Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Bookwyrm's Review of Hero Hunter: A Superhero Gamelit Saga

Author: Darren Hultberg, Jr.

Length: 237 Pages/ 5 Hours, 53 Minutes (Audio)

Publisher: Darren Hultberg, Jr.

Release Date: August 27, 2018/ October 23, 2018 (Audio)

Narrator: J. Scott Bennett

Series: The Heroes Rising, Book 1

Genre: Superhero/GameLit

As a huge fan of J. Scott Bennett's narration, when the chance to get one of his works on AudiobookBoom came along, I jumped at it. I am also a fan of both Superheroes and GameLit as a Genre, so a mashup of the two seemed like a natural fit. After listening, I can report that it was a good call. 

On the planet of Terrax Prime, with its giant metro areas, the possibility for crime is pretty high. Fortunately, there are people with superpowers to help keep the people safe. While there are supervillains, there are also heroes, some so powerful as to seem godlike. The heroes even have checks on them, as they all work for the planetary government.

But even though there are superheroes, new supervillains always come along. Among that group is the latest threat, Hero Hunter. Merciless in his pursuit of killing superheroes, he methodically tracks and kills them, all in an effort to get to his final goal: Killing the world's greatest superhero as well as the leader of Terrax Prime's superhero development department. Managing to kill higher level heroes, he gets further towards his goal of bringing the leaders he seeks out into the open.

Unfortunately for Hero Hunter, who behind the helmet of his power armor is Aiden Grant, a Technomancer who can control technology, he hasn't exactly flown under the radar. After killing two fairly high level heroes, plans go into action at the highest levels to take him out of play. After being betrayed by someone he trusted, Aiden ends up in the holding facility for supers, cut off from his powers, and at the mercy of one of the men that caused him to become a supervillain in the first place. Managing an escape, with a small army of supervillains at his back, Aiden finally has his chance to face off with those responsible for his ultimate betrayal, with world shaking results. 

The story is a fairly basic revenge story, with a previous betrayal being the impetus for Aiden becoming Hero Hunter. That being said, it actually fit the story very well. I have seen complaints the characters are fairly two dimensional. Considering the book is about one supervillain seeking revenge on the hero community that betrayed him, I'm not sure how much character growth people can possibly expect. I found the characters fairly well rounded, with realistic motivations within their circumstances. The villains were a bit cliched, but still made for good foils for the "villain" Hero Hunter. The use of stats for each Super being readable by his armor's AI is the reason the book fits into the GameLit genre, even though it happens in the characters real world. The plotting is fast paced, and hums along nicely. The worldbuilding is decent, and gives you a good idea of what the characters have to deal wit in everyday life.

J. Scott Bennett does his usual excellent job narrating. He doesn't so much do voices as he changes tones and pitch so that each character is differentiated. his narrative pacing is excellent, and you never feel as though you are bogged down with a monotone. 

I can heartily recommend this book, whether in audio or book format. You wont be disappointed.

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