In the wake of their mother's death, Jason and Amy Night tried to get on with their lives. While Amy buried herself in her work and taking care of their ailing father, Jason took another path. He donned a mask and became the protector of Darden Valley. He became The Guardian. When Darden Valley comes under attack from more than just crooks and thugs, the siblings will have to lean on each other to protect their family and defend their city. Does the Darden Valley Guardian have what it takes to protect his city while his family is under attack?
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While the story of this was good and the some of the ideas were really unique, I think it was the quality of the recording that let this down in a big way!! The narrator himself was OK, his male voices were varied but his female voices left a little bit to be desired. I found it hard to follow who was talking at any given time. For the narrator I'd give maybe 3 stars to but the quality of the audio would be 0!! I was left wondering did anyone listen to the full recording before putting it out there!! The narrator stumbled and repeated himself multiple times throughout. There were times when I thought I might have hit playback but I knew I couldn't have done it so many times. He also paused for what felt like minutes at a time during scenes. I found there was also some background noises sometimes, I think I even heard a dog once but I definitely heard music at one stage! It felt like he was recording it in an empty chamber at times too. Very kind of..... staticy and echoey. I went to put it aside plenty of times but continued on anyway.
Now onto the story itself. There was plenty to like about the book. I realy liked Jason! He is just a normal geeky boy doing a kind of "Batman" thing! He runs a comic book store during the day and becomes something else at night after his mother was killed. He buys his protective gear from Amazon and uses his mixed martial art to help him. It's not till he is seriously injured that he decides to include his sister in his scheme. With her on board, he is able to use her expertise to upgrade his equipment.
Initially, from the cover, I thought Zombies with a superhero with super powers, but it's not, which I quite liked. I liked the technology in the book, I liked that the females in the book were all capable and fairly kick ass. I didn't really like that we have a good few unanswered questions which left the story with an unfinished feel to it. I didn't particularly like that Jason went fighting burglars instead of actually going out and fighting real evil! The police could have handled the burglars but there was never any mention of them. The few times we see the masked vigilantly, he just seems to be going after the easy options. That's just me though, I always expect my superhero books to be super and action packed!!
Anyway, this has potential. I think it could become a brilliant superhero series because the bones of the story is great, it just needs a little more something.... It also needs to be heavily edited for the audio. It's a shame to not fix the bugs!!
*I received a copy of this from the author for review. This does not affect my thoughts.*
Imagine that after the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne decided to become a masked vigilante. Not hard to imagine, obviously. Now imagine if Bruce Wayne wasn't rich, wasn't a child, didn't have unlimited resources, as well as years with which to train before he started fighting crime. That's the premise of this story, where an ordinary young man named Jason Night decides to start fighting crime after a personal tragedy.
When his mother is murdered in the family hobby shop in front of his eyes by a man who randomly killed her decides he wants fight crime. He takes MMA lessons, learns Parkour, and build himself a suit with off the rack components, consisting of a cowled mask, bullet proof vest, padded gauntlets, with kevlar sleeves, with tonfas for weapons. Stuff a guy who owns a hobby shop can afford. He then starts fighting crime in the local neighborhood, stopping break ins, stuff like that. When he runs across a break in at the local Chinese restaurant, with a group of guys just busting the place up, he stumbles across a conspiracy that he is ill equipped to handle, since these guys travel in packs, and are armed with guns. That bullet proof vest comes in handy, although getting shot still hurts a lot! This group is on orders, and Jason needs to find out who's behind the break ins that are terrorizing his neighborhood.
Jason also has to deal with problems in his real life. His father has Alzheimer's Disease, and Jason and his sister Amy have to care for him as he deteriorates further. Amy has dealt with the tragedies by diving into work at the tech company she works at, and has no idea Jason is moonlighting as the vigilante the news dubs The Darden City Guardian. As the pressure from these break in continues, and the danger increases each run in, Jason has to decide if he can continue. The fact a villain has discovered who he is and where his family is increases his doubt that he can continue as the Guardian, since it is endangering his family and friends.
What follows is a hard fought battle for Darden City itself, as the true power behind all the disturbances makes itself know in a quest to further their plans to take over the city. This includes an army of supervillains that Jason and his friends need to face in order to stop the insanity gripping Darden City, and someone will make the ultimate sacrifice to help stop the insanity, all leading to a pulse pounding, action packed ending you wont want to miss!
This is an interesting book, since while it is about a superhero vigilante, its also about family struggles, friendships and sacrifice. The characters are well thought out and come across as real people, with real problems and successes. They are people you can really get behind. The villain actually comes across as realistic, even in this setting. The master plot actually gets you sucked into the story, and is actually pretty original. The training flashbacks are really good, with his sister making fun of him for getting beat up in MMA classes, and his broken arm from his parkour accidents is handled a funny way as well. It is a very humanizing touch. The world building is well drawn out, giving you a first hand look into Darden City. You get a feeling of fighting crime on the streets. All told excellently done.
The narration duties are handled ably by Carson Beck.He brings a real warmth and is believable as the various characters. He really has a good pace, and his narrative voice is smooth and well paced. excellent work.
Any fans of comics should really enjoy this story, as should fans of writers like Drew Hayes, CT Phipps and Jim Bernheimer. I can't recommend it highly enough, and can't wait to see where book 2 goes!