Title: Blaze of Glory
Author: Sheryl Nantus
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 2010
Jo Tanis, better known to millions of viewers around the world as Surf, is a superhero who can control electromagnetic waves to devastating effect. Partnered with Mike, whose hulking robotic suit lends him superhuman strength, they fight against super villains. There’s only one problem. It’s all lies.
Controlled by the sinister Agency, all the supers’ fights are rigged, and when the proverbial paw-paw really hits the fan with the arrival of aliens, humanity is unprepared to deal with the hostile attack. It’s up to Jo and a motley team of B-list supers to get down and dirty and save the day.
Having encountered Nantus before with her novel What God and Cats Know, I looked forward to her latest offering and wasn’t disappointed. Little quirks, like her penchant for the ubiquitous Brown Betty teapots and a fluffy white cat somewhere in the narrative make me smile, but what makes the story is this author’s characterisation.
Jo isn’t some twenty-something waiflet, and certainly has her job cut out for her when she inadvertently takes on the role of wrangling a mismatched group of erstwhile villains, odd couples and individuals. Superheroes many of the cast may be, but Nantus shows us their human side and also their fragility, so I’m happy to report, no Mary Sues or Marty Stus here unless we consider our freaky alien invaders.
If super heroes and witty exchanges are your cup of tea—and be warned, there’s plenty of tea-drinking going on behind the scenes—then I reckon this novel pushes all the right buttons. Oh, after some mention of alien ships resembling giant avocados hovering menacingly above major global cities. This is a fast-paced novel packed full of punches that has a storyline that could probably show some Hollywood producers a thing or two about what constitutes a satisfying superhero tale. Nantus has done good here and I’m keen to see what else she’ll be bringing to the table in the future.