This was recommended to me by a friend/collegue and I listened to the audiobook on the way to and back from a 3 day trip to a theme park. It’s not exactly what you’d call ‘high literature’, but it was perfect to pass away the boring hours spent on Europe’s highways.

World Building

What would happen if superheroes were common? And what would happen if their ‘job’, aka saving the world from evil, was privatized ? That’s exactly the world in which this takes place, and given today’s overload of superhero movies, it’s not a far-fetched idea.

Alexander Kane sets up the whole economy of the thing, and it actually makes a lot of sense, so kudos for that.

Characters

When 99% of your characters are either super-heroes or super-villains, it takes some effort to make the non-super stand out, but luckily Andrea Vernon manages this just fine, by being the best damn administrative assistant one could wish for.

Story

The story is quite simple, but that’s not the goal of this novel. The humor is in the characters and in the writing, the story is just there to provide a vehicle for that. For what it’s worth, we follow Andrea Vernon who responds to the weirdest job ad ever and stumbles into the world that is corporate rent-a-super-hero. After initial struggles to fit into the job, we roll ahead and get a glimpse of inter-corporate politics and a possible extinction level event in the form of a giant egg.

It does touch a bit on the political side of the “corporate efficiency” vs “government administration morass” and I wish this part would have been delved out a bit more, since it’s actually quite an interesting discussion to have.

Writing

This novel is supposed to be a humorous tack on the superhero-genre and it takes the whole superhero-naming thing especially in its crosshairs, using extra long and complicated names for each one and then repeating them at verbatim and ad nauseum over and over again. This works most of the time, as a running gag, but it does tend to get old in the end. Speaking of “getting old in the end”, there’s plenty more jokes that get repeated over and over, not just the super hero names, that’s just the most obvious.

Apart from that, the writing is sound, but not very complicated and posesses enough dry witty humor to make it pleasant.

Conclusion

I’ve had quite a few laughs with this, and at 8h of audio, it was perfect to kill the time. It was light, funny and easy to follow. 3.5 stars.

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