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Starter Villain

por John Scalzi

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8076927,207 (4.03)69
Inheriting your uncle's supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who's running the place. Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good. In a dog-eat-dog world...be a cat. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 67 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Recommended: eh
For a very business-heavy modern day villain, for some quirky ideas especially around animals, for unexpected moments that startle you into a disbelieving "did that just happen??" kind of laugh

Thoughts:
I've seen some of John Scalzi's other books, and while I admired the unusual angle they usually seemed to take, I also felt like they wouldn't really be for me. I gave this one a shot anyway because it sounded like it might align more with my interests and be the strange angle that I could actually get behind. For the most part that was true, although most of What I took away from this was that modern-day villains do a lot of budgeting and financial stuff. It wasn't super thrilling.

The strength of this is definitely the way it's written: the word play; the funny details; the insightful looks at things that we accept as normal but really are s range if you're not accustomed to them. The downside for me was the plot itself, which felt surprisingly small and without much direction. For most of this book I just kept thinking, where is this going? And I couldn't really envision anything, which made it pretty tough to feel invested. 

It's a good thing that I did this as a buddy read with Nicole, because otherwise I probably would have just DNF'd it at 61%. It's not that it was bad, but that it wasn't compelling enough for me to come back to it. Mostly, I was just bored. Having the chance to do some back and forth with her and focus on the interesting details and small joys in the writing style helped get me through the end of this when I wasn't really invested in any of the characters or events going on.

I think this ended the only way it could have, and for that I am grateful. At the very least, I didn't come through this and then feel disappointed at the end. XD
  Jenniferforjoy | Apr 2, 2024 |
Another entertaining satire from John Scalzi. I enjoyed his take on villains and conspiracies as well as his clever takes on our fascination with villains and supervillains. ( )
  nmele | Mar 26, 2024 |
Fun, but shaggy. Light, fairly predictable ( )
  mikedowd | Mar 19, 2024 |
This was fine, but it felt almost too Scalzi. Too many pop culture references that felt clunky and out of place (although I did love the reference to "The Fugitive"), constant call outs to the locale that felt like it was written for people from that area specifically, and a main character who ways supposed to be portrayed as in way over his head, but had absolutely no issue going toe to toe with the villains and rattling off pages of witty banter. The ending twists were meh, everything felt too clean. I definitely enjoyed elements of it and I wouldn't say it's bad, it's just a very specific style of popcorn fiction that I don't really love. ( )
  James_Knupp | Mar 12, 2024 |
This book was so much fun! I love the way it's both down-to-Earth and over-the-top all at the same time (and often in the same paragraph). The cats are my favorite part of the book, but some of the villain competitors are fun as well. I really enjoyed my time with this book. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Feb 29, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 67 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
John Scalziautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Elwell, TristanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lutjen, PeterDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Scalzi, KristineAuthor photographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wheaton, WilNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This book is dedicated to:

Everyone who could make someone's day worse, but tries to make it better instead.

Thank you. It's more important than you think.

Also, to Sugar, Spice and Smudge, my current set of cats.

You all are a real pain in my ass, and I love your stupid furry faces.
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I learned about the death of my uncle Jake in a deeply unexpected way, which was from the CNBC Squawk Box morning show.
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"I expected the members of Earth's leading society of villains to be smarter,"I said.
“I don't know why.”

“They're smarter in books and movies.”

“They would have to be, wouldn't they?” Morrison said. “In the real world, they can be what people like them usually are: a bunch of dudes born into money who used that money to take advantage of other people to make even more money. It works great until they start believing that being rich makes them smart, and then they get into trouble. Unless they find someone else to take advantage of. (p. 162)
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Inheriting your uncle's supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who's running the place. Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good. In a dog-eat-dog world...be a cat. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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