My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Review: The Shadow Society

The Shadow Society The Shadow Society by Jay Bonansinga
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I am a huge fan of Marvel movies, I am pretty much hit or miss with the comics themselves. The Shadow Society is written more along the lines of a novelized comic book without the cool illustrations. The idea of a team of anti-heroes is pretty standard stuff and the members of the quintet pretty [stereo]typical … so don’t expect a PC story here. Since this is the second of the series, let’s meet the main characters. Spur is muscle bound cowboy that is the nominal leader of the “ very special unit” and has the ability to duplicate or match his opponent’s main advantage. Boo is “petite” ninja assassin who earned her code name from her ability to ambush folks from the shadows (as in Boo, you dead). Pin-up (yeah, they went there) is a sexualized Latina who can shape shift (of course). Ticker is a dapper African American who can stop time and Hack follows the trend with his legendary cyber skills.

The story opens with a little demonic possession and satanic cult weirdness that it hopefully meant as a caricature the exorcism tradition of the Catholic Church. It is designed by be repulsive and it does a fair job without being too silly. Next we get some sleight of hand and the characters all move around the board without any apparent rhyme or reason other than bad guys gotta be bad guys. Frankly that makes Part I a bit of a drag to get through. We don’t get to the actually plot until Part II when we realize that Satan has some very specific plans to bring about Armageddon … and there really are no surprises here … after all, the prophecy is over 2 thousand years old by now. Part III is where the team springs into action to head off the Devil at the pass … with a [moderately] surprising incentive on top. This is where the super hero genre finally comes through and it was just okay when all was said and done. If you are a big comic book fan, feel free to add a star.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheShadowSociety #TheDevilsQuintet #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.