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review 2016-03-31 02:32
A Dystopian Fantasy/SF hybrid that doesn't quite know what to do with itself
Heroes and Villains: Pawn in the Game - Tara R

I'm not really sure where to start with this, to tell you the truth. Tara R has put a lot of effort into this, there's clearly an ambitious story she's wanting to tell. Sadly, she's not the kind of writer (yet?) who can pull it off.


She has a hard enough time pulling off basic grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, much less a consistent voice and created culture. I'd given up on this thing by the end of chapter three, but was willing (and eager) for her to win me back -- it's been done before. It's been done in the last week, but this novel just isn't capable of it.


I'd try to describe the book a little, but I'm not sure I can -- it's a dystopian fantasy, a world full of despots using their subjects as cannon fodder. There's magic, to a degree, there's widespread suffering and abuse, there's an idealistic revolutionary or two -- but no golden age to hearken back to. Just an idea (with no observable origin) that the world could be better. But there's no one on this world that's ever seen a better world, so why they'd think there is one is beyond me.


That said, various people -- royalty and commoners both, have senses of humor, moments of joy and joking, and even non-royals get dressed in tuxedos (because what epic fantasy doesn't have guys in tuxes?). In fact, for a dytopian world, it frequently doesn't seem that bad -- except for the people talking about how horrible it is all the time. Again, there's no basis for them to think so given that this is the way the world has always worked.


The various governmental entities, secret societies, and would-be insurrections just don't make sense. Their operation isn't coherent (nor do they fit the setting), their goals are confusing -- and then you get the totally out of the blue and bizarre lecture on DNA and I just gave up. This is a barely educated society, and sure, our protagonist is founding secret schools all over the place, but it's a mighty big leap to go from an agrarian-based culture in a near-constant state of war with only underground schools to people casually discussing genetic manipulation.


Could I have tried harder to understand everything? Maybe -- but I was really searching for something to hold on to, I tried pretty hard. But other than curiosity, there was no reason to -- there's not a single character interesting enough to keep you going, to make you care whether they live, die, or are never mentioned again in any way by the author.

It is simply, and perhaps too bluntly, a disappointing mess.


I'm giving it two stars because I didn't actively hate it. Also, I do think that there's something buried deep down here that's worth looking at, and I really do think that in Tara R's mind, this all makes sense -- she's clearly put the time and thought into it. But she just did not get that to the page. If you're willing to put in the work, you might find the nuggets. But I wouldn't recommend spending your time on it, it's just not worth it.


<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I was provided with a copy of this by the author in exchange for an honest review, she hopefully doesn't regret that exchange too much.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2016/03/30/heroes-and-villains-pawn-in-the-game-by-tara-r
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review 2014-03-03 00:00
Even Villains Fall In Love (Heroes and Villains #1)
Even Villains Fall In Love (Heroes and Villains #1) - Liana Brooks I'm really torn about this book. I thought the premise sounded so great, but I was a bit disappointed in the book. For me, it was too short, which translated into a lot of world building being lost. I know that it was set within the past 5 years, but I couldn't tell you where it was set or why superheroes and supervillains needed to be registered with the government. It listed a lot of superheroes, but the only villain mentioned by name was Doctor Charm, who was also our "host" for the book. I approached this book with [a:Jennifer Estep|580315|Jennifer Estep|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1264385515p2/580315.jpg]'s Bigtime series in mind, where she had went to the trouble of describing her fictional city in a lot of detail, and a good portion of the heroes she mentioned had an arch-nemesis that she was mentioning in the same or next sentence. I did like how things ended in this book, especially the twist at the end, so it redeemed the book from a 2 star rating, enough that I'd be willing to take a chance on the next book in the series.
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photo 2013-10-04 14:32
Even Villains Go To The Movies

Cover reveal for Even Villains Go To The Movies!


Don't you love the cover?


When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.

Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.

Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.

But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.


Coming November 15th from Breathless Press

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review 2013-01-15 00:00
Heroes and Villains - Angela Carter The forgettable story of a couple savages in a postapocalyptic world.
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review 2012-04-11 00:00
Even Villains Fall In Love (Heroes and Villains #1) - Liana Brooks Fun, quirky and zany with a great take on the Superhero and villans trope with a twist! I loved that the pov was with the villain, Evan aka as Dr Charm who is deeply in love with his superhero wife, Tabitha aka as Zephyr Girl. But his plans for world domination on the sly and his comfortable domestic bliss with his family is on the rocks when Tabitha starts to distance herself from them. With his minions and precocious quads who love to get into trouble too - Evan is on a mission to save his marriage, rule the world and make sure his girls don't wreck his basement!This was such a fun fun fun story - although it was a tad too short and I would have loved to see more on how he met his wife and more heat between them (there's a lot of mental lusting going on heh) - I would also have liked to see more of this world, because it was engaging and funny and I adored the riff on the whole superhero/comic tone! Evan was such a delightful and witty character and he was such a hilarious narrator. If you want a quick and funny read - I highly recommend Even Villains Fall in Love because it was such a great twist on comic book characters!
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