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In Hero Years... I'm Dead by Michael A.…
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In Hero Years... I'm Dead

by Michael A. Stackpole

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632287,782 (3.66)5
In Hero Years... I'm Dead is New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole's first Digital-Original novel.Twenty years ago someone stole him away from Capital City. Having been released from captivity he returns to find everything changed. The great heroes of his day, men who could move planets or tear apart criminal syndicates, have all retired. A new breed of hero has sprung up to deal with a perplexingly new brand of villain. It's a world that makes no sense, and a world which, if he persists in playing the hero, will surely see him dead.In Hero Years... I'm Dead mixes action, dark humor, satire and strong characters into a thrilling page-turner. It's superheroes facing challenges both in costume and out, battling a cunning enemy bent on destroying all they have worked so hard to preserve.The Deluxe Edition of In Hero Years... I'm Dead includes a long essay about the story's genesis and the author's process in writing it. It's full of insights about the labors of producing a novel and is a rare chance to look behind the scenes at how a book comes together.… (more)

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A self-published original universe superhero novel that's really very good. Helps quite a bit that Stackpole can write. It's a good read, interesting plot, likeable characters, and a really interesting take on a setting. My only complaint? Chapter breaks (at least at the beginning) that don't wrap up a scene/event. Next chapter begins literally right where the last one left off. Yes, this is an odd complaint. Feel free to ignore it. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Mar 21, 2017 |
My Blurb: The rules used to be simple: bad guys broke the law and super heros kicked their asses. But that's all changed, now. When a used-to-be up-and-coming super hero returns after a mysterious twenty-year absence, he finds a world where master criminals post their fiendish plots online, heros bid for the right to oppose them, and the public follows it all in a complex Franken-merger betting scheme that is one part stock market, one part reality TV empire, and all kinds of crazy. But when Mr. Big destabilizes the entire system and threatens to bring Capital City to its knees, only our washed up used-to-be hero can save the day. If he can just convince everyone that he himself is not Mr. Big.

My Review: Make yourself a score-card, you're going to need it. Everyone you are going to meet has at least two names, possibly three: hero names, alter egos, and some even lead a complex life with multiples of each. A knowledge of comic book hero lore is not required, but frankly, if you're not into DC, Marvel and the rest, you probably won't like this, either.

Told in a first-person, noir style, this satirical take on pop culture moves at a frenetic pace from start to finish, with precious little down time along the way. In the end, it was a bit too frenetic for my tastes. It's trying to be too many things at once: a whimsical "what if comic books were real" tale, an exploration of the roots of heroism and civic responsibility, a commentary on our media-drenched culture, a broken family drama. Too many characters, too many agendas, and too many plot twists have all been crammed into a non-stop plot line, where none of the themes get enough page-time to resonate fully, which left me breathless and disoriented. It teased and tempted me a dozen different ways, but never gave enough of any one thing to satisfy me. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
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