Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thoughts on Andrez Bergen's "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?"

Here's some thoughts on a really cool novel I just finished. I'd like to start out by saying that "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?" and it's author, Andrez Bergen, were not even remotely on my radar when I picked up this book. It was really by pure chance that I ended up coming across the novel, and purchasing it. I was looking through my recommendations page on Amazon, and the striking cover design caught my eye. I went ahead and took a look at the synopsis and some of the reviews. The words dystopian, noir, and sci-fi stood out; and then I saw that it also was about superheroes. Now I love these genres, and was instantly intrigued; but I wasn't really sure what to expect, and if this would be a quality read. I purchased it anyway, and started reading about a week later. It turns out that this chance pick was a great one, as this is easily one of the most entertaining takes on the genres mentioned that I have read in recent memory. The novel adds up to much more than the sum of it's parts, and is a cracking good adventure/mystery, to boot. Although the beginning of the story can be a bit confusing, there is a perfectly simple reason for this; the protagonist has been thrust into a new environment, and being immersed in his narrative, we share in his confusion and his efforts to learn about Heropa as quickly as possible. All I can say is keep reading, because you definitely do not want to miss the rollercoaster ride that is coming! After the opening, we are slowly introduced to the players, and learn of the mystery that is happening within Heropa. Superheroes are dying, and this not at all as it should be. As the story moves inexorably along, we find that there are many things about Heropa that are not as they seem. The narrative flows seamlessly from revelation to revelation, and you will find that when you finish the story, it is not at all what you expected when you began. Experiencing this evolution is quite wonderful. Although there are many different themes explored within these pages, I'll say that the growth of the protagonist, Jack, makes for a very cool coming of age story. As I said it is just one of many themes explored, but watching Jack slowly learn to be a true hero is just pure fun. I could spend all day breaking down the different elements that exist within the story, and why I personally enjoy them; however, I don't want to spoil the fun for any new readers, so I'll cut this short. By the way, I would also recommend that you read through the glossary, acknowledgements, and afterword, once you are done reading the novel. They all contain some interesting thoughts and recommendations. All in all, this was a wonderful reading experience, and I highly recommend it.

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