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The Sidekicks Initiative: A Comedy Superhero Adventure

Narrated by: Phil Thron
Series: The Sidekicks Initiative, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Once, they stood next to justice. Now they're standing up for it...

When sworn protectors of Earth, the Justice Platoon, are all horribly killed, their former arch-enemies come crawling out of the woodwork. Outnumbered, outgunned, and out of options, the US government has no choice but to activate the Sidekicks Initiative, dragging the Platoon's middle-aged ex-sidekicks out of retirement.

Now these three reluctant, out of shape former child-wonders must work together to stop the rising tide of supervillainy, avenge their former mentors' deaths, and bring the world back from the brink of destruction. 

Assuming they don't kill each other first.

Featuring anaphylactic shockwaves, unexpected hippos, and an aggressive man shouting at butterflies, The Sidekicks Initiative is the first book in the action-packed new series from internationally best-selling Space Team author, Barry J. Hutchison.

©2018 Barry J. Hutchison (P)2019 Zertex Media Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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so good!

been listening to SpaceTeam for ages but this is even better. especially loved the outtakes at the end!

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So entertaining

This narrator goes to the top of my list and the author is now one of my favourites. Such an entertaining book all the way through, full of laughs, and made extra special by Phil Thron's amazing narration bringing the characters alive. The bloopers at the end really made my day.

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Very entertaining.

Addictive , funny, and very enjoyable. loved ever chracter,s flaws and twist. Reader is Amazing.

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lol funny, not what you expect. it is even better.

space team fans and generally people that like left field humour will love it. don't be out off by the super hero genre as I was. can't wait for the second one.

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  • C. White
  • 20-02-2019

All hail THE Butterfly King! Ummm... I mean Randy😜

How can you not instantly fall in love with a story that starts with a respectable superhero drop kicking a villain in the crotch and launching them hundreds of meters skyward? ...and it just gets funnier from there. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed (and giggled at) a superhero story as much. A irreverent romp through the world of superheroes that still manages to treat the the world of superheroes with loving reverence.

"The Sidekick Initiative" comes across as a mash up between the "Venture Bros." and "Mystery Men" (with a touch of MIB thrown in). A replacement group of superheroes trying their inept best with their questionable powers to save the world from the rampaging hordes of super villains after the real superheroes are mysteriously killed. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys hopped up on cheap moonshine (although there are a few points where those monkeys do sober up, but don't fret, they quickly fall back off the wagon soon enough)! DONT expect a thought-provoking deconstruction of the superheroes tradition. DO expect a gigglefest of witty dialog and snicker worthy situations. Definitely worth a few repeat listens in the very near future.

I discovered Barry J. Hutchison on a random fluke and was really taken in by his cleaver writing style. I would not consider this a YA story. It's far too nuanced and with too many nods to obscure references to qualify as YA. If you don't love this tail within the first 30 minutes it's doubtful that you will ever warm up to it. But if you're like me, and it immediately tickles your funny bone, you will not be disappointed. It holds its humorous irreverent pace throughout. I also feel I need to give shout out to Phil Thron's excellent and diverse narration style. He manages to imbibe each character with its own unique voice and inflection that enhances the character beyond the written word... (but I'm sure he damaged his vocal chords after any protracted narration involving the Butterfly King... and trust me, I appreciate the sacrifice!)

Be sure to stick around after "The End". I think this is the very first audiobook I've ever heard that actually included a "blooper's reel". This should be a regual feature of all audiobooks. Funny as heck!!!!

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Shelia
  • 21-07-2019

Super Fun Adventure

This is entertainment at its best! The story wasn't groundbreaking but it was done beautifully and it made me laugh out loud a number of times. There are no cliffhangers at the end, but there is plenty of room for more stories to be told and I am interested to see where these characters go next. The narrator did an amazing job, and the bloopers at the end were absolutely hysterical.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 18-02-2019

Everything this author writes is laugh out loud

I would recommend all of this authors books. Each and everyone make me burst into giggles several times through out.
Phill Thron is an amazing narrator, I would listen to anything he is involved with.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron B
  • 18-07-2019

Fantastically Screwball...and the Outtakes!

This was a very funny entry in the expanding universe of superhero (or sidekick, in this case) novel category. If you have enjoyed series like Peter Cline's "Ex-Heroes," Drew Hayes' "Super Powered" and "Forging Hephaestus," or Scott Meyer's "The Authorities," you will likely love this book as much as I did. The storyline isn't the strongest part of this book, although it is solid enough to keep your attention. The thing that will keep you coming back again and again are the characters.

When the Justice Platoon is suddenly and summarily killed by some unknown force, the government calls on its old, retired sidekicks, activating The Sidekick Initiative and drafting middle-aged Sam; "Kid Random," Anna; "Allergy Girl," and Randy; "Butterfly King" into service. Trained by former villain turned good guy Kapitan Nazi, the Sidekicks have no idea how to use their powers, what great evil they are facing...or how they will survive. Except Randy. That guy knows how to kick some ass.

Seriously, Randy might be my favorite new character in a book in years. Basically useless, yet filled with grit, determination and a never-say-die spirit. His lines are the funniest in the book, and are made even funnier in the outtakes following the book. I've never heard an Audible book with outtakes, but hearing narrator Phil Thron crack up repeatedly at the things Randy was saying made me laugh so hard tears streamed down my face.

If you're at all interested in Superhero Fiction, this book is a great one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mike
  • 28-06-2019

fun but a slow start

great story, just took about 26 chapters to get going. thath made it hard to stay with it. i wont lie its not space team funny at all but has great moments

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Hppichk
  • 26-06-2019

SO FUNNY!!

Wasn't sure when I purchased the book on how well I'd like it. Once I hit chapter 3, that was all she wrote. I was hooked. I have an odd sense of humor, always liked things that were a little off or out there. This book was spot on for me. I loved the narrator. His voice was perfect for each character. I could picture all of them along with their quirks. I especially enjoyed the blooper reel at the end. I honestly cannot figure out how he made it through the book what with all of the undertones and blatant humor involved. Bravo from me to both author and narrator! Very well done.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Josh Barott
  • 07-03-2019

Not a fan of superheros, but this was hilarious

The main character is pretty funny, but Captain Nazi, now he's a character with some depth. If you haven't read the book yet, I'm being completely serious.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrycja Bourne
  • 11-08-2019

awesome!!!

The funniest book that I read (or listen in that case) on a long time!!!
If you need couple hours of a GOOD LAUGH o strongly recommend it!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • PineAplPrnces
  • 10-08-2019

Hilarious and entertaining

Fast paced and laugh out loud funny. The outtakes at the end with the narrator cracking up and having to start over were icing on the cake. That should be done far more often. Great job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mrkingpinn.
  • 09-08-2019

The Butterfly King!! Nuff said!!

One of the funniest books I’ve ever read!! ( Or listened to). If you like super heroes and what’s not to like and need a good laugh get this NOW!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mat brown
  • 14-03-2019

Utter genius

Randy is the best character since baldrick!! And the out takes of Phil thron losing it after reading randys dialogue is precious and had me in fits (more of these out takes audible)

Can’t to find out what the butterfly king will get up to next!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • mike
  • 13-02-2019

Another great book by Barry J.

Another great book from Barry, funny, good characterisation & great story really well read ( as usual ) by Phil Thron. If you've enjoyed the Space Team books then you'll love a scoop of this book. If you haven't absorbed Space Team then you've got more to get your Banoffee loving chops round.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • D.J.T
  • 22-03-2019

Dont think about it just get this book! Hilarious!

Amazing narration as always by Phil Thron and Barry J Hutchison is my new favourite author. He can't write fast enough for my liking. check out space team series, utterly barmy but brilliant!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe mellor
  • 22-02-2019

Had me howling with laughter

An absolute belter of a book cant wait for more ... barry and phil make an awesome team bringing these story to life .... keep them coming guys :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Stone
  • 12-02-2019

Super!

Having enjoyed a handful of Barry Hutchison's 'Space Team' books, I bought this one expecting some slightly frivolous, lightweight superhero fun. A sort of tongue-in-cheek Incredibles. It was actually more Kick-Ass or Deadpool in tone. Quite grim and sweary in places. Nothing excessive, mind. It's a rare thing indeed for me to laugh at a book but I was sniggering all the time. Thankfully Hutchison does more than write funny lines. Nor does he fall into the trap of slavishly parodying all the superhero tropes, like wearing-underpants-on-the-outside and looking for phone boxes to change in. There was some lovely nuanced stuff when it comes to the relationships between father and son, between lovers and between enemies. You will grow to love these characters, even the hapless Butterfly King. Especially the hapless Butterfly King!

A special mention must be made for the narrator, Phil Thron. What a tour de force! Whether he's growling dialogue (think of Bale's Batman) or voicing a robot with a little old lady AI inside, he never misses a beat. He plays each part to perfection and acts the lines rather than just reads them. Hutchison and Thron are becoming a formidable double act. As much as I like Space Team, I want more Sidekicks. Lots more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-2019

Pure Barry

Essential reading for Space Team fans - Can't wait for the sequel now.

Great new characters, brilliant setting and even a few subtle nods to Space Team itself, this feels like the start of a new and equally hilarious franchise.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 11-08-2019

Not all superheroes were pants outside.

Loved it, very funny and great story to. Narrator also is excellent. Got me laughing more than once. I like the writers humour and combined with the great narration left me light hearted and satisfied.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Cridland
  • 18-07-2019

Very silly. Very good.

It's really quite daft. And judging by the out takes at the end, the narrator laughed as much as I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2019

One of my top 2 comedy books

I have been trying to find a book as funny as Red Dwarf infinity welcomes careful drivers since I read it. This is the book. Is as funny as the sample.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Derek Gardiner McInerney
  • 08-11-2019

The ending bloopers

Loved this book great story and performance the bloopers at the end nearly killed me, I think every book should come with bloopers at the end 10/10 well thought of