Book Review: Super

Super by Ernie Lindsey

"Every hero's journey has a beginning, middle, and end...I am that end."

A world mourning a fallen superhero.

A president targeted for assassination.

A conspiracy that runs deeper than anyone expects.

Leo Craft is the best at what he does; he assassinates superheroes, but only the ones who deserve it. Life is good, simple, until an ultra-secretive government agency hires Leo to execute two impossible tasks: eliminate the world's foremost superhero, Patriotman, and hunt down a fellow assassin whose target is the President of the United States.

When everyone wears a mask, trust is hard to come by - and even the elusive truth can be caught in a web of lies.


If there is one theme in fantasy that is well represented in modern fiction be it TV or comics or books is the superhero theme. If you analyze most of these stories, it often comes down to one thing: a superhero or team therefore that set out to save planet Earth or the universe itself from destruction. I have read one great spin off from the superhero theme the Wild Card universe of George R.R. Martin, the other spin off is Super, this book. Using superheroes leaves a lot for the author own interpretation and Super caught my attention by the one sentence: "Leo Craft is the best at what he does; he assassinates superheroes, but only the ones who deserve it." A protagonist who assasinates superheroes. How. Cool. Is. That!

The first thing that I do have to mention is that Super isn't a book focused on flashy superhero power display. Instead Ernie Lindsey weaves a powerful story about a deadly political game that's being played by some powers from higher up. 

The story of Super picks up with the direct focus on our superhero assassin Leo Craft. Not with seeing him in any way of action but more recounting some past memories of how he got where he is right now. From these past moments you switch back to a present day storyline where you see Leo attending a special meeting a superhero assassin's meeting, where encounters are being discussed and boasted on how things went down. You can directly see that Leo isn't really feeling comfortable with his "colleagues" other superheroes take credit for his work... Leo sits their because he has to. Soon Leo explains that he has two tasks, first is to eliminate the world's most renown superhero: Patriotman and second to identify which of he fellow superheroes plans to assassinate the President of the United States. The first part of the story is basically the build up towards these two important plot lines, after Leo gets his two tasks and the story stays most in the present day, the book picks up a more rapid pace. In his mission, Leo visits some old acquaintances that help him along the way, like his ex-wife a fellow superhero. On thing that becomes apparent as you follow Leo's story is the fact that he has a history and he must be hiding some information. But who doesn't have secret's right? It's only after the first half of the book that one BIG thing, yes i am telling something major is revealed that will leave you a bit slack jawed. I tell you, it's a pretty cool plot twist. I have to remain very cryptic about the storyline, it will spoil to much. As I already said the ending of Super is a great rapid fire action, some superpowers become apparent but it more focused on a the characters and their motivation than being super strong or fast or blasting flames and saving the day.

In Super Ernie Lindsey has gone where no author has ventured before in terms of using superheroes in this way, I do have to say I that I was expecting superhero showdown type of story with an assassin of said persons, though Super was different I still very much enjoyed the story. Actually come to think of it, it really is one-of-a-kind, the focus is on the characters and the human side of it. Normally you see a strong division of superheroes and their nemesis, but what if you take just normal humans? What is good and what is evil? These elements are also explored in Super and readily offer a much more deeper and provocative storyline than just simple superhero bashing. Great stuff. 

I am always a bit hesitant when it comes down to the writing style and narration that is used in self-published book (sorry but I read a few horrid ones), but I couldn't find any fault in Super, Ernie Lindsey is a USA today bestselling author and this has to be owed to something, doesn't it? The writing style is clear and to the point, Ernie Lindsey known when to hold on to a moment to make it last and elaborate on it or when to introduce some rapid fire action scenes to thrown his story in an upped pacing, and afterwards letting it slow down an recount several events. It's not something that you see often but it is definitely high quality. Added to this comes the narration of the book. Here Ernie Lindsey has chosen to use the first person perspective of Leo Craft, our superhero assassin. Since Super, revolves around his personal dealings opting for this narration instead of a third person/ birds eye view perspective makes several elements such as emotion only come out that much better. 

As for the characters of Super, most of the focus is on Leo himself and how he goes about planning and executing his next two missions. Even though the setting of the book is pretty dark at times, Ernie Lindsey introduces a lot of humor in Leo's character to brighten up the day a couple of times. Mainly this is due to scenes involving his ex-wife where he casually reflects upon several parts that caused their relation to hit a few bumps. In the beginning I did find it hard to relate to Leo since you are presented with direct picture of his character, but after the introduction and with Leo himself getting more loose you clearly see the human aspect that Ernie Lindsey wanted to introduce and this combined with the "struggles" that Leo has to go through makes him much more relatable. Especially given the fact with the big plot twist, yes still not saying what it is. Besides Leo as the main protagonist there are several secondary characters that you read about, and though their personalities and characteristics are being told from Leo's perspective you still get to learn much about them, nestling them nicely into the story of Super

Super is a terrific read, Ernie Lindsey steers away from the common rules of superhero fiction and goes his own way in a big and bold way and trust me it pays off to the fullest. Having an special agent that hunts down superheroes that don't fit in the "perfect picture" any longer, that's just awesome in my opinion. I was in for a big surprise, storywise, as Ernie Lindsey doesn't write one big flashy showndown of superheroes but focuses more on provocative aspects such as human morals and standards and appealing to some higher motives, this isn't something that I have encountered before. Super has enough plot twists to keep you guessing right until the end and don't think it will be a simple cross or double crosses but the betrayals run very deep! The only problem that Super has is that it is over to soon. Ernie Lindsey ends his story with an open ending and in the interview I did with him he has already mentioned that a sequel is in the making. With Super, Ernie Lindsey has definitely brought a fresh and exciting new take ob the superhero theme.

Comments

  1. This sounds very cool. I've found some of the recent superhero novels to be very hit or miss, with too much of the big visuals lost in the translation, but I like the concept here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bob! That was exactly what I had. I think in the wake of Marvel movie after movie I have become a bit disenchanted with the superhero theme. BUT Ernie adds a whole new pack of fresh wind to it! I think you will enjoy this one :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts