Friday, July 3, 2015

Supervillains Anonymous, by Lexi Dunne

Lexi Dunne cruelly ended her first novel, Superheroes Anonymous, with a cliffhanger worthy of the old Batman TV shows.  I forgive her though.  She delivered a worthy sequel (or part 2) in Supervillains Anonymous.  Hostage Girl, having been framed for her friend and trainer Angelica's death, finds herself sentenced to the notorious Detmer prison for supervillains.  It turns out not to be so bad--fine dining, masseuses on call, outstanding workout facilities--except that her roommate is the sadistic supervillain Rita Davenport.

Hostage Girl unwillingly enters Rita's training program, then unwittingly gets sprung from prison by Rita, and is caught up in a whirlwind of double-dealing superheroes and supervillains.  She is still discovering and developing her own powers, cultivating a romance with her superhero boyfriend, and trying to decide who's really on her side.

Dunne writes some great action and fighting scenes.  Of course they're not believable; we're talking about people with superhuman powers, after all.  She keeps the surprises coming as Hostage Girl and her friends get to the bottom of the supervillains' plot to take down the superheroes and establish themselves as the dominant super-people.  That's a pretty bad nutshell description of the plot, actually.  Dunne does a better job of pulling it off, but the plot does tend to get drowned out a little by the action sequences.

I do look forward to Dunne's next book.  (We know she has one in mind by the way she ends this one. It's not quite as bad a cliffhanger, but it's still hanging there. . . .)  One thing I'd like to see more of is interaction with the "real world."  There are a couple of references in Supervillains Anonymous to the superheroes actually doing things superheroes do, but mostly they are saving each other rather than civilians, giving the impression of an insular community of supers who don't have much purpose in the larger world.  Nevertheless, it's a fun read, a nice followup to Superheroes Anonymous.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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