Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Book Review: Secrets of a D-List Supervillain, by Jim Bernheimer

The (kinda) former supervillain adds a few more lines to his character sheet.

Secrets of a D-List Supervillain

Self-published, 2014, 196 pages

Cal Stringel may be dead to the world at large, but a select few know that he's still alive and in control of the most powerful suit of battle armor ever created. He's part of a rogue superteam taking the world by storm and changing the dynamic for both heroes and villains alike. With change comes resistance, and those holding control and power are not ready to just hand it over without a fight.

For the former D-list supervillain, it's time to break out the spare synthmuscle, charge the massive railgun pistol, and bring the pain. With his new team, he thinks he can take on the world, but is Cal biting off more than he can chew? He must deal with sanctioned hero teams and power-mad bureaucrats on one side and the major supervillains of his world on the other.

As Cal and his allies ready themselves to face friend and foe, he will also have to deal with his relationship with Stacy Mitchell, also known as the Olympian, Aphrodite. Separated for more than a year, they've only just reunited and are faced with the prospect of being on opposite sides of the coming conflict. Can they find enough common ground between the secrets and half truths to sustain their fledgling relationship, or are they doomed like the last time to crash and burn?

This sequel to Confessions of a D-List Supervillain features Cal Stringel again as the reformed supervillain once known as "Mechani-Cal." Now that the world has been saved and Cal is supposed to be part of a superhero team, he finds finds himself facing rivalries with other superhero teams, especially his old nemesis Ultraweapon, who's still sore that Cal stole his girlfriend Aphrodite. None of the other heroes trust the ex-villain, and Cal doesn't really care since he doesn't think of himself as particularly bad, and is unabashed about being selfish and self-centered. Nonetheless, he has a soft spot for his girlfriend, his daughter, and his baby-momma.

This book was fun, like its predecessor, but the shine of the premise (a former D-lister who levels up and becomes a reluctant hero) has worn off, and much of this book felt like either superhero relationship soap opera or just setup for the big battle in the next book. There was a string of encounters with various heroes and villains, clever uses of powers, and Cal is continuing to level up by adding new talents, such as magic, to his character sheet. But I wasn't at any point excited by what was going on, and this book felt very much like a lukewarm middle volume in a series.

Rating: 5/10.

Also by Jim Bernheimer: My review of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain.

My complete list of book reviews.
Tags: books, jim bernheimer, reviews, self publishing, superheroes

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