07 Bookwyrm

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When someone takes the time to follow me on Twitter I often take the time to learn a little about them. I’ll visit their account and read some of their tweets and then take a look at their website. I see it as the least I can do if they are going to take the time for me. Earlier this week on Twitter I was followed by Lincoln Crisler. Not only is this guy an Army combat veteran who loves cooking, web design, and comic books; but he’s an author and editor as well. When I visited his page on Amazon, I came across the book he edited titled Corrupts Absolutely? and found the idea of superhero fiction (as in literary and not comic book) interesting. When I commented on this, he gladly sent us a copy of this book for review.

But how should one review a book of twenty-one stand-alone stories? Judging a novel is easy since the whole book tells a single story. Anthologies are a bit different though since each story will have it’s own flaws and merits. What we decided to do therefore, is give you honest reviews of each story and keep a running average of the book’s score. We hope this makes sense and pleases the readers, the authors, and Mr. Crisler. And so we begin with Retribution by Tim Marquitz.

I admit that I was worried when I read the first line of Retribution: September 11, 2001, 8:46 a.m. This was almost certainly going to be some preachy bit of patriotism that no one seemed to express before the tragic events of that date. Oh, how wrong I was. Instead, the main character of this film is a man who lost everything on that day and volunteered for a government program to exact retribution. He is not there because he loves America, but because he loves his wife and unborn child. And it is by this love and the pain of their loss that the unnamed character is driven to unleash a terrifying power upon the people he views as enemies.

Marquitz’s style is very engaging and lively. He effortlessly takes us inside the head, inside the pain, of this character. We identify with him and understand why he feels what he feels, his unapologetic hatred. It doesn’t matter if we agree or not if what he’s doing is right, it happens and we experience it. And speaking of experience, when the power is finally unleashed I found myself smiling as I warped my mind trying to imagine my consciousness being scattered in particles where my body once was. Only Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen has warped our mind in such as way. Retribution is an awesome tale that gives us much hope for the next twenty stories. 

This was a great story for Lincoln to open the book with. It shows that he knows how to draw a reader in and that he knows what he’s doing as an editor. Corrupts Absolutely? starts off with . Stay posted to see if it can keep all five alien heads.