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
I'm a huge fan of the Dresden Files and Bill the Vampire. This series is starting off in the same irreverent, hilarious tone. The nerdy, yet loveable, hero (well, supervillain), the quirky sidekicks... my son and I listened to the first 2 hours of this on Sunday afternoon in the car. We both resumed on our personal devices as soon as I stopped the car. It's now Tuesday, and he's asked me to purchase the next book! This is huge! Phipps is a new to me author, but quickly becoming a favorite. Kafer does a great job with the audio, his voices are all perfect, and the sound quality is excellent.
"Amazing - Get it!"
This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read/listened to in my entire life, and I have read a lot of books. The cover and blurb did not catch my attention. I passed over it the first time I saw it, but a friend mentioned it, so I listened to the audiobook. Within a few minutes, I downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited to enjoy it twice. I will reread and re-listen to it many, many times.
The humor is very unique and exactly in my taste. I could not ask for anything better than this book. The plot is very silly, but the humor is threaded into it brilliantly. If this author had a hundred books like these, I would buy a new bookshelf and fill it with them. I have never gushed over a book before, except for one book series that is still my favorite. My friends can't get me to shut up. I can't believe I almost missed out on this treasure.
I want to include quotes from the book, but I'll leave the surprise for the readers/listeners.
The narrator did this book justice. He brought an amazing book to life. I loved the performance and his dry tone was perfect for Gary. I did have some trouble confusing Gary with the cloak's voices, but it wasn't distracting.
Overall, Jeffrey Kafer did a great job and I would be happy to listen to more audiobooks by him. C.T. Phipps did an absolutely amazing, fantastic, exceptional, brilliant job and I WILL read anything he publishes. I want the second book in this series yesterday.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
"Good, light, casual, fun read"
This isn't a book that will immerse you in story or character to the point you can't put it down or stop thinking about it. Still, after listening, I could honestly say, "ok, that was fun, think I'll check out the next one". You'll enjoy listening and be glad you did even if it doesn't make your all time favorite list.
"Good Narration, Just Confused on the Genre...."
This is a story about a guy who always wanted to be a super villain one day getting his shot to be one. It was pretty fast paced and had a lot of interesting characters in it. I loved that the author took some of the most beloved superhero tropes and twisted them around. I loved that Falconcrest City was filled with parodies of the heroes and villains I know and love, yet twisted enough to be original creations. I enjoyed learning about the city and the city's history, which I thought was fascinating.
This story had a lot of potential, I think. I could tell the author was a fan of comic books. I really appreciated that as I love comic books! However, I had two main problems with the offering. The first was that I didn't understand exactly what genre the author was aiming for. Was it supposed to be funny? There were some funny parts, but overall... it was actually kind of grim. Was it supposed to be dark with a side of horror? Some parts were dark and grim, but others... silly. For example, the I-Scream Man (pardon if I misspelled it; I listened to the audio instead of reading it). He was described as a D list villain who dressed up in white and pink stripes like an ice cream server, complete with a bow tie. Funny, right? A villain dressed like that, parodying some silly names heroes and villains have? Then, it went on to explain he had cut off his lips and filed his teeth down to points. That's... gruesome, hardcore horror right there.The mish-mash of tones throughout the book threw me off.
The second was the plot. It just seemed like everything and the kitchen sink was thrown in there. It escalated VERY quickly. There was almost too much material in there. Instead of taking a handful of tropes and disassembling them, I got the feeling the author kept on adding stuff.
Lastly, I didn't always like the main character. That makes it hard to like a book. I love that he loved his wife, but overall he was pretty self-centered. He had a sarcastic tongue which wasn't always funny, and oftentimes just inappropriate.
The narration was pretty good, and I think I'll be adding Mr. Kafer on as one of my favorite narrators. The only reason why he didn't get a 5 instead of a 4 here is because it was hard sometimes to distinguish between Gary and his Cloak, the two main characters. They needed more distinction. His feminine voices, especially for having such a deep voice!, were pretty good, and many of the other characters had their own sound... it was just the main two. I'm definitely going to be looking through his works and see if anything else tickles my fancy.
"Good old-fashioned fun!"
I admit, I originally got this book because Audible.com gave me a super deal on it. Boy, am I glad I did.
The story is simple: Our protagonist, Garym (mistakenly) receives a mystical cloak that gives him superpowers. And his first action is to become a supervillain and rob the bank he recently worked at. Oh, and did I mention that the cloak is possessed by a spirit who gives him advice, and criticism?
Gary is a consummate smart-aleck, and not as villainous as he wants to be. All in all, it is fun watching him confront the world.
However, while I think the narrator does a decent job of voicing Gary, it's not always easy to tell the other characters apart. So that's why I can't give it 5 stars for performance.
Still and all, a good read in the comic book/urban fantasy genre, and well worth getting.
Certainly not a deep or meaningful listen, but entertaining and engaging in a brain candy type of way. I thought it picked up steam as the story progressed, though there were a number of instances where the narrative flow was interrupted for me. There were also a number of logic jumps which were... out of place. However, the overarching story and silly nature of the listen compensated nicely. I enjoyed it enough to spend a credit on book two.
Worth a listen if your queue is short.
"Awesome!! Kept me laughing"
I laughed through the whole book and really enjoyed the whole story. I loved all the "as long as it's ok with my wife" stuff :)
Merciless and Red Riding Hood are my favorites. Merciless because of his "This is me, because i am evil... hahahaha"... and then the next sentence is something good he did. Red Riding Hood because she is just hillarious
I liked his whole performance. Couldn't have chosen better
I laughed all the way through this book
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
"Awesome Story ~ Worth All Five Stars!"
Everyone needs a good laugh and The Rules of Supervillainy is full of them! I could easily listen it to again and again. (I actually started off reading it but the story had me smiling and laughing out loud, I had to go ahead and download the audio version.)
It was creative, funny, and full of interesting superheros and supervillains. I especially like Merciless. He really wants to be supervillain, who is out for himself but his actions and choices contradict the image he is going for. Between Merciless and his "cloak," I had a great time listening to the story and laughed all the way through it. I will definitely be listening to the next book!
If you like stories that aren't serious, have crazy characters, and will give you a good laugh, this story will not disappoint!
"Use My Powers for Wha???"
Thank you so much for sharing this precautionary tale. Since obtaining my powers I've had quite a lot of peer pressure to use them for good. I attribute some of this to the fact that I still haven't officially "come out of the lair." But I also may have been a bit hasty in choosing my first sidekick. You see, I believed I would be able to use my villainess wiles to seduce my young apprentice to the benefits of working on the dark side. But so far all attempts to overpower his goody two shoe conscience, whom he refers to as "Mod" (morals on duty,) have failed miserably.
Until listening to this supervillainy rules guide, I had begun to question my decisions. And I now believe I was actually under some sort of Mod mind control!! Never fear, I have now designed my own hat, which blocks any attempt to access my brain or thought patterns. It's perfectly stylish but will cause sudden death to any trespasser.
And I am continuing forward in my studies to be the next criminal mastermind of the South.
I look forward to the next lesson and eagerly await its arrival. Until then...
"A Prime Example of A Professional Audiobook!"
I read the book, and enjoyed it enough to also listen to the audiobook. When I saw that Kafer was the narrator, I knew I couldn't go wrong. I was NOT disappointed. A well-written book, it is further translated into an even greater experience by a flawless narration. I highly recommend it, and I'm looking forward to Charles Phipps next book!
"Well it made me laugh"
The combination of a great story with a brilliant narrator made this really worth recommending, as there are so few genuinely funny fantasy books for geeks. While not quite up there with the greats like Terry Pratchett this is fun with just enough darkness to draw you into the plot. Fun with numerous comic book and film references to make you laugh. While it's not a literary game changer, the fact that it doesn't try too hard is part of it's charm. Despite my concerns when reading the description, it's actually one that should appeal to both male and female listeners. I would have liked it to be longer but I'll definitely be buying the rest of the series. Probably not for those who only get through one book a month as there are probably enough 5 star books to keep you busy but for those of us who are frequent listeners, know far too much about comic book law and 80's movies, i'd give this a try.
At times laugh out loud listen. The story of the world's newest Super Crook, Gary aka Merciless. Fun, exciting and at times poignant. The story falls in two parts, the first his 'rise' as he takes to a life of crime, the second his 'fall' as he is incarcerated and seeks escape. Perhaps stronger in the narrative as his rise is set out, the book sets the scene for hopefully more adventures. I would definitely get more of this author.
"Great start to a Series of books"
Definitely like the interaction between all of the different characters, some great sense of humour the start of the book getting slightly darker as it moves through, I have already downloaded the next two books and I hope they are as good as the first
"anti villains are great"
excellent take on a subject that is overly saturated in comics. absolutely brilliant and funny.
"A wild, but sometimes confusing romp"
Jeffery Kafer does a really good job of performing a snarky super villain.
The world is a bit confusing, at times I didn't know what to make of it, supers (both good and bad) seem to run roughshod over national government. At times there are floods of exposition, and then things are causally tossed in and then not mentioned again (such as Atlantis).
Gary Karkofsky (aka Merciless) is a very odd character, at times he is extremely moral (he is outraged when some anti-heroes cause collateral damage to get to him), but feels no remorse when he casually murders someone who gets in his way; he hates authority and has somewhat anarchist/socialist view points, but at the same time wants to rule the world and get rich, the character doesn't seem to make a lot of sense (at least to me)
No one scene particularly stood out.
It was decent enough that I could have done, had my schedule allowed for it.
Other books have covered the same ground, and done so better (D-list supervillain series, for example), but it not a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination.
This superhero/supervillain novel turned out to be just the sort of fun romp it promised from its synopsis.
Gary Karkofsky is just a normal guy living in a world filled with all sorts of people with superpowers. He lives with his wife in the suburbs and used to work as a bank teller before he lost his job. Opportunity knocks for Gary when the magical cloak of his home towns greatest superhero gets delivered to him in the mail. Rather than take up the selfless mantle of the heroic Nightwalker Gary instead decides to indulge in his life long dream of becoming Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy!
The whole story was as crazy and as fun as it sounds. Gary was an easy to root for guy. He loved his wife, cared for his friends, and was not quite as evil as he wished he was. Though he did have his villainous moments!
The world was pretty fun. It was the sort of over the top type of superhero world that you get while watching a movie like Marvel's Avengers. Which is great. This actually had a similar tone to the Avengers movies with plenty of humor and crazy action mixed in with likeable characters who were never short of a witty bit of banter.
The only real flaw I can spot is that this was such a short story. With the open ending I hope we do not have to wait long for the sequel.
Jeffrey Kafer did a fantastic job with the narration. He really got the tone of the story and has the perfect sort of voice for narration.
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