Sunday, December 23, 2012

American Goddesses: a high-octane superhero story for grown-ups

Independent book review: American Goddesses

By Gary Henry

Gary Henry’s American Goddesses is a book that’s a lot of fun to read, and you can tell the author had a lot of fun writing it.

The premise of American Goddesses is this: what would happen to a marriage if the wife suddenly developed super-powers? One answer: super-powered lovemaking.

Megan Harris is a slim, 40-year-old book editor from the Midwest who develops super-powers after an experimental medical treatment. She has super-strength, the ability to fly and can win a football game single-handed against the defensive sides of two professional teams.

While the love-making may be super, her husband, John, feels emasculated by his wife’s awesome power. His insecurity drives him into the arms of another woman. Of course, there’s no hiding infidelity when your wife has super-powers. Megan deals with the other woman, has it out with her husband, and then ... has her way with him.

That was fun, but Henry knows that there’s much more ore in this vein, and he exploits it. What follows is a high-energy superhero story that doesn’t let the reader go.

Author Gary Henry
A skilled writer, Henry reveals the back story as the readers need it in the course of telling the tale. That makes for a much more entertaining read than having to wade through long info-dumps that explain how the current situation came about.

One refreshing aspect of this super-hero story is that almost everyone is a believable character, people like those we’ve all met. Megan, as mentioned, is a book editor. I’ve met a number of those in my time, and I have been one, too. Trish, another woman who gained her powers at the same time as Megan, is a waitress.

The villains, Maunov and Melnikov, have depth, history and deep, powerful feelings. You have to disagree with them, but you can also understand them. And the crazy baddie, Skinner, made my skin crawl — partly because in him I recognized traits I had seen in reality.

The only flaw is that some of the later characters, brought in near the end, are a little stereotypical, almost right out of central casting. Henry could have put a little more reality into this part.

Summary: if you’re looking for entertainment in your reading, but want your fantasy written for grown-ups, turn to Gary Henry’s American Goddesses.

You can find Gary Henry's American Goddesses on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Diesel e-bookstory and Smashwords.

Visit Gary Henry's Honest Indie Book Reviews blog.
Follow Gary Henry on Twitter @LiteraryGary.

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