Cline lost me with this sequel. His "Then" and "Now" storytelling from Ex-Heroes continues but it's too many POV, with ultimately irrelevant characters, and not keeping the focus on the actual superheroes and the new characters who continue to matter (I know, some of the chapters told from other characters' POVs feature those characters) is just disjointing. The book was about 75 pages longer than it needed to be and the tension with the ongoing villian sort of erupted out of nowhere without a plausible explanation, given the book's setup-- and then the whole setup kind of dissolved.
There are two more books in the series but I think I will skip them. The will-they-won't-they between St. George & Stealth is getting annoying, and the intermittent & unresolved pan-in, dissolve focus on Danielle/Cerberus' PTSD annoys me, because I'd like to see that paid real attention.
Despite theoretically strong female characters, Cline doesn't do as much with them as I'd like as just awesome women. Danielle fades into the background when she's not in the armor and becomes a career-focused drone. Bee is obsessed with sex with St. George, Stealth is obsessed with people not knowing who she is and on both playing up her sexuality/strength and avoiding St. George's schmooopy/romantic/intellectual attractions. Meh. Feminist fail, Peter Cline.
Downloaded from Google Play shop, on Nook HD+.
When the most well-drawn & sympathetic character in the book is the magical talking dog & the secondmost interesting character is the villainous magical monster who's cursed the "hero's" family for generations, you've got a characterization problem, big time.
Traditional magical fantasy tale, misunderstandings & excess pride & hubris between very different magical races, illness & healing as romantic plot devices, unbelievable turnaround by the male "hero" as he sees the title Thief with No Shadow in a new light, and too busy & rushed an ending. The magical monsters were of far more interest, the arrogant hero didn't get nearly as much comeuppance as he should have, and he got to be too much the hero through his own revelations of everyone else's romantic messes. The self-hating heroine isn't given enough backstory and we don't know enough why the interesting magical mutt knows she's a good egg when everyone, even she, thinks she's rotten. Fails the Bechdel test since all the female characters must relate back to the male "hero" in some way and have their storylines resolved by his redemption.
Outright repeated icky use of the past fact and/or future threat of rape of a woman as a plot device even if the author did turn that trope on its head in the present.
Bleh, to infinity & beyond.
From Google Play shop, read in epub, on Nook HD+.