Title: The Vindico
Author: Wesley King
Kidnapped from their average lives, five teenagers are given the chance to change their lives forever. They are promised super powers – something they thought you had to be born with. But these powers come with a price. To get them, they must join a league of the world’s most notorious villains: the Vindico.
I picked this book up for two reasons. One was because Cat at Beyond Books [note: a currently-deactivated book review blog I used to follow] liked it so much. The other was because I’m a huge fan of well-done superhero books.
I expected a somewhat light-hearted, good-versus-evil kind of story. But that wasn’t what I got at all.
I only had two problems with the book. Number one was the sheer amount of characters. Five teenagers, six villains, a few random friends, a bazillion superheroes from the League…all of whom were mentioned by names that all started sounding the same after a while.
And besides the fact that I couldn’t keep them straight, there were so many of them that I didn’t really get to know any of them. James seemed to be a totally average kid. Lana I hardly got a feel for at all. Hayden thought he was God’s gift to women. Emily was detached, calculating, and brilliant. Sam acted like a little kid – which was explained at the end in a perfectly logical yet highly annoying way.
It was annoying because of problem number two – character details. Emily was Asian, apparently, a fact that was NOT mentioned in describing her appearance, but was dropped in the middle of the book in a “hey, you already knew this” way. And Sam was apparently younger than twelve, a fact that was not mentioned until the last chapter. I went through the whole book thinking he was a teenager, while I would have liked him much better if I’d have known he was about ten, not just immature. A few details mentioned earlier on would have spared me a lot of frustration.
I really enjoyed the plot. It was delightfully superhero-ish, including confrontations between good and evil, and even one spot where nobody (including me) knew who the good guys were. It was just a whole lot…darker than I expected.
I’d expected more of a light-hearted, comic-book-style, bad-guys-go-to-jail kind of story. Instead, the Vindico and the League were just killing each other. That’s not to say it wasn’t bad, it’s just … well, if this were a comic book, I wouldn’t give it to my nine-year-old sister.
This book was hardly what I expected, but I still enjoyed it. So, I think, would any superhero or comic book fan.
The Vindico series:
- The Vindico
- The Feros