Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: How To Kill A Superhero (Books 1 and 2)

The paperback covers

Something a little different today. A book review. Books? Wait. What? Where are the GIF's of sexy wrestlers? ARGH!

Yes, I'm reviewing a book. Two, in fact.

As this is primarily a long-story blog, I figure a lot of you are readers, like me. While my stories might be best-described as a "super-sexy wrestling soap opera" (thanks Sean), it's really a bunch of chapters in some huge-ass novels. Route 69 alone would be over 700 pages as a book.

Now, for my more visual readers, I have included images of some hot guys here. They are inspired by some of characters of the books. They're my take on the look and costumes, perhaps not exact and not necessarily actual scenes from the book.


So, why this series and these two books?

Uh, it's called 'How to Kill a Superhero'. Do I need to say more? The title definitely caught my attention. Add the fact that it's billed as a gay-oriented story around superhero roleplay and bondage and it was an easy sell. Now, I wasn't really sure what to expect other that that, but the books were like $2.99 for my Kindle, so it wasn't really a big deal.

The Kindle covers

H2KAS by Pablo Greene is actually a four-book series. Only the first two are out now, 'A Gay Bondage Manual' and 'World Without Daylight'. They follow the adventures of shy, unassuming comic book fan Roland, a nurse who's recovering from a life-threatening, life-changing event. One thing leads to another and he gets involved in some big things he doesn't understand.

Not to make this about me, but superhero roleplay is something that I have some personal experience with, so I was excited to see how Greene handled it. The series so far has definitely stirred up some positive reactions from me on a visceral, emotional level. Are there flaws? Sure. But in the end, I'm sold on the series and eagerly awaiting the final two books.

Yeah, H2KAS has grabbed me
as hard as Nathan grabs Roland

H2KAS is engaging, suspenseful and often sexy as hell. Based solely on the title, I expected something completely different than what it is. I figured it would be a book about using bondage to break a superhero, similar to so many stories out there, but it's not. It's not all superhero-bondage and sex, although there's a fair amount of that.

While H2KAS is actually working across several genres, if you're into gay superhero-themed stories, I'm pretty sure it'll work for you. I was worried on how you could stretch a title like How to Kill a Superhero into four books, but there's enough story here to sustain the series. We're only halfway through and mysteries still abound.

The only major down point over the two books is the editing. I know my stories are rife with typos, but I'm not charging you and I don't have an editor. It can make for tricky reading at times, but only a couple of mistakes in the books really distracted me, like Dale being called Todd. Still, it makes it feel more like fan-fiction than professionally-published novel. I'd love to see the editing tightened up in books three and four.

So let's dig into each book a little deeper ...

Book One: A Gay Bondage Manual

Now, this is not actually a gay bondage manual. In fact, I think it would be advisable to NOT even attempt some of the things depicted in the book. The title is based on a book within the book. The bondage elements can be fantastical, but they capture (no pun intended) the spirit of superhero-bondage roleplay really well.

They're very hot and generally clearly described. Similar to my descriptions of wrestling moves, there can be times where it's clear in the author's mind, but tough for the reader to figure out exactly where limbs are. However, it's pretty impressive that the vast majority of it is quite easy to follow.

One of Roland's comic book heroes, The Fighter

I don't want to give too much away, but the book really switches paths along the way. I've never read 50 Shades of Gray or seen the movie, but the book starts out as what I imagine a gay superhero 50 Shades would be like as Roland gets introduced into the world of bondage. It's erotic and engaging, immersing me into the adventure. At this point, I was figuring this was exactly what I thought it would be.

Nathan

Just as you get settled, though, 'A Gay Bondage Manual' takes a few curves and you end up spinning off into elements of muscle-growth fetish, Dean Koontz, DaVinci Code and Bourne Identity type plot points. There may be better reference points, but these are ones I know and I figure are widely known.

The book works hard as an introduction to lay out the story, move the pieces into place and captivate you with a sexy, mystical, sci-fi-type mystery. The advantage of a novel, especially a four-book series, is that you have so much time to play. You can establish the characters, setting, mood, so much more deeply than in a short story.

In this case, I actually wish there was more narrative set during a shorter timeframe. The novel jumps long periods where we're told things have happened, but we can't feel the events or the relationships we're told about. It feels like it would've been more impactful if Roland experienced everything in more of a whirlwind, rather than over months and months. As a consequence, I never really feel the intensity of his relationship with Nathan.

All this resulted in me realizing that a lot happens to Roland, but I don't think I really ever care about him, much less understand him or his motivations. He and most of the people around him never feel quite real, especially as they react to one of the big character changes. I couldn't quite suspend disbelief with how it's handled.

Still, in the end, the pieces are in place and I was intrigued enough to go to book two.

Book Two: World Without Daylight

The first book serves its purpose, but it's the first third of 'World Without Daylight' where the series hits its stride for me. I think it's spectacular. It's more focused and much tighter. As a result, Roland finally comes into his own and a fantastic secondary character is introduced.

The situation Roland finds himself in is fiction-perfect, but real enough based on my own experiences that I was like, 'yes, yes, yes!' It's incredibly intense and stimulating. It's wonderfully erotic and you do NOT want to be reading it in public.

Philosopher's Stone bound


Philosopher's Stone at the mercy of his arch-nemesis Oberon

Like its predecessor, World Without Daylight plays in multiple genres, this time moving from erotic to horror to a sci-fi thriller.

The Crimson Hand is scary

As I said, the plot moves fast, with only a couple of dalliances, but they serve the plot. At times, things are confusing and conflicted, but it's because Roland is confused and conflicted. There are times when I wanted things to go differently, but I get why they just couldn't. I was riveted and drawn in, because I finally cared about Roland and what he was going through. Any time you're like, 'No, don't do that!' when reading a novel, that's a damn good sign.

Overall, halfway through the series, it's fun, erotic and intense. I recommend checking it out. As a superhero fetish novel, it hits a lot of the right buttons then builds on it with the larger storyline. In fact, it's more than the sum of its parts. As I said, my reaction is more visceral than logical. My recommendation is more about how I felt reading it than any in-depth objective analysis. And by the time you're a few pages into World Without Daylight, you feel the story, which I think is a win.

To find out more or buy the book, visit Amazon, howtokillasuperhero.net or just click HERE.

Okay, that's my first-ever book review. You probably know I'm all about comments. Read H2KAS? What did you think? Want to read it? Why? Why not? How'd you like the review? Did it tell you enough without spoiling anything?

Let's have a book club moment in The Cave ... the little comment box is just waiting for you and it'll only take a couple of seconds to type in there.

Alex

6 comments:

  1. This was a nice surprise! I didn't think I'd see The Cave Book Club, but it really works well!

    I've never seen this series before, but I have heard passing mentions of it online. It sounds pretty intriguing, and while I'm not super into BDSM, I could certainly get into it when it's superhero-themed. Very nice review, man. :)

    Since I can't resist Iceman Blue's art, there's one gay superhero Kindle book I bought some time back, but haven't managed to sit down and read it all (at my computer; I don't have a Kindle itself): The Defeat of Paragon Lad at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M7IBKYS

    Thanks for the review! Very informative and has my interest piqued!

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    1. Thanks! I wasn't sure about doing it. I even googled how to write a book review, but the first few articles were kind of boring so I just did it my own way.

      I'll have to check that book out. I like Iceman Blue's art, as well. It's so fun and bubbly, even when the subject is serious.

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  2. Alex R:

    Very cool review of a book! Im totally in favor of these so we can have access to material that we might not know about. In the case of "How To Kill A Superhero" I had already taken a gander at the previews, perhaps a couple of years back or so, but forgot to purchase it. I guess I should take a look! Anyways love your artwork! Im in the team that like both the artwork and the writing! We are living in such good times with all the hunks and great photography plus, the digital manipulations that bring them t life. Combine that with the story concepts and great writing and its pure delicious magic!

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    1. Glad you liked it! I would actually love a few official pics in H2KAS with images of the main costumes mentioned. I guessed on a lot of the details.

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    2. Alex R:

      Thats one of the reasons your stories are so good. I still remember the El PASO story in which Beau show Ben the DVD from the Cave! I thought that was genial and super cool! Also the one with Guardian agaisnt Bane, and him tied up. That was freaking hot and amazing. That one story had a mix of different art work that was very powerful. Its like fireworks for me and I bet for alot of your readers. Its details like those that make stories come alive.

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  3. Alex R:

    HAHA. I just noticed the butt plug on Philosopher's Stone ass. HAHA Hilarious. and the Fighter...UFFFF, DAMN PURE HOTNESS RIGHT THERE! The Cave is calling him!! Come to us!! Lol. the Crimson Hand is one crazy MOFO. Between the eyes and hands, its very creepy stuff!

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