Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: Supervillainy #1
Published by Amber Cove Publishing on 23 October 2015
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
Genres: Humor, Superheroes
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Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown's resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion's magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy. But is he evil enough to be a villain in America's most crime-ridden city? Gary soon finds himself surrounded by a host of the worst of Falconcrest City's toughest criminals. Supported by his long-suffering wife, his ex-girlfriend turned professional henchwoman, and a has-been evil mastermind, Gary may end up being not the hero they want but the villain they need.
©2015 C. T. Phipps (P)2015 Amber Cove Publishing and C.T. Phipps
Rules of Supervilliany surprised me by how good it is. I started it on 3 July and finished it the same day. It was so good that I immediately spent a hard-earned Audible credit that I had been hoarding for another book and bought the sequel, Games of Supervilliany, and started/finished it 4 July… Darn you, Mr Phipps, for your insidious but ingenious plan to steal my credits!
“Rules” follows Gary Karkofsky who has just been mysteriously gifted with a cloak that bestows powers to its wearer. The cloak previously was worn by the city’s protector and signature super hero, but Gary has no interest in taking up the mantle of superhero. In fact, because of events in his past, he relishes the opportunity to be a supervillain and names himself “Merciless, the supervillain without mercy” and proceeds to establish himself as the city’s premier supervillain. He acquires a supervillain sidekick, Diablo, who is past his prime, to serve as his mentor and guide in how to best become the supervillain he envisions and a henchwoman, a former girlfriend he has history with. Merciless is soon battling superheroes and supervillains and there is never a dull moment in the book. Along the way, a lot of time and attention is spent on his relationship with his wife and we are filled in on the backstory of Gary and his motivations to be an unrepentant bad-guy.
This is a funny book/audiobook. Lots of witty banter, over-the-top situations, and (purposefully) stereotypical overly dramatic monologues by both villains and heroes. There are many laugh-out-loud moments and I was highly entertained by the exploits and interactions of the characters. At 6 hours and change, the book is a little short, but, as I found out the next day with the 6 hour audiobook sequel “Games of Supervilliany”, “Rules” is just part one of a seamless two part story. If you get “Rules of Supervilliany”, be prepared to spend a credit for the sequel because it ends on a cliffhanger.
The excellent narration by Jeffrey Kafer contributed significantly to the overall experience of “Rules”. He was exceptional at portraying the “snarkiness” of the characters and completely owned the main protagonist, Gary. This is one of those rare audiobooks where the perfect narrator/portrayer for that particular book was chosen.
Bottom Line: This is a supervillain story in the vein of the Jim Bernheimer’s “D-List Supervillain” series. If you enjoyed that one, then you will get your supervillain fix filled with “Rules”. I enjoyed the adventures of Merciless and I think you will too.
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