Saturday, January 25, 2014

Here's one of my earliest reviews, on Richard Lee Byers' first entry in The Imposter series.

The latest entry by Richard Lee Byers, "The Imposter#1:Half a Hero" is just pure fun. The overall premise is that Earth is suddenly invaded by insect-like aliens, and our greatest superheroes go down en masse. Who's left to pick up the pieces? Ordinary humanity, and in particular one man who needs to reach down deep and find the hero inside himself. He finds himself a reluctant recipient to two of the late heroes items of power. The set up of superheroes vs. aliens is something I would happily read in my favorite pulp magazine, but the key is pulling away the security blanket at the outset. This gives the characters no choice but to try to work together to survive. Is Matt Brown (the main character) making all the right choices? Maybe, maybe not; but his transformation into a leader is enjoyable reading. His alter ego of Dr. Umbra is a very cool character, which reminds me of The Shadow, amongst others. I'm not saying this is derivative in any way, just that it hits all the right notes, and reminds me of classic characters. As the story progresses, superpowered villains are introduced. They, of course, have been keeping their heads down, and are now trying to figure out a way to turn the situation to their advantage. When, and how, will they turn on Matt? This is a very well written, well constructed, and engaging piece by Mr. Byers. Is it short? Yes, but that did not interfere with my enjoyment of the story. Instead, it left me eager for the further adventures of The Imposter. I mean, really, it's 99 cents. Take a chance, buy the book, and enjoy.

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