Enter into the wondrous world of superheroes. Do we get to read about the adventures of Kal-El from Krypton as he flies through the skies of Metropolis as Superman? Do we read about the adventures of a teenager bitten by a mutated spider as he swings from building to building on a form of webbing as Spider-Man? Do we even get to read about an archer which is not as well known that wears purple and has the same name of the lead doctor in M*A*S*H called Hawkeye? No, none of these heroes are the ones whose world we now enter.
Enter the life of a man that works a dead end job, is married to a lady making at least twice as much as he does, and has a vast collection of memorabilia from various superheroes – including massive amounts of comicbooks and videos – and plays regularly with his kids on the floor with action figures. His wife works during the day, he works at night, and they rarely see each other.
Then enter an alien symbiote. The alien symbiote gives him powers and he becomes the hero Powerhouse!
Does he use this to help save his failing marriage by revealing to her that he’s become a superhero his own self? Does he sweep his wife off of her feet?
No, and yes. He decides to play the part of the hero and sweeps her off her feet, but doesn’t reveal who he is, after all, Spider-Man and Superman didn’t reveal their identities right away to the women they loved either, right?
So as he goes about being a hero and fighting real crime, and racking up a hefty credit card bill in the process, his wife is reading a book for independent women and is considering divorce. She even goes to the office of the author of the book who just happens to also be a divorce attorney.
Meantime, one of his kids loves him very much and also likes the hero he’s become without knowing the secret, while the other kid is moving further away from him and doesn’t care for the new hero in the area. He keeps the double life a secret even from his kids, although one eventually finds out.
Enter mobsters, enter supervillains with logos of their names on their equipment, enter a space zoo that kidnaps him as a hero, enter a superhero team-up across the continent that one cannot soon forget, add the tension of this hero’s failing marriage, and you’ve got a story that you need to read to the very end.
I liked the redemptive message that occurs at the end. It really sneaks up on you and you’re not expecting it. Most of the spiritual stuff is greatly toned down with the exception of a certain preacher at the beginning which was still handled exceptionally well and not over the top at all.
I have two criticisms of the story concerning the main character, and they aren’t game killers for the novel, but are serious enough in my opinion – considering the main character – to mention here.
The main character is supposed to be this authoritative knowledge about superheroes and comicbooks and movies of superheroes and all of that. Supposedly, this is set in the modern age even though it has a lot of old time feel to it.
Why is it that most of the time he talks about superheroes this character is only harping on the ones that most anyone would know of even if they didn’t buy comicbooks or watch the movies? Who hasn’t heard of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, and some others like them? Why not talk about characters like Speedball, Nightwing, Deadman, Hawkeye, the Beyonder, Savage Dragon, Bloodshot, and others that would have really shown that the main character really was an authority on such matters and would have been great Easter Eggs for those of us that have been collecting comicbooks a long time our own selves?
Also, if he knows so much about comicbooks, why is it when he was in a fight situation where he was told what to expect and what to do before the fight, why didn’t he recognize what was going on as it was so similar to what had occurred to Matt Murdock’s dad? Matt Murdock is the blind man that became Daredevil. Some reading this may only know the Ben Affleck film, but for comicbook lovers, that character is just as big as Spider-Man and was created at the same time by the same creator, Stan Lee.
I also have one thing about the way the story plays out that I want to mention. I didn’t like how we saw very little of the wife when there would be chapter after chapter of him going around as a superhero. Of course, this may have been there to indicate where his priorities were and I’ll grant the authors that, but as a reader I was wanting to see how certain decisions that had been made in earlier chapters were going to be resolved or if not resolved, show me that. It was clear that they are having marital problems and what direction she is going with her decisions, but there was a lot left to such a degree of ambiguity that I would have preferred to have been clearer even if still left a bit ambiguous.
It was things like this that caused me to come out of the story when I was reading it.
That being said, I really have no other criticisms of it and thought that it was overall an excellent read.
It was a fast paced, well plotted, very engaging story that keeps you turning the pages or clicking your mouse to scroll and you can easily find yourself a few hours into it thinking you’ve only just began reading. The ending is quite satisfactory and wraps things up nicely while still leaving room for a potential sequel – which I would love to see.
My favorite line from it made it’s way to the back cover copy:
“Some relationships are built on trust and mutual respect, others are built on using someone as a pawn in a game of global domination.”
“Tales of the Dim Knight” by Adam and Andrea Graham is a book that you should read if for nothing else than to see how Elvis Presley fits into all of this. 😉
All in all, no matter what age you are, this is a good story for all. If a child is of reading age, I don’t see a problem with this story. If you are reading this to a child below the age of 10 to 13 I would say use your own judgment and decide how much you want to explain just because of the marital conflict involved. Otherwise, it really is a fun romp for any age group.
And because it’s such a good book is why I’m offering a free signed copy to whoever wins the contest I’m running. If you’ve already looked over the rules, then you know the next page is for the links, but if you haven’t read the rules yet, and if you want a personalized signed copy of this book, then you should go back to the first page.