A Review of Heropa *adjusting my goggles* Hey @andreziffy, Who is Killing the Capes?
The Perfect Edge Triumvirate — with Capes
At some point in time, everyone growing up wants to be a superhero, or a detective (I wanted to be Nancy Drew), and most of us wanted to fight the bad guys and win the day.
When I saw this book roll through from Novel Publicity and realized not only was it from a publisher who has given me lovely goodness in the past but it had three of the most interesting genre’s rolled up into one. I bounced just a wee bit! Science Fiction, Noir thrown into a dystopic world, in the last city on earth Melbourne and blended together with the new genre on the block, Super Heroes! Well not really new, but new to print instead of comics. This story intrigued me so much.
It did take a bit of time to get into the nitty gritty but once I got into it and started reading I discovered *pausing for dramatic effect* this dark gritty hard-b0iled world slapped together with some science fiction and virtual reality kind of thing. *raising hands up and shaking them to the sky* Oh holy shrimp toast, how can I even explain it. It is 11PM on Friday night and I just literally finished reading it and still sitting here half giggling, a little of me going “oooooooooooh” and the rest a bit of a toss between, “Woah!” “More” and also clicking buy on the rest of Andrew’s books.
I love noir, I love comics; especially the originals. Growing up I fell in love with hard-boiled novels by Dashiell Hammett trying to figure out the mystery before Sam Spade… made me feel suave. The beauty and metaphoric aspect of the orchids (as I have mentioned before) from Raymond Chandlers Big Sleep still haunts me to this day. I love the look of the art in the original covers, the feel of shadows both metaphorically. Heropa had all of it, plus it was chuck full of a bunch of MARVELous other things (ya I went there, whatcha gonna do about it *fluffing my cape).
Now apparently this city is originally introduced to us via a book of his called Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, or at least this current version of Melbourne..(the last city on Earth) and the protagonist is a video game player, sort of. I mean.. a goat, wait.. ummm superheroes, noir-style detecting, the murdering thereof.. and well… wait.. I am stuck on the goat, I need to get him onto the blog & out of my system and then I can continue!
There.. that is SO much better, where was I ? *pushing my goggles onto forehead*
On any given Saturday morning you could find me in a cape gallivanting around the living room. Heck today you will find me occasionally sporting a cape, wearing my steampunk goggles and playing Alaskan Superhero! (Yes occasionally I am want to go out with goggles and bare feet just to say “I RULE THE WORLD! BRING ON THE BAD GUYS“) .. OK maybe I got into this book a bit too much. Oh ummm but I do go and do that occasionally, and of course take pictures! Oh and slaughter the creatures of the forest…
How can you make this experience better? And yes, this was another book I would call an experience! You throw in as many pop-culture references in the bowl as possible, pour an overflowing cup of wit and humor, measure a good bit of some hominy homage to the classic comics, a thick slathering of slippery massive multi-player online virtual reality with a mixed up kid who will become a real hero, not just one in the game and .. and…
You didn’t really think I was going to tell you anything did you? HAH! I am KRISS…. CABIN GODDESS! I never give you SPOILERS!! (insert maniacal laughter). Seriously I am bouncy, I have been rewarding myself each night after work by reading this book. I am so very glad it was given to me to read *pausing to slide back on my goggles and cape*
Let’s talk a bit about the nitty-gritty of this. Well first it was not perfect, I had a bit of a rough time getting into it but soon it picked up pace and I had a hard time keeping up with it. The characters were wonderful, their relationships were paramount and like any good superhero story very much caricature of what their Superhero person represents. There were times I really had to let some of my nitpicky behavior go and though it only bothered me a tiny bit it did take me a bit out of the story, but only a couple of times. His blending of these genres was more than blending it was true genre bending. You cannot possibly throw that all in a pot, no matter how good of a mixing arm you have and expect it to flow as well as it did. but it did, so…
9 out of 10
Thanks Andrew! You really rocked my world, and though my husband currently thinks I have lost my mind, wait till he sees his new cape! Honestly makes me mourn for one of our favorite MMPRPG’s, City of Heroes… Hmmmm indeed… indeed. I kind of see myself as a cross between Tank Girl and some kind of femme fatal who has been converted to the good guys… sort of. Heck as long as I can wear my goggles, I am in like Super Fly!
About the book
A vast, homogenized city patrolled by heroes and populated by adoring masses. A pulp fiction fortress of solitude for crime-fighting team the Equalizers, led by new recruit Southern Cross – a lifetime away from the rain-drenched, dystopic metropolis of Melbourne. Who, then, is killing the great Capes of Heropa? In this paired homage to detective noir from the 1940s and the ’60s Marvel age of trail-blazing comic books, Andrez Bergen gloriously redefines the mild-mannered superhero novel.
Pick up your copy of this Science Fiction/Noir/Fantasy:
Only 99¢ during the tour!
Keep reading through to the end, there is a great excerpt plus an awesome giveaway etc… and next weekend, I review another one of the books, without the goat… maybe
About the author
Andrez Bergen is an expat Australian writer, journalist and DJ who’s been entrenched in Tokyo for the past 12 years. He put out the noir/sci-fi novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011), slipstream tome One Hundred Years of Vicissitude in 2012, and now Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? through Perfect Edge Books – a novel that combines classic comic books, noir, pulp, fantasy and sci-fi. Bergen has published short stories through Crime Factory, Snubnose Press, Shotgun Honey and Another Sky Press and worked on adapting the scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani.
PROLOGUE: THE KÁRMÁN LINE
“Aer—t,” the radio receiver squawks inside her helmet. “Aeri—st, re—ng me?”
“Hello, you’ve called the Aerialist,” the Cape says in response. “She’s not home at the moment, too busy falling from a ridiculous height. Please leave a message after the tone so the girl can get back to you— you know, after all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put her together again. Beep.”
God knows if anyone hears the quip. The only feedback coming through loud and clear is shrill static.
The Aerialist was aware of risks, but sabotage — someone cutting a hole in her jetpack to siphon out the fuel — had not been one of the hazards people bothered to mention.
Fifteen seconds pass and the drop is only one thousand, nine hundred feet shorter, according to the instrumentation on her wrist. Three hundred and twenty-six thousand of the imperial buggers to go.
The Aerialist is slap-bang in freefall, somewhere marginally past the Kármán line— in plain English about a hundred kilometres to impact on earth. Unless, of course, she hits something higher like Mount Everest (shaving off nine kilometres) or the top of the Empire State, four hundred and forty metres above terra firma.
Not that either place is optional here.
Flame-on! she quips, laughing for just a moment.
Inferring she’s alit does, however, exaggerate the case. Objects light up when they fall at tens of miles a second, whereas her rate of descent clocks in around a few hundred miles per hour. Maybe seven hundred. Slower than a lead balloon.
That doesn’t stop her brain racing, conjuring up the insane, expecting fire to lick up on the outside of the pressure suit. This suit takes the brunt of buffeting as she tumbles arse over tit. No hope. Nothing. Just falling till she hits the ground.
Never thought it’d end via such a lame whimper, she further mulls, dizzy now. Maybe I should’ve packed a parachute?
Louise was asleep beside Jack on top of her twin-size, scrolled iron bed. Propped up against the bars was the brunette doll Tarpé Mills, looking straight at him.
They’d played it above-board, engaging in conversation with the Professor and waiting patiently for him to go to bed. Even so, Jack judged from his twinkling expression and slight smile that the old man had suspicions regarding what was afoot. Likely, he knew a lot more than his guest.
Aside from furtive kisses on the doorstep and much recent hand play, Jack had never before touched a girl. Even the doll staring back was unnerving.
He didn’t tell Louise that; couldn’t. He was certain his clumsiness and apprehension were evidence enough, but the girl proved patient and considerate, helping him through the audition.
Louise had removed her glasses, slowly unbuttoned her dress, stood before him in a white satin slip and stockings — and then unbuttoned his shirt, too, as he had not moved a muscle. Given the earlier revelation about her husband’s death, Jack thanked lucky stars he’d ditched the costume.
Throughout everything, he was held hostage by her gaze, which said so much in a myriad of subtle forms: tenderness, happiness, sadness and mischief each had their moment in the emerald sunlight of those eyes.
For a long time after, they sat on the iron bed in an embrace, simply holding onto one another. When she came closer still and kissed his mouth, he wanted to hang on to her forever.
“You’re a gentle man, Jack,”Louise murmured, between kisses. “Thank you.”
Eventually, the girl fell asleep on his arm.
Jack stayed awake, studying every facet of the face close beside his. So happy he felt swamped — this kind of joy was far beyond him — the man swivelled his head and instead examined every inch of the ceiling. The sound of her breathing had a calming effect as he did so.
Finally, Jack slipped his arm out from under Louise; he lifted himself onto one elbow and stared briefly at the serene profile on the pillow inches away.
Easy enough to push aside her blonde tresses, to make out — in the poor light — a ‘p’ on the back of her neck, beneath the collar-line.
Beside the bed, Louise had a round fish tank with seahorses in it.
Jack leaned over, dipped his finger, and quietly returned to dab at the p. The ink there was as indelible as a tattoo.
Jack eased her hair down and tidied it, glanced at Tarpé Mills, gave her a smile.
Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as thee new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Triumvirate–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!
About the prizes
Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, Gripped by Jason Donnelly or Spiral Bound Brother by Ryan Elliot Wilson. Here’s what you need to do…
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest
- Leave a comment on my blog.
That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity.
Good luck! Don’t forget your cape and goggles! I could improve your chances!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.