Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Reviews: Superhero of the Day and The Dragon of London

 Superhero of the Day and The Dragon of London (Supervillain of the Day) by Katie Lynn Daniels

Recommended For: Ages 10 to Adult

Rating: PG (mild action violence, supervillains, and frightening images)

Despite adopting the title of “Defender” and giving his life on an almost daily basis to save complete strangers, Floyd still doesn't believe in heroes. And after breaking up with the woman who saved his life twice, he's not even sure he believes in love anymore. Into the midst of this uncertainty steps a man who defies Floyd's way of life—Brandon Reece, also known as the superhero Blue Shadow. Brandon has everything Floyd does not—courage, honor, graciousness, and a heavy dose of stupidity. He is a thorough and competent fighter, although his idealism prevents him from being very effective. Despite constantly ridiculing him, Floyd eventually admits to a grudging respect for the vigilante, but his warnings against heroism come true–and Brandon must choose between his honor and the life of his beloved.

The world has changed. It's been seven months since London was taken over by supervillains. It's been six months since their rule was broken and a shaky government reinstated. The ruins of Tower Bridge stand as a testament to that last battle, one in which the fate of the world was decided. We are all haunted by our ghosts, some more than others. Jeffry Floyd has scarcely slept since that night, but even waking he can't escape his memories. He thinks no one notices how slippery his grasp of reality is, but Joseph Adams has nightmares of his own, and isn't willing to lose his friend a second time. When the lines between good and evil becomes blurred... A new insidious presence is creeping over London, and the rumors of a dragon somewhere under the city can no longer be ignored. But Floyd's first meeting with the creature doesn't go as planned, for the monster proposes a deal as impossible as it is unthinkable—join forces with him, and he will heal Floyd's mind. ...What lengths will you go to save your soul?

A couple days ago I read the sample of the Supervillain of the Day Omnibus on Amazon and once I got to the end, asked my sister to borrow her kindle and read all the Supervillain of the Day books she had on her kindle. Unfortunately, she informed me that since she had done a review of the Omnibus, I couldn't, so I'm doing a review of what's out of Season Two. Several times while I was reading it, I felt like I was watching a BBC TV show.

Writing: 5/5
The writing has certainly improved from Supervillain of the Day Book One. While there wasn't the best character voice at the beginning, there's a lot more in the two latest ones. Or maybe I just know Floyd well enough now that it seems that way. He certainly has the best character voice. Other than that, it seemed quite superb all round.

Setting: 5/5
It all mostly happens in London. A quite nice break from most superhero fiction, which happens flawlessly in New York City, with few exceptions. However, I've been watching quite a bit of London in TV shows lately, so it's not like it was anything new. But the books felt very British. Since I've never been to London, I'm probably not the best judge, but I'd say the setting is very well done. It certainly seemed like the same London that was in Doctor Who.

Plot: 5/5
These were short stories, so it's not like the plots can be all-fired epic and complicated. But the plots were superb for the time they were told in. They were interesting and well-done.

Characters: 5/5
I got totally the wrong impression of Jeffry Floyd before I read Supervillain of the Day. I was expecting a more Spock-like character from what I had seen, and got thrown a character with craziness to rival the Doctor and the BBC Sherlock. Needless to say, I enjoyed this a lot better than I would have my expectation. And after that Season 1 climax...poor Floyd is more emotionally damaged than ever. He needs a hug. Or Kate. Or something. Speaking of Kate...she wasn't much in these two, but what she was, she was just as good as ever. Floyd needs her after that Season One climax. I also really like Kate's brother Sergeant Joseph Adams. Floyd needs him to keep him in check. And get him out of jail.

I really liked these two new additions to Supervillain of the Day. The Dragon of London is more emotional than Superhero of the Day, but I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Definitely a recommended read.

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