Title: League of Somebodies
Author: Samuel Sattin
Publisher: Dark Coast Press
Pages: Paperback; 400
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours
Genre: Comic Fantasy
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who don't mind a lot of prose and dense vocabulary.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Lenard Sikophsky’s father has been feeding him plutonium since the age of six in the hopes of making him the world’s first bona fide superhero. First, he must pass the unusual tests of manhood locked in the centuries old tomb, The Manaton, a secret relic passed down for generations. Falling in love with the beautiful, compulsively suicidal Laura Moskowitz doesn’t make his life any easier. But with the guidance of the Sikophsky men, the antiquated rulebook, and of course a healthy amount of plutonium, Lenard accepts his fate as an exactor of justice. . . .
Twenty years later, Lenard’s son Nemo is introduced to the same destiny as his father, only this time the violent entity called THEY are in dangerous pursuit. Lenard’s life and the legacy of his family are put to the test when he is forced to defend everything he loves.
I'm not going to deny that it took me a very long time to finish this. League of Somebodies is a book that seems to defy a genre categorization. It's wild, wordy, and at times I was all but lost as I tried to puzzle my way through what was going on with Lenard and his insane father. However for some reason I just couldn't put it down. Maybe it was because Lenard had so much heart, or because I'm a sucker for a superhero story, but despite any qualms I may have had I did ultimately finish this book.
At the heart of it all, this is a story about the relationship between a boy and his father. It's also an ironic look at the superhero archetype and how it peddles superiority in masculinity. Be warned that if you can't deal with "in your face" male superiority, this probably isn't a read for you. Lenard's father wants nothing more than for his son to become all that is man. He's not afraid to push, prod, and even put his son in danger if it means achieving that end. Yet, at the end of the day, Lenard still loves him and even follows in his footsteps. I guess it's true that love is unending and unyielding, especially so in this case.
Now I've said it above and I'll say it again, the wordiness of this novel is really what makes it so tough to read. There isn't a lot of action here, but there is a ton of storytelling. Scenes that most likely should have been paragraphs ended up as multiple page entities. As a reader it was extremely disorienting. Add in some grammatical issues, and now you see why it took me a bit to finish this book. I can't deny that League of Somebodies could have used some polishing.
I don't know how else to explain my feelings about this book. It was odd, a little disorienting, and yet intriguing at the same time. It definitely is a unique take on the coming of age of a superhero. Check it out, but make sure you're willing to brave the wordiness.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.