What A Collection
5 out of 5 stars
I can’t put into words how much I love this series – but I do have reviews of all three books that are full of lots of words. Gary is such a fun and interesting character. I loved getting to know him and these first three are excellent.
A Near Perfect Story
So, as much of a fan of C.T. Phipps work as I have been, I have absolutely no idea why I wanted so long to pick this one up. I guess since I don’t consider myself a huge comic book, superhero, or fantasy nerd but reading through this book in a couple days tells me that maybe I am more than I thought.
Phipps tells a story about Gary, an average guy in a great marriage who becomes a Supervillain pretty much by chance. He turns into “Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy” (yes he knows it redundant) and with his trusty sidekick… or I guess fashion accessory Cloak they try to do evil but get stuck in the middle.
I love the idea of an anti-villain similar to an anti-hero. Gary brings this up somewhere near the end of the book when trying to figure out what the hell he is. He’s a Supervillain and he’s very proud of that, but he ends up doing more good than harm it seems.
Gary and Cloak were two of the funniest characters I’ve heard in a while. Their snarky attitudes and constant back and forth (to the confusion and dismay of those around them) had me in stitches. Funny story, the last character I thought to be this funny was also a Phipps creation, Jane Doe.
To drag on probably too long about the amount this book is funny – Phipps is able to write these character as snarky but also extremely real. I’m a real smartass in real life and I relate to them more than I expected to. The things that they think and say out loud are real reaction that a real person would have in the extreme situations they would be put in. I think that’s why I enjoy them so much.
Knowing that I’m not a comics book person, this book was fantastic. It was the perfect quick story that I needed to make this week go by just a bit faster.
Of course, throw in Jeffrey Kafer’s narration (especially the overly snarky parts) and you have a winner. Kafer is able to perform these seemingly over-the-top characters perfectly and do it in a way that always puts a smile on my face while listening.
The benefit of starting this series so late is that I get to read them almost back to back without missing any more of the story!
Merciless: The Affable Antihero
Games of Supervillainy is a little bit more serious than the first book but when I say that, understand that you aren’t going to wonder if someone else wrote it. Games has all of the typical jest and tongue-in-cheek humor that you’re used to from a Phipps novel.
Know that you’re also in for rooting for the antihero again. Who would have thought that Phipps would write a whole series about an antihero? Merciless is such an affable main character that he’s so easy to like. Even if he’s trying to convince himself and everyone around him that he’s really a bad guy.
There is a scene where Merciless is given the opportunity to talk with his dead brother for one hour (I’m trying not to spoil the reason behind this meeting) but know, if you’ve lost someone, especially someone you were close with – this scene will bring back all the feels. I had to stop listening to the audiobook just to give myself some time to contemplate. I was trying to think of what I would give up to have an hour to chat with Chad – and know that it’s only a part of this story but it really kicked me right in the feels.
Just know that you’re in for a treat when you start Games – especially if you enjoyed the first one as much as I did. We’re, of course, introduced to some new heroes and villains – along with the typical cast and crew that were around in book one. The new and old characters all add to the story and help shape the world and the growth arc of Merciless.
Overall, another home run from me – another superhero/antihero/villain book that I loved from Phipps – and a perfect lead into book three in the series. I loved this and will be starting the next book sooner rather than later.
The sign that these books are great is that they would easily be turned into a graphic novel. They are written in a way that would lend them perfect for that format – but I will be a little elitist and say that the audiobook is the way to go! A 4.5 in over 2000 ratings tells you that you’re in for a treat!
Book Three Might Be My Favorite So Far…
There are two things that I love about this series. One is the humor and sardonic way that Phipps writes. He’s able to write these characters, supervillains, heroes, and other random people who just absolutely crack me up. The interaction between Cloak and Merciless always have me rolling. Especially when they are having a non-silent convo that others can hear.
The second thing that I like is the antihero overarching storyline. Merciless considers himself to be a Supervillain, but… if you’re three books into this series, you know that he’s not. Sure, he’s not the best superhero perse, but he’s easily got to be one of the worst supervillains. The best part about this is that it tugs are your feelings a bit. You kind of want him to be bad but it’s also extremely satisfying when he’s good.
Phipps is able to write this in such a way that each book feels different but also the same. It’s that your bed after you travel kind of comfort. You just fall right back into it.
Sometimes I dive into the storyline, but in this one, know that Gary is challenged again. Merciless is forced to choose between good and evil and finds a way to be good… while being evil in some roundabout way. And that there are both old and new Supers included.
Of course, the narration by Jeffrey Kafer just tops it off. He’s able to give the dry and witty banter of Merciless and pretty much everyone around him in such a way that it’s even funnier than Phipps’ writing. He takes the already excellent book and makes it even better.
An absolute blast from beginning to end The Secrets of Supervillainy might be one of my favorites in this series. There were some (not overly done) damsel-in-distress parts that Phipps was able to do in such a way that it didn’t feel like it was pandering.
The Supervillainy Saga, Volume One by CT Phipps
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
Series: The Supervillainy Saga #0.5
Published by Crossroad Press on March 22nd 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller
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Also by this author: Cthulhu Armageddon, Agent G: Infiltrator, The Tower of Zhaal, Lucifer's Star
Also in this series: The Rules of Supervaillainy, The Games of Supervillainy, The Secrets of Supervillainy, The Science of Supervillainy