Book Title: Less Than Hero (Standalone)
Author: S.G. Browne
Number of pages: 368
Faster than a spreading rash! More powerful than dry heaves! Able to put villains to sleep with a single yawn!
Convulsions. Nausea. Headaches. Sudden weight gain. For the pharmaceutical soldiers on the front lines of medical science—volunteers who test experimental drugs for cash—these common side effects are a small price to pay to defend your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of antidepressants.
Lloyd Prescott, thirty-year-old professional guinea pig and victim of his own inertia, is the first to notice the bizarre, seemingly implausible consequences of years of testing not-quite-legal drugs: his lips go numb, he becomes overwhelmed with exhaustion, and instantly a stranger crumples into a slumbering heap before him. Under cover of night, Lloyd and his guinea pig friends band together to project their debilitating side effects onto petty criminals who prey upon the innocent. When a horrible menace with powers eerily similar to their own threatens the city, only one force can stop this evil: the handful of brave men who routinely undergo clinical trials.
(re: Goodreads @ Less Than Hero – S.G. Browne)
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
— Features the everyday apathetic hero fueled by ridiculous abilities (i.e. makes people vomit on will)
— Narrative follows a first-person POV, character vignettes, and snippets of news articles
— Socioeconomic diversity in characterization albeit non-descript nature of a [mostly] male cast
— Well paced, dialogue-driven page turner that can often find itself struggling with expositive info-dumps (e.g. listing side effects of certain drugs); bantering is full of sarcastic LOL-worthy wit
— Revelations feel a bit too neat and tidy; characters don’t experience steep growth
— Rating: 3.5/5
Whenever I see fantasy a la superhero, I will wave that wormy arm in the air holding a “sign me up banner”. I quite enjoy them; and this book is like the adult-ish take on all of the pew pew super power goodness without the actual inhumane abilities.
Full disclosure: I received a finished copy of Less Than Hero through PAI Media. I extend thanks to Gallery Books and the contact at Pai Media for providing me the opportunity to review this title.
Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.
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