Can the powerless son of a superhero do what his father couldn't?
Spencer Harrington is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world's most powerful Augment. Ever since witnessing his mother's abduction by a psychotic supervillain two years ago, he's been confined to his father's arctic bunker. Haunted by nightmares and tired of eating cardboard rations in the "Icehole", Spencer launches into his father's dangerous world to uncover his mother's fate.
With no superpowers of his own, Spencer stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities armed only with his multi-tool and an arsenal of weapons grade smart-assery. Along the way he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments, but he soon discovers that his father's nemesis, the Black Beetle, isn't his only enemy or even his worst.
©2014, 2015 Russ Linton (P)2016 Russ Linton
This superhero thriller did not work for me. I'm not quite sure why as it had all the stuff I normally want while reading my superhero stories. It had a snarky hero, cool superpowers, weird sci-fi technology, plenty of action, and a plot with a bit of intrigue and mystery. I think I never quite clicked with Russ Linton's writing style. I always felt a bit detached from the characters and never really felt like Linton painted a good picture of his world with his descriptions.
The plot itself was not a problem as it was quite interesting. Spencer Harrington is the super-powerless son of the world's most prominent Augment(superhero) the Crimson Mask. Which would be cool if the Mask was not a selfish ass! After the kidnapping of his mother two year previously by the villainous Black Beetle the Crimson Mask has kept Spencer safe/imprisoned in a bunker in the Arctic! When the Beetle captures the Crimson Mask it is left to Spencer to step into the void and save his family. No easy task as all he has is his delusional friend, his dad's mistress, and a few washed up Augments for help!
The story had a bit of humor, but was mostly an action thriller. Despite failing to fully connect with the characters or Linton's writing style I did still find this top be an OK listen. I doubt I'd bother buying a sequel if one appears, but it is not like I consider my time spent on this story to be a total bust.
Mitchell Lucas did a decent job with the narration. Though I did feel like he was reading the book a tad fast.
"Great story with a comic book feel"
A review copy of this book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have a weakness for superhero stories that portray a superhero’s personal life instead of focusing just on the hero while relegating their family to the background. You’d think that their familial relationships would be some of the most important and intricate relationships in their lives, and often, it’s rarely touched on or touched on in a way that supports only whatever the hero has going on. These relationships have to be some of the most complicated relationships that heroes have, and this books explores this in its own way. Spencer is a likable, sarcastic kid (and just like a kid he can get really annoying at times), and while he may not have powers, he has skills that are handy, showing that a hero doesn’t always have to have godlike powers to be useful. Spencer’s father does seem to truly care for his son, but his work has left him distant and controlling, and it felt perfectly understandable that Spencer would resent his father, especially in the wake of his mother’s abduction. Situations like that bring about tough questions such as why can his father save others but could not save the most important person in their lives?
This book was infused with humor, angst, and action. Spencer is pulled in deeper and deeper into his father’s world and learns that things aren’t so simple as he once thought they were. There’s something always going on in this book, but it does manage to still give readers a good sense of the characters and various relationships are explored throughout the book aside from Spencer and his family’s. This book takes time to process emotions and thoughts rather than skimming over them, and it really capitalizes on Spencer finding personal strength. The book is told from other point-of-views aside from Spencer’s, but Spencer’s story is told from first person where the others are not. This may be jarring from some readers, but regardless, the other sections are well-written and absorbing. Spencer can read a little younger than he is. This feels like a coming of age story, but I would think that maybe Spencer is a little too old for that categorization. Then again, we can all hit a late spurt.
The narration didn’t work for me. Mitchell Lucas wasn’t a bad narrator, but I found him to be a bit monotonous. Emotions I was expecting from passages just weren’t there, and it hampered my enjoyment of the book because it took me a while to look beyond the narration and focus on the story. I don’t know if Lucas is a new narrator. This is the first book I’ve read by him, but I think with a little more time and practice, he could be just fine. And it could’ve just been his reading for this particular book. Sometimes, I find that one book isn’t representative of a narrator’s talent and have revisited my thoughts about certain narrators after hearing more of their work.
This is an underdog story filled with familiar emotions in a superpowered setting. Comic book fans that enjoy X-Men or Superman will probably get the most enjoyment from this. The story is familiar and it has that comic book feel that appeals to comics fans. However, lovers of genre fiction and people who aren’t particular about genre fiction can enjoy this story as well with it’s easy, engaging story line.
"Not just for fans of superhero stories! :)"
I love everything about superheroes, so of course a book about the son of one would interest me. It's done in a way that even if you aren't a lover of superheroes, you can still get into the story. Our main character ends up on quite an adventure, and it's a lot of fun to read about. There's a lot of technology, and at times it confused me a little bit. It didn't take long for me to figure out what was going on at these times though. The characters were all awesome, even the "villains." I love when an author can include sarcastic humor in the dialogue. Mitchell Lucas was the narrator of the audiobook, and he did a fantastic job with the voicing. He was able to make each character sound different enough that it makes the story easy to follow. I really enjoyed this audiobook, and I would be interested to see this become a series. I recommend this book to any fan of superhero stories for sure, but also anyone that likes a good adventure story as well!
**I was provided with this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. My opinions would be no different if this was not the case
"Believable characters, interesting story"
super hero fun
All the old augments in the hospital place tie! They were great.
His voices were great - his voices made me feel like I knew the teenage boys.
I was touched by Spencer & Eric's moments reuniting.
I had a really hard time getting into this story at first. Spencer does a bit too much telling about the background/setting in the beginning. It wasn't really until he meets up with Emily that it felt like there was really a story to start following. For me, the flashbacks and memories (mostly of mom) just didn't work... maybe they were too long and drawn out, maybe they were too early in the book... I don't know - maybe a prologue with the scene where mom is taken might have been a way to pull the reader in better.
Once I started enjoying the story though, the plot really was quite interesting. The characters were incredibly realistic and some were pretty unique. Spencer and Eric were spot on portrayals of older teenage boys, and they spoke just enough techno-mumble jumble that I believed them without getting bogged down. The villain scenes were less enjoyable for me and really didn't add much to the book... at least in this installment.
The narrator did a great job. His voices were easy to tell from one another, and they definitely added to the "reading" experience. When he first started speaking I first thought that his voice was typed well to Spencer -- but after hearing all his other voices, it's possible that he just did that awesome of a job.
I received this free audiobook from aubiobook blast for an honest review.
"Fast paced and fun."
Of course, it's a fun and well written book with an exciting storyline and memorable characters..
Spencer meeting Huricane for the first time. That part of the story really stuck out in my mind.
He's able to do various voices well, they all sound distinct from each other. I was never confused about who was speaking.
I would have liked to but I had to break it up.
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of the audio book edition of Crimson Son by Russ Linton ; a book in my favorite genre, superhero prose fiction!
Crimson Son is the story of nineteen year old Spencer Harrington, the son of the world's last active superhero the Crimson Mask. Two years ago his father's arch nemesis the Black Beetle kidnapped Spencer’s mother and ever since that day he's been confined to his father's arctic bunker where he is primarily left to his own devices. Plenty of time to stew in resentment for his father and the Black Beetle. When at last an attack on the “Icehole” and an escape pod set him free he has only one thing on his mind; finding his missing mother, a task his father has failed at for two years. As he begins to delve into the world of Augments, as the super powered are called, other people begin to get caught up in Spencer’s story. There's Emily and her wealthy doctor friend Martin, Spencer's own childhood friend Eric; and a group of World War II veteran's once know as Force Zero.
Fast passed and exciting, Crimson Son moves at action thriller speed from beginning to end. Russ Linton's writing is concise and focused while maintaining the suspense of the story throughout. There are no wasted contemplations or dry parts, or thankfully cliched romance. While the story comes to a very satisfying conclusion there is certainly the opportunity for a sequel or prequel to this one. I personally would love to read more about the members of Force Zero and find out more about the world of the Augments.
Since this was an audiobook edition I'll briefly speak about the performance of narrator Mitchell Lucas. I'll be honest, I didn’t warm up to his voice right away, in fact I found it mildly annoying until he got to the part in the story where he was doing other character's voices and not just Spencer's voice. Then I determined that this was just the way he had decided to portray Spencer, as somewhat immature? Brat-ish? I always struggle to describe the influence of sound that a narrator brings to the table but it certainly had some influence of the way I saw the character. He certainly is able to portray a wide range of voices well, and have all of them sound distinct from each other. I truly enjoyed the performance though and felt that he made a real contribution to the excitement of the audiobook.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
"5 Stars for a NOT so powerless superhero!!"
I loved every second of this audible book! The story flowed flawlessly, the characters were likable, and the world is believable. The narrator, Mitchell Lucas, does a fantastic job with all of the characters. All I can say is Yes! Yes! Yes! I love it and I want more of the Crimson Son!!! Russ Linton & Mitchell Lucas and my new superheroes!
"I was incredibly lucky to have this audio book gifted to me by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
"Something for the teenagers"
It was okay. Nothing really stands out. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.
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