Sunday, October 13, 2013

Book Review: The Machinist Part One: Malevolence by Alexander Maisey

Shortly after I began self-publishing in earnest earlier this year, I noticed a disturbing change in my behavior: I became so focused on writing that I began to let one of my favorite pastimes - reading - languish. (Which is oddly ironic when you consider that being an avid reader was one of the prime drivers in making me want to become an author.) Thus, a few months back, I started actively trying to reverse that trend, and one of the first books I read during that time period was The Machinist Part One: Malevolence by Alexander Maisey.

Like my own Kid Sensation series, Malevolence is set in a world where super powers are not uncommon. People are gifted with extraordinary abilities, and - as one might expect - the more powerful they are, the greater the heights and depths they can attain, respectively, in terms of morality and corruption. They can be superheroes focused on achieving the greater good, or villains completely warped by their own selfish desires. (Not to mention everything in between.)

Against this backdrop we find the centerpiece of the story: Nicholas McHenry, an incarcerated supervillain who - despite spending 15 years behind bars - seems far less rehabilitated and reformed than one might expect. After being released on parole, he is eager to pick up, criminally, right where he left off before he went to prison. 

The results are far from stellar; not only does his first post-penitentiary foray into crime end in disaster, but McHenry soon finds himself framed as the architect of a plan for world domination. With no other options open to him, McHenry is forced to take a stand against the villainous culture he has always embraced in order to clear his name.

Frankly speaking, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Powered by an engaging story line and memorable characters, Malevolence is a thrill-ride that sucks you in with the undeniable strength of a black hole.  The author has done a great job of creating a fascinating world that, at the same time, remains relatable - a place where (just like the "real" world) few people are all good or all bad. By way of example, one scene  involves a superhero in single-minded pursuit of a pair of villains on a motorcycle. Snatching them off the bike mid-ride, the hero flies off with the culprits, heedless - and perhaps oblivious - of the damage the riderless motorcycle then causes in an ensuing crash.

McHenry, of course, is a classic anti-hero. He's a man who doesn't set out to be a good guy or do the right thing, but ends up doing so because it's the only way to save his own hide (or it somehow serves his own interests). Regardless, he is an enjoyable character and as a reader it was great to tag along and be something of a sidekick to him. I eagerly look forward to his next adventure(s).

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1 comment:

  1. And,what is taking so long for the second book to be released?
    Been waiting for a while now.


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