lack of supervillains in London. Floyd, who is working as a reporter, is sent to find out the reason for the lack of supervillains. It thus introduces Sergeant Joseph Adams of Scotland Yard. Floyd's investigations reveal that there are indeed still supervillains, they're just under the control of a mastermind. Most of this one can actually be read in the Amazon preview of the omnibus edition. It's not the best of the stories, but absolutely necessary because, well, it introduces Floyd, Adams, masterminds, supervillains, and henchmen, and what you should expect from Supervillain of the Day.

Fire and Ashes
The beginning of this is what got me to really like Floyd...because it made me feel sorry for him. It explains a bit of Floyd's backstory, how he became a supervillain hunter in the first place, and how he ended up on Earth. Floyd is by this point friends with Adams, and Adams is the only one on Earth who knows who he really is, and that he is an alien, and about his regenerative nanobots, and such. The character development is deepened. Floyd is revealed to read superhero comics, though he scoffs at the unrealistic portrayal of superpowers. I especially enjoyed his comments about the Incredible Hulk. Floyd is told to write a story about superheroes when they don't exist, and strange fires keep happening about London. Floyd has a lot to do to foil Ashes, and Adams has a lot to do to deal with Floyd's odd personality.

Inspector Floyd
People keep getting murdered and there are dampening fields, which create a psychic projection that presents you with a pointless and impossible task, appearing all over. Naturally Floyd assumes supervillains. Reluctantly, Scotland Yard works with him. He's the only one who really knows what he's doing when it comes to supervillains, but even he is not immune to their powers. Inspector Floyd introduces Adams's sister Kate. I really like Kate. And she likes Floyd. Which I like. Kate adds another dimension to the blend of action and satire, and furthers the development of Floyd and Adams.

Supervillain Hunters, International
This one doesn't have as exciting a plot as the previous few, but it was still good. Sergeant Adams is on suspension because he lost important papers. It shows more of Floyd's friendship with him, what he will do to help his one friend. They have to go to the Middle-of-Nowhere, it's an actual place. And, in the process, they investigate why the supervillains are mysteriously leaving London. It wasn't what I was expecting, and was an...interesting...explanation. Did I mention it's a superhero satire? And they're in America for a significant portion of the story. I love the London setting, but I did like seeing them in America.

Mister and the Kid
An extra short story, Mister and the Kid sees Adams getting Floyd a babysitter because he thinks he's suffering a nervous breakdown. And, of course, Floyd drags his teenage babysitter into supervillain hunting. This one was interesting because it questioned the morality of Floyd thoughtlessly killing supervillains. And it sees Floyd becoming the official Supervillain Consultant of Scotland Yard. I very much enjoyed it.

Dreams and Shadows
This is where the two part finale begins. It goes back and forth between Floyd apparently captured and tortured and the events that led there. The timeline was slightly confusing, but it was a great finale, bigger than the other stories. Floyd believes Adams to be dead. Adams believes Floyd to be dead. The Telepath has Floyd, and is intent on convincing him death is his only escape and he can only have death by serving her. It felt more emotional and less satirical than past installments. It builds towards a cliffhanger, with Floyd determined to defeat an extreme supervillain himself.

Supervillains of London
I would probably say this is the best of the season. Floyd is found, but he's not the same. Kate comes back in, and is an important part of the story. It's so hard to see Floyd as he is. It is Kate who uses the brief, mild language (as I say, the word that's perfectly ordinary minus a silent letter and used in connection with beavers), but despite being very sensitive to such things, it didn't really bother me that much because of the circumstances. The ending was epic and awful and wonderful and I won't spoil it, but it was the perfect finale for the season.

Silent Night
The Supervillain Christmas special. Floyd is still dealing with the aftermath of the finale. The story is slightly disjointed, but it is written for fans of the series and who cares what the story is if we get more Floyd? As Floyd knows nothing of Christmas, it actually explains the true meaning of Christmas with a Gospel message. And with more Floyd/Kate stuff, I loved it. It left me very badly wanting more Floyd, but there is a second season...

So I've become a fan of Supervillain of the Day. I really enjoyed season one, and highly recommend it.

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