My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do you like comic books? Do you love heroes and villains? This is a book for you. It reminded me of a Japanese light novel in all the best ways as well. Kaede Hiyashi (our pov character) is the son (or possible clone) of the supervillain, the mad scientist, Dr. Terror. He's not really interested, that much at any rate, in following in Daddy's footsteps. On the other hand, he finds the superheroes to be annoyances (and taunting them amuse him). What he really wants is to be left alone. However, being Terror's offspring means villains and heroes alike have their sights set on taking him out or otherwise using him against dear old dad.
While Dr. Terror isn't going to win father of the year, and barely sees Kaede, he is concerned with his safety. He sends him Ash, a handsome white haired bodyguard who was raised to be a deadly hand to hand assassin by a death cult (shades of Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows).
Ash evacuates Kaede to Corwyn CA but Kaede isn’t sure why his father wants him there. He immediately draws the ire of Dark Justice (an homage to Batman) as well as several supervillains. As Kaede and Ash cut a swath through the supervillains of Corwyn, while thumbing their nose at DJ and at the rest of the heroes, Kaede figures out his father’s plans.
What’s harder to figure out is Ash, the emotionless, socially under developed bodyguard. Kaede teaches Ash how to live and love.
There is plenty of over the top gadgets and action. Kaede and Ash (as well as DJ) are delightful characters. It’s more action-adventure than romance (and it’s a fade to black sort like most of Ms. Speed’s works) and that was perfect for this. I hope she revisits this world! I’d love to go on another romp with these snarky brilliant villains. About the only false note for me was what happened at the club as it seemed a stretch for Ash to indulge like he did but other than that, I enjoyed every moment.
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