October 3rd, 2019

Book with cat: hugging book

Book #67 of 2019: How to Defeat a Hero: A Novel (The Henchman's Survival Guide Book 2)

How to Defeat a Hero: A Novel (The Henchman's Survival Guide Book 2) by J Bennett
Traditional or self-published: Self-published
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Set in the future, the world is a mess. Most people need an escape of some kind. The same ones we have now: drugs, gaming, reality TV, etc, but all of them amped up to the max.

Big Little City is one of many reality TV-based zones. It's a whole city that lives in a reality TV superheroes setting. Everyone is a hero or a villain or trying to become one. The most successful people in the city have a TV show made about them, but every show is constantly in danger of being canceled if the hero or villain doesn't keep their ratings high enough.

As in the first book of this series, the author does a GREAT job of world building. Everything, including language, is used to show that the story takes place in a different time. The language evolved in such a natural, believable way.

The one small element I didn't like was the use of special pronouns (zir/zer). Having a third, fully accepted gender (nonbinary) felt kind of like shoehorning RL inclusive stuff into a fantasy story. I'm sure some people loved that it was included, but it repeatedly knocked me out of the story.

All of the characters, from main to minor, were great. Even in a story about heroes and villain, no one was black/white, they were all just people who were doing what they needed to to survive.