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The Rules of Supervillainy

The Supervillainy Saga Volume 1
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: The Supervillainy Saga, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humour
4.5 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

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Brilliant

One of the best books I've read/listened to in a while would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun way to pass some time

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting idea, but horribly written

This is a decent enough premise for a book, however the author writes like a sexually frustrated 14 year old boy who thinks he is much MUCH cleverer and funnier than he actually is. The image conjured up is sort of like a nerd, but without the intelligence usually associated with nerds. The kind of sexually frustrated man-boy who reads a lot of comic books but isn't actually very bright. He seems to be laughing at his own jokes throughout the book, while nobody else is laughing. It didn't help that towards the end it went off on some religious kick (he seems to have issues with his Jewish heritage as well as women). Overall a pretty painful experience. The narrator was good though.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superlisteney

The only thing i did not like with this story is that it ended. i cant wait to get the next book. listen to this book people its a must.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mlsimmons
  • 26-12-2017

Such a fun story. Brilliant performance by Kafer

This book came on my radar when I posted my review of Villain's Rule by M.K. Gibson read by Jeffrey Kafer. Melissa @ My World...in words and pages, who saw that review on Twitter, pointed out this book to me. I'm so glad that she did. It was another really fun listen for me.

So, The Rules of Supervillainy is an interesting story. It focuses on Gary Karkofsky. Gary is just a guy, until he finds a package. It turns out to be the cloak of the newly deceased superhero. Now Gary isn't the superhero type. He is more of the supervillain type, so he decides to use the cloak for bad instead of good.

So, Gary decides to go in and break of a bank robbery for his first villainous act. He stops the bank robber and even kills some of them, which sounds good right? But he makes off with the loot instead of letting the bank have it back.

He then takes a call from the police chief. A rich man's daughter is kidnapped. The police chief wants the cloak-wearer to help. Gary, aka Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy! (which his sentient cloak reminds him is redundant). Gary agrees, but wants the reward that was offered.

Back to the cloak. It is sentient. The cloak knows a lot from being worn by superheroes over the many years. It keeps that knowledge as it moves from one wearer to another. Merciless is the first supervillain to wear the cloak, and this isn't something that the cloak likes. It wants to see Gary help people. Luckily, Gary isn't all bad. But you can feel the cloak's dismay sometimes.

I won't go into the whole story. Just know that this is pretty funny. There some really funny villains that Merciless fights, like Ice Cream Man and the Malt Shop Gang who shoot acid ice cream and freeze rays and Typewriter, who actually wears a typewriter on his head.

Then there are two characters who turn on their boss to takes sides with Merciless. Cindy Wakowski a.k.a Red Riding Hood. Cindy and Gary knew each other before becoming villains. They even had a fling back in the day. Gary is now happily married though. There is also Diabloman, who was at one time the most notorious villains of all time, until an ailment made it difficult for him. He is now acting as a henchmen for bad villains (as in not very good at their job), that is until Gary offers to pay him to mentor him in villainy.

This was a great start to a series. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments. I'm excited to pick up the next book in the series (which I've already downloaded).

Narration
So the first full-length book that I listened to with Jeffrey Kafer is very similar to this one. They are both funny books about villains. I was a little worried when I first started they would sound the same. However I needn't be worried, he tackled these two stories completely differently. With Villain's Rule, Jackson Blackwell is a very dry character that Jeffrey Kafer voiced very dryly. Gary Karkofsky in not a dry character, so Jeffrey didn't voice him dry at all. He does a great job with women's voices. I just love how he took two books that were very similar in premise, but he tackled them in a very different manner.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • erobbins33
  • 29-11-2016

Fun!

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.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Doro626
  • 09-01-2017

Not what I was looking for

In my constant search for something as good as Dresden files, Iron Druid, Grimnoir, or the steelheart series I come across a lot of " almost, but not quite as entertaining" stories.

The constant focus on the main character and his life made the story boring. His first two engagements as a Supervillain should have been funny or exciting (especially with the outcomes given) but I found myself not really caring. I was constantly waiting for the story to engage me.

The closest book I can compare it to the Confessions of a D list Superhero, where you discover that not all heroes are heroic and not all villains are evil. This never got to that level or deconstruction

I think the overemphasis on his wife and his past relationships (the writer really went deep into all of the main characters relationships) kept the story from developing. It's a shame, because it seems to be a pretty well thought out universe where some fun, funny and exciting stories can be told.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen
  • 10-08-2016

Delightful story, disappointing narration

The story was good, with plenty of twists and well developed characters, but I had to give up on the audiobook about halfway through and just read the rest. The narrator didn't do different voices for the characters, which normally doesn't bother me, but with first person present and Cloak constantly snarking at Gary's internal monologue, it was hard to distinguish which character was speaking. It turns out that in the print version, Cloak's comments are italicized, which is why we don't have "[sarcastic quip], Cloak said" more often, and another reason why the narrator should have done more to make Cloak distinctive. It was also a huge missed opportunity for comedy, because right when Cloak is introduced, his voice is described as "dry and otherworldly, as if Christopher Lee had Darth Vader's reverb".

However, I had a lot of fun with this book, because not only was it hilarious, but it dug into some of the criticisms I have of the superhero genre with surprising wisdom. Gary is a lot like an adorably anarchistic Harry Dresden, who is one of my favorite fantasy characters, and his relationship with Mandy is heartwarming. All told, I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series, and just doing the silly voices in my head.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Rain
  • 14-11-2015

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.

36 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Tara Ellis
  • 04-11-2015

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!

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenbugg
  • 07-11-2015

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...
Supervillains Unite!

~Miss Hospitality

39 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Ericarseneau
  • 01-07-2018

Interesting concept

I enjoyed the concept. The narration is ok but not enough differentiation between characters in my view.

Worth a listen though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miket641
  • 11-03-2018

Fun Book

I enjoy a good Superhero book. Luckily for me there are more and more coming out but a lot are not very good. This is one of the good books. The story has just the right amount of humor and action. Another big plus is that Jeffery Kafer is the narrator. IMOA this guy can take a good book and make it great. So if your looking for a quick,fun Superhero book to listen too this would be a good pick again IMOA.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel O.
  • 28-02-2018

Fun "super villain" story. I'm hooked!

I picked this up because it sounded interesting and I was hoping to fill in my super hero needs while waiting for "Super Powereds Year 4" by Drew Hayes to come out on Audible and I am happy to say this was exactly what I was hoping for. This book's atmosphere is a lot less serious compared to Super Powereds but I still thoroughly enjoyed the listen. I really enjoyed hearing a super hero story from the opposite side of the fence and I feel like this book does a great job of making it an enjoyable experience (even if it was over way too soon!).

Narration by Jeffrey Kafer was perfect. I felt like the performance and delivery were exactly what I would expect from the characters and this world. I have no complaints or gripes!

I will definitely be picking up the rest of this series as I work my way through my book queue!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • nicole
  • 24-10-2015

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 15-06-2016

A wild, but sometimes confusing romp

What made the experience of listening to The Rules of Supervillainy the most enjoyable?

Jeffery Kafer does a really good job of performing a snarky super villain.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

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)

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No one scene particularly stood out.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was decent enough that I could have done, had my schedule allowed for it.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. P. Brown
  • 06-04-2016

Fantastic!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-2015

Great Listen

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-2019

Great listen

Great read, Well paced. Narrator brings characters to life, voices are distinct so easy to follow without concentrating. The story is funny and unpredictable. already purchased the next book. reccomend especially to superhero movie/comic fans.

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 30-08-2019

Haha! I love all the snark!

Set in the imaginary Falconcrest City, superheroes, monsters, and supervillains clash and clatter together. Gary Karkofsky has delusions of grandeur, specifically of becoming the lead supervillain for the city. He was given a magical cloak that gives him formidable powers. With this new wardrobe and a small group of henchpeople, Gary has big plans for the city.

First and foremost, there is humor everywhere in this book. I love that much of the humor is told in a straight manner, the characters taking the plot seriously even as they come up with corny supervillain or superhero names. For instance, Gary’s alias is Merciless: the Supervillain without Mercy. Now wouldn’t that make you quiver in your boots? 😉

So Merciless gets on the bad side of the Malt Shop Gang when one of their own, the Ice Cream Man, is taken out in a robbery that Merciless interfered in. The plot thickens when Merciless is contacted by the police to assist in a kidnapping – the girl’s parents are rich and Merciless is poor. He’s in it for the money. However, the local superheroes don’t take kindly to Merciless’s misdeeds. That’s quite a bit on the man’s plate!

You recall that magical cloak? Yeah, well that cloak actually has a personality and likes to be called Cloak. And it likes to argue with Merciless at the most inopportune times. Ha! This often incited chuckles from me. Cloak turned out to be one of my favorite characters.

Mandy, who is Gary’s wife, doesn’t feel quite the same way about supervillainy as Gary does. In fact, you could say she’s a bit on the opposite end of the spectrum. This causes some grief and consternation for our main character, partially because he really does love his wife quite a bit. I really enjoyed that Mandy was not a toss away character and held her own throughout the story, adding to the plot and the humor. She’s got some skills herself and that adds some twists to the plot.

I was very happy to see characters of various sexual orientation in this book. Hooray! SFF needs more of this! The story wraps up well enough, with the main characters going head to head with an unexpected monster. Not everything was tied up neatly but the next installment of the series is already available, so I think enthusiastic listeners/readers like myself can just jump into that. It was really the humor that made this book excellent for me. The plot was secondary to the characters and their interactions with each other.

The Narration: Jeffrey Kafer was a great voice for Gary/Merciless. He delivered the humor in the intended dry tone which made it that much more amusing for me. As usual, he had distinct character voices for everyone and his female voices were believable.

What I Liked: The humor; supervillains unite! or not!; Cloak and his timely lessons; Mandy and her skill set; great cover art; excellent narration.

What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this book!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own.

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  • J Smith
  • 30-08-2019

‘Yes, I was being forced to punch myself in the face’

Brilliant! Filled to the brim with action, sarcasm, ridiculousness and just pure brilliance!
Really impressed and had me grinning most of the way through!
And Jeffrey does a great job with the narration and really brings out the Witt!
Really looking forward to the next in the series.
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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  • S. D. Howarth
  • 07-04-2019

A damn good laugh, seemingly not serious

It seems not to take itself serious, but don't be fooled.

With Marvel taking over the universe and DC wallowing in misery there seems to be a new superhero I'm seemingly expected to give a crap about every five minutes and Sanderson likely has another trilogy out by the time I think of buying them on offer.

This one takes the piddle, throws in a deluge of movie gags and adds a cheer to the void left by Pratchett in bringing a good laugh to the audience and laughing at them and their tropes. Instead of churning out another TV franchise, Netflix should have a look at this, as I imagine the rest of the series will be quite a giggle and they are a very well produced audiobook, that was easy to zip through in a few sessions and leave me wanting to finish it off. Not a bad thing and audible will devour future tokens on the follow ups at some stage during this year.

I'd like to have seen more of the hench wench at the back end of the story, but for me, Cloak stole the show and it will be interesting to see what comes next.

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  • Mr O G Thompson
  • 30-01-2018

loved it

thoroughly enjoyed. some interesting ideas and great twist on traditional super hero and villan concept

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-2018

Made my ears hurt.

the narrator starts off the sentence yelling, then finishes whispering. No work has been done to fix this using EQ. Ive had to turn the volume waaay up, just so i can make out the whispering parts. Needless to say, the parts where he is yelling are not very plesant.

However the actual book is very funny, would recommend to most people.