Blurb: Robin Laughlin (aka. Failstate) is a contestant in a reality TV show called America’s Next Superhero. His goal? To become an official, licensed superhero. It doesn’t help matters that his powers are often out of control, that his handsome big brother is wining the hearts of the voters, or that Robin can’t even remove his mask or viewers would shriek from fright. When one of his competitors is murdered, Robin sets out to find the killer, hoping for justice and to prove he’s no failure.
Failstate (#1 Failstate series) by John Otte was the biggest surprise of the book club for me and the most unique in content for sure. This book felt a lot fuller than some of the others. That’s the thing about action-packed books – the excitement never lets up! I thought the first chapter or two were a little slow but once we learn a secret about Failstate & Guantlet (another competitor on the reality show), my interest was peaked and it never waned. I liked so many of the characters, too – Failstate, of course, but also Lux and Veritas and Prairie Wind (was that her name?) all seemed interesting.
I especially liked watching Failstate learn more about his powers. I think that was my favorite part – his untapped potential and how he would call out to God and discover his inner strength. His faith was naturally part of the story – heavily Christian but it was part of who he was, not something beating the reader over the head.
There were a few questions unanswered that may come up in sequels but they were backstory type questions that aren’t important in the overall flow of things. I didn’t care for Failstate’s mother at all. I felt like her mistreatment of Failstate came from a dislike of his appearance and disabilities and was extremely unmotherlike. (One other small thing – there seemed to be a lot of editing typos – words missing or repeated twice. I was surprised considering it wasn’t self-published.)
The big question I had was in this world where super heroes and super villains are so commonplace, I couldn’t believe there weren’t systems in place to train and supervise those people better. They needed a school (like Super High) or something. Everyone expecting Failstate to not melt everything was unreasonable with no one ever taking time, aside from his father, to work with him so he could learn control.
I think these books would be awesome for both guys & girls who like superheroes and/or comic book-type stories. I definitely plan to read the rest. Oh – and it’s usually free on Amazon, too!
Do you like comic book-type heroes?
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