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Prepare to Die! Paperback – 30 May 2013
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About the Author
Paul Tobin: Paul Tobin lives in Portland, Oregon, despite not having a single tattoo. He has written the adventures of Spider-Man, Batman, the Hulk, Superman and hundreds of other comic book characters, bringing a sense of realism and character to a genre filled with over-the-top action.
Top Customer Reviews
Somewhat 5 star.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
So Steve goes back to his old hometown to find Adele, the girl he loved when he was 14. He starts up a (probably really short-lived) relationship with her, hangs out with Adele’s sister and her lesbian lover, and remembers all his old superhero friends, including Paladin, Steve’s best friend and Earth’s greatest hero, and Kid Crater, the sidekick who Steve failed. Can Steve face his death with dignity? Should he fight to survive? Will he be able to save Adele when the villains find out about her?
It’s a good, fun book, full of humor, great characterization, absolutely terrifying action, at least one genuinely shocking plot twist, and a killer hook that’ll draw you in for the entire rest of the novel.
I loved the characters so much, and that’s what a good superhero novel needs. Steve is dark and conflicted… and depressed. He wanted so much to be like his best friend Paladin, and when he finds out that life isn’t all roses and glory for his friend, it breaks him pretty hard. Adele is a pretty great character, too, though I think I’ve got some quibbles about her, too. The Octagon and all the villains are amazingly scary — give deadly powers to a bunch of lunatics, and you’d get something like these guys. No wonder all the superheroes are dead.
The major quibble with this book is that it’s pretty neanderthal when it comes to women. Every woman Steve encounters, he either remarks on whether or not he wants to have sex with her — or he reminisces about previously having sex with her. Well, fine, Steve is a bit of a neanderthal anyway, right? Maybe so, but there are also a few weird things with Adele’s characterization — she apparently stayed obsessed with Steve after his accident and years-long coma, long after he’d completely disappeared from her life, to the point of becoming an alcoholic because she couldn’t stop thinking about him. That’s kinda sorta crazy, because most people get over even the worst heartbreak in time, especially heartbreak from when you were 14 years old. But the great unrealistic male fantasy is that the girl you loved and lost would still love you today, right?
But there’s a lot of stuff to love about this book. The action is scare-the-pants-off-you good — Reaver is in over his head in almost every battle, and you’re always left wondering if even his healing factor will be able to keep up with all the damage he’s taking.
It’s not at all bad, guys. Y’all should go pick it up.
So many flashbacks about so many different things. They destroyed whatever momentum the story was gaining. Every little revelation needed a flashback to add weight to it when it more often did the opposite. While some tried to add depth, especially to Steve's relationships with other characters they just don't do the job.
I also think I need to mention the women. Now as a guy part of me is puzzled that I'm going to say this but I think it needs to be said. STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING!!! The women are all sluts. Every single one. I'm not exaggerating, every female character seems to be perpetually horny. Its just ridiculous.
The book is also filled with cringe worthy corny bits. An example? Reaver has a catchphrase. Yup people it gets THAT bad. I cant recommend this book I really just cant. There are plenty of issues and combined with the book I just wish I could get my money back.
If you'd like to read a fun, fast superhero novel without the potentially offensive language and depictions I can recommend Sanderson's Steelheart (Reckoners Book 1) unreservedly.
To my surprise, I couldn't put it down.
Paul Tobin, the author, seems to have figured out that, while many comic book fans are drawn to the fights and the action and the art, some of us are drawn to what makes someone do the things heroes do, and, just as important, what makes the villains do what they do. And he's done it with grace and with style. I was surprised by how much I rooted for all of the characters. Not just the hero, but the other characters as well. I had real affection for even the minor characters, like the parents of his friend who was also a hero. They are well drawn, complete people in most cases. I wanted to meet them, to hang out with them. And I thoroughly enjoyed my time in their presence.
One important but not focal character, the sister of the love interest, was weak enough to make this a four-star review, rather than a five star, but I'd give it four and a half if I could. Even very good books have flaws, and this is a very good book. If you have ever enjoyed mainstream super-hero comics but wish the characters in them had more human development, give this a try. (Another, similar book, Seven Wonders, is not quite as satisfying, though not bad either, so if you like this, give that a try. And if you like that, DEFINITELY read this.)