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The Astounding Antagonists is an entry into the sparsely populated field of superhero novels It skillfully blends common superhero tropes, subverted tropes, and obvious deep thought about the implications.The book focuses on the exploits of a group of supervillains who run the gamut from idealistic rebellion against the status quo to self interested greed The Antagonists present a varied group with complex motivations, interpersonal relationships and behaviors Chandler has clearly taken the i The Astounding Antagonists is an entry into the sparsely populated field of superhero novels It skillfully blends common superhero tropes, subverted tropes, and obvious deep thought about the implications.The book focuses on the exploits of a group of supervillains who run the gamut from idealistic rebellion against the status quo to self interested greed The Antagonists present a varied group with complex motivations, interpersonal relationships and behaviors Chandler has clearly taken the idea that everyone is the hero in their own story and run with it None of the characters are doing what they re doing simply because they re evil, or for an undirected desire for power insert maniacal cackle here When Doctor Agon, a super intelligent inventor, learns that the heroes are bringing a satellite online that will be able to track and target anyone on earth from space, he launches a desperate scheme to bring it down before they can create an iron grip on the earth.Chandler has clearly done a lot of thinking about superheroes, and is equally clearly very familiar with the source material Common archetypes from the pages of comics appear in the book Sometimes there are clear analogues Sometimes the trope is spread out over two orcharacters, and sometimes two characters embody the same archetype in different ways Readers familiar with cape comics will recognize The Old Fashioned Do gooder The Comedic Villain The Rich Vigilante The Gadgeteer The Speedster.Where Chandler diverges from the traditional superhero plot is in the implications What sort of people would be given government sanction to operate a super team How would vast wealth and fame affect the attitudes of the ones that have them Especially if they re born to it When there are no procedures in place for arrest, evidence gathering and the like, what would happen when it was time for trials and sentencing What would that sort of privilege, to be able to ignore the laws and dictates of society do to the behaviors and thoughts of the recipients Conversely, what sort of villains would dare to oppose a force like that What would motivate someone to stand up to people that could kill you without charges, or incarcerate you without trial And lesser offenders what is their thought process How do they get by The book s only real weakness is that the heroes are too uniformly despicable While the protagonists villains are quite varied in their presentation and motivations, the heroes don t really rise above the level of jaded cynicism I believe the book would have benefited from either eschewing the hero point of view entirely, or by including some younger, idealistic crusader who still hadn t sunk into the self satisfied swagger of the veterans This character existed on the villains side It really is a great book, and if you have ever had any interest in superheroes, I highly recommend it The best capepunk novel since Soon I Will Be Invincible I ve read a lot of books in this genre in the past few years, and discovered many gems among the dross, but Chandler s is the first since Grossman s to give me this much of a visceral, emotional and literary thrill His characters are so strong, uniquely voiced, understandably motivated, and genuinely engaging I found myself fearing for their lives and well being with every turn of the page Well, the villains anyway Chandler creates a ro The best capepunk novel since Soon I Will Be Invincible I ve read a lot of books in this genre in the past few years, and discovered many gems among the dross, but Chandler s is the first since Grossman s to give me this much of a visceral, emotional and literary thrill His characters are so strong, uniquely voiced, understandably motivated, and genuinely engaging I found myself fearing for their lives and well being with every turn of the page Well, the villains anyway Chandler creates a root for the bad guys scenario that never seems like a cheat They aren t forced to save the day at the last minute, nor are they motivated by some vague notion of evil or menace They arelike Dante s Satan, ultimate rebels out to bring down a status quo overlorded by a Justice League s worth of entitled a holes The writing is terrific, funny, moving, and with surprising moments of depth and empathy for these slightly twisted underdogs the author truly loves Bring on the sequels Rafael Chandler s The Astounding Antagonists is a superhero and supervillain page turner and, so far, the best novel I have read in the genre It s not easy to make a genre primarily associated with visual media come alive solely with words, but Chandler does a beautiful job.The first thing that hooked me, from the very first few paragraphs, is the strong characterization, with interesting, likeable, believable, and diverse characters Then we get to see a web of relationships established betw Rafael Chandler s The Astounding Antagonists is a superhero and supervillain page turner and, so far, the best novel I have read in the genre It s not easy to make a genre primarily associated with visual media come alive solely with words, but Chandler does a beautiful job.The first thing that hooked me, from the very first few paragraphs, is the strong characterization, with interesting, likeable, believable, and diverse characters Then we get to see a web of relationships established between them, which will drive the plot throughout the book It was lovely to see lots of different types of protagonists with different ways of seeing the world.The rhythm and writing style are excellent, making it hard to put down the book or rather the e reader I kept wanting to find out what happened next I would be delighted if this was turned into a graphic novel or, let s dream big, a movie But I have to admit that losing direct access to the writing style in the process would be a down side.I also loved the way Chandler addresses his readers as smart, well read, and engaged He drops references to the classics of superhero comics and of Greek literature with equal aplomb and makes apologies for neither, counting on the reader to follow along He plays on stereotypes without ever becoming heavy handed, just to keep you from making unwarranted assumptions while you read As a result, I was farfrequently surprised by the plot twists than I had been by, say, Austin Grossman s otherwise enjoyable Soon I Will Be Invincible If I must pick weaknesses in the writing, I d have to say that a fewlikeable superheroes would have made the tensionpowerful The other potential flaw is inherent to the genre it s very difficult to describe the kind of wide spread, free for all battles that are its trademark From time to time I had a little trouble visualizing this type of scene However, those were in passing remarks, while the strengths of the book were ever present.If you loved Watchmen or Astro City , I expect you will greatly enjoy this book In fact, I liked it so much that I immediately started reading Chandler s other novel, Hexcommunicated I m not sure what to rate this one It didn t really grab me the way some books have, but at the same time there are a lot of books out there I ve liked a lot less So, I guess I ll go with three stars The story direction is reasonable A harsh look at the so called superheroes who run things from the perspective of their antagonists The writing is decent in most places, although some of the scene descriptions are lacking and left me somewhat confused as to what actions were taking place I m not sure what to rate this one It didn t really grab me the way some books have, but at the same time there are a lot of books out there I ve liked a lot less So, I guess I ll go with three stars The story direction is reasonable A harsh look at the so called superheroes who run things from the perspective of their antagonists The writing is decent in most places, although some of the scene descriptions are lacking and left me somewhat confused as to what actions were taking place At times it felt we were glossing over huge sections like where Agon s secret underwater base came from in order to dwell upon transitory feelings and who was sleeping with whom My problem I suppose is that I didn t really like most of the protagonists I liked Motley, but the book is told from several points of view, and hers is only featured perhaps 25 percent of the time The rest all managed to annoy me in one way or another To be fair, the heroes are supposed to be annoying, but the villains weren t much better.I would like to clarify here While the book is told from several perspectives, the transitions between perspectives is handled quite well, unlike some books I ve read So overall, it s a superhero book, told from the perspective of the antagonists It s a bit of a bleak story, and the action scenes can be fairly brutal There are a number of amusing pop culture references and some curious forays into history, but I m sorry to say that it wasn t quite as much fun as I look for in a superhero story I paid retail price for the Kindle version of this book, my thoughts on it are my own They were neither solicited by, nor compensated for, by either the author or the publisher Really interesting, liked the concepts of good vs evil but in way you don t expect it Characters grow on you, they have good depth and are interesting Really enjoyed the style, and I am not a huge comic fan. I just don t care anyI don t particularly like any of the characters The heroes are all petty, entitled, shallow snots The villains arelikeable but even then they have their own goals and have no problem manipulating the rest to accomplish them The author has a very strong 1% v 99% theme going where being rich and powerful automatically makes you bad and only the poor are deserving of anything I kept waiting for someone to scream occupy Wall street Eventually, I just wore o I just don t care anyI don t particularly like any of the characters The heroes are all petty, entitled, shallow snots The villains arelikeable but even then they have their own goals and have no problem manipulating the rest to accomplish them The author has a very strong 1% v 99% theme going where being rich and powerful automatically makes you bad and only the poor are deserving of anything I kept waiting for someone to scream occupy Wall street Eventually, I just wore out |Ebook ♿ The Astounding Antagonists ♾ Dr Agon, a megalomaniacal inventor with an arsenal of lethal gadgets Motley, a wisecracking jewel thief with nothing left to lose Chillpill, a cryogenic drug lord who just wants a normal life Baelphegor, a demonic psychopath with an ugly score to settle They re the most dangerous supervillains on Earth, and they re about to pull off the perfect crime There s just one catch if they succeed, they might accidentally save the world From the skyscrapers of Apex City to the gates of Hell itself, the Antagonists are pursued by violent superheroes and billionaire vigilantes But as loyalties are tested and old hatreds are rekindled, the line between friend and foe begins to blur Missing You, Love Sara a megalomaniacal inventor with an arsenal of lethal gadgets Motley Dose De Prazer (Os Irmãos OSullivan, a wisecracking jewel thief with nothing left to lose Chillpill Roughneck Cowboy (Cartwright Siblings, a cryogenic drug lord who just wants a normal life Baelphegor Land of Golden Wattle a demonic psychopath with an ugly score to settle They re the most dangerous supervillains on Earth Criminal Behavior (Twilights Children and they re about to pull off the perfect crime There s just one catch if they succeed Dynamite Doc or Christmas Dad? they might accidentally save the world From the skyscrapers of Apex City to the gates of Hell itself Reunion on the Run the Antagonists are pursued by violent superheroes and billionaire vigilantes But as loyalties are tested and old hatreds are rekindled Overtime in the Bosss Bed the line between friend and foe begins to blur This is a super hero story told from the villain s view point Doctor Agon, a super inventory learns that the super heroes are going to be launching a satellite into space that can track everyone on Earth With the help of other villains, he plans on stopping the little, pompous twerps in their tracks With super heroes and comics graphic novels becoming so popular, we are starting to seesuper hero stories And where there are heroes, there are villains But what really defines a villain This is a super hero story told from the villain s view point Doctor Agon, a super inventory learns that the super heroes are going to be launching a satellite into space that can track everyone on Earth With the help of other villains, he plans on stopping the little, pompous twerps in their tracks With super heroes and comics graphic novels becoming so popular, we are starting to seesuper hero stories And where there are heroes, there are villains But what really defines a villain What if they are the hero of their own stories Are the heroes really heroes This story makes you think twice about the typical villain Now, there are a couple things that did annoy me about the story The whole political and economic views did make this story drag They just kept going and drug away from my enjoyment of the story.I loved the stories that twist the approach and make you think twice about the norms I previously read Renegades by Marissa Meyer and enjoyed that book I could see some of that in The Astounding Antagonists If you like the super hero stories you should check this one out You might enjoy it too.I received a complimentary copy of this book I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review A well written, well paced, gripping superhero story Worth the read if you can overlook the amateurish formatting and obvious political slant.The Astounding Antagonists is a story about superheroes and supervillains, only, it flips the script on the usual take Heroes are self absorbed superbrats and vile corporate billionaires, villains are socially sensitive rebels fighting an uncaring system of financial and legal oppression Well mostly.The story is told from the points of view of several d A well written, well paced, gripping superhero story Worth the read if you can overlook the amateurish formatting and obvious political slant.The Astounding Antagonists is a story about superheroes and supervillains, only, it flips the script on the usual take Heroes are self absorbed superbrats and vile corporate billionaires, villains are socially sensitive rebels fighting an uncaring system of financial and legal oppression Well mostly.The story is told from the points of view of several different heroes and villains It unfolds at a controlled but steady pace as the plot is developed until, in true super story fashion, we re immersed in an all out brawl for the fate of the planet.I very much enjoyed The Astounding Antagonists and found it hard to put down The characters were well developed and interesting, and the plot was compelling and moved at a fast but well structured pace It s a professionally crafted story let down only by a lack of professional presentation, with poor interior formatting and rare, but noticable, editing issues Still, if you re not bothered by the technical presentation, I highly recommend The Astounding Antagonists The superheroes have made the world safe They ve also made themselves fantastically wealthy, distorted all the laws in their favor, and locked up or killed anyone else with superpowers They re jerks Basically the only thing that differentiates them from villains is good PR the public still loves them, no matter how horribly they repress The situation feels uncomfortably like a logical extension of our own society s plutocratic and capitalistic tendencies, which is surely Chandler s extent.T The superheroes have made the world safe They ve also made themselves fantastically wealthy, distorted all the laws in their favor, and locked up or killed anyone else with superpowers They re jerks Basically the only thing that differentiates them from villains is good PR the public still loves them, no matter how horribly they repress The situation feels uncomfortably like a logical extension of our own society s plutocratic and capitalistic tendencies, which is surely Chandler s extent.The few remaining supervillains are a blend of ne er do wells, freedom fighters, contrarians, and retirees that just want to be left alone But when they learn the superheroes have a new plan to find and eradicate them, they must band together Sort of It s not something they do well.This is a story about the difference between being a hero and being heroic The characters are well developed and engaging, and they have good chemistry together If you like superhero stories that are turned on their head, or stories about a band of misfits fighting against impossible odds who doesn t , this is a story you ll enjoy It might even give you something to think about