If you have been following my blog for any length of time, by now you must know that I enjoy superheroes and superhero fiction. Finding books, as opposed to graphic novels (essentially book-length comics) was, at one time, relatively rare, though there’s been a bit of a boon in such titles.
I read the follow-up to this book (II, Crimsonstreak) awhile back and I wasn’t really enamored with it, but when I found this book at the back of a long queue of books to review, I thought perhaps the first book in the series might explain some things that I was missing in the second book.
The story (sort of): Chris Fairborne (the superhero known as The Crimsonstreak) is the son of superhero(ine) Miss Lightspeed and supervillain-turned-good Colonel Chaos. His mother is killed, his father takes over the world, and he, Chris Fairborne, is framed by his father, sent to a prison for criminally insane supervillains, where he plots, for three years, to make his escape. Meanwhile he watches newsfeeds of Crimsonstreak standing next to Colonel Chaos. Hmmm, how can that be?
There’s potentially a lot going on here, but for a story about someone with super speed, the book reads tremendously slow. Action is not the name of the game in this superhero tale, instead, reflection and planning, mulling and musing take up most of the pages which made this quite dull for me (sorry … I want to see my superheroes in action, or nursing wounds from a recent action).
There’s also a real sense of magic-wand-ness here. The authors waves his hand and something is cleared up or another character changes his ways or something on the verge of happening is no longer a threat. The author as deus ex machina is not something I want in my popular fiction.
As with the next book in the series, the book is loaded with extras. ‘newspaper stories,’ journal entries, and superhero biographies. I may have enjoyed these more than the story itself.
Perhaps this is just a case of Matt Adams the author and me, the reader, not being a good fit for one another. It happens. But as the reader/reviewer, I can’t recommend this book.
Looking for a good book? I, Crimsonstreak by Matt Adams is a lethargic superhero story that will not leave you wanting for more.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Matt Adams
series: The Crimsonverse #1
publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
paperback, 351 pages