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The Legion of Nothing by Jim Zoetewey

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Rated 7.26 out of 10 Statistics

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Genre: Superhero / Sci-Fi

Updated: Every Few Days

Content Advisory

Occasional Coarse Language

Occasional Violence

Statistics

Overall Rating: 7.261

Average Rating: 8.83 (Guests), 8.01 (Members)

Ranking: #15

Rating Count: 34 (19 Guests, 15 members)

1 indicates a weighted rating.

"Very engaging and endearing"

Rating: 8 / 10

When I started reading Legion of Nothing, I read it for almost six hours straight. It was that engaging. The narrator, Nick, is endearing and as a reader I found myself feeling sorry for him even as I cheered him on--no one likes to have their destiny picked for them, and to be a "normal" teenager stuck following in your grandfather's footsteps as a super hero? Not an enviable task when you think about it.

Zoetewey brings a verisimilitude to superhero stories that's rarely shown through humor rather than tragedy--Nick is no Batman or Superman, no Ironman or mutant, but he and his friends have to deal with the weighty concerns of keeping their secrets and protecting their families. His characters handle what's laid before them with the resilience of youth and the inventiveness of those who haven't been told "No, you can't do it that way."

Very fun story so far.

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"A fine addition to this genre"

Rating: 9 / 10

You read the blurb and say "great, Iron Man goes to high school".  And it’s tough to get much love coming on with super heroes or high school.  With me it sure is.

But this transcends all that.  First of all, it really is well-written and has an authentic and engaging narrative voice.  The characters don’t have that "good animes get to become real boys and girls" feel about it.  It’s legit, is what I’m saying.

Also, the whole "find the armor, get jumped into the action" thing has been done a lot but isn’t as burned out as the "Twilight zone",  and "Buffy the Concept Killer".  And the fact that it’s a family heritage, rather than found floating somewhere like The Tuxedo or The Mask or…  is really helpful at adding dimension.  For one thing, it brings in other times.  ALWAYS good for stories like this.  If you can’t be immortal like Wolverine or Highlander, you can at least fall near to a warlike family tree.

It also brings in OLDER PEOPLE!  It wouldn’t be hard to get the idea that fictional preppies have never heard of World War II and might even think VietNam is near Iraq (geographically, that is).  But the link forged to an ancestor here, again, deepens the dimension.

A really nice piece of work that deserve reads and being mentioned by hipsters at comic cons.

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"The Legion of Nothing is entertaining reading"

Rating: 8 / 10

I’ll be honest and say I never would have read Legion of Nothing if it hadn’t been submitted to the club.  A story about superheroes?  Superheroes are for comic books.  Superhero stories are over the top, full of overpowered goody-two-shoes with repressed god complexes. In other words, not my thing at all.

Well, shows what I know.

There are no heroes here; just a group of teenagers who have inherited a superhero league from their families.  Some of them love that; some of them don’t.  They don’t all have superpowers, and some have developed superpowers, or been ‘encouraged’ to develop superpowers, by less than ethical means.  This all leads to really fascinating reading, and I was halfway through the series before I realised it.

I love that Mr Zoetewey’s characters are authentic teenagers, but not your average spoiled-brat-socialite that seems to be the television stereotype these days.  These characters are on the cusp of adulthood, they have visions and dreams, but they still need to cope with school and their parents.  It’s a lot of pressure, having to defeat evil and still be home in time for curfew.

The story doesn’t shove morals down your throat, it’s just a tale of budding superheroes.  There doesn’t seem to be a deeper message, but the story is not lessened by that; in fact, it’s a refreshing change to watch these kids and their struggles and NOT have it turn into a tale of ‘this is what happens if you’re bad, children”.

The writing, like most serials, is patchy at best, marked by moments of brilliance, with the occasional confusing morass to wade through.  Thankfully the confusing moments are rare, but I’m not inclined to forgive them, as Mr Zoetewey’s writing is generally strong.  The pace of the story is excellent, the worldbuilding interesting, with just enough information slipped into the narrative to make it come to life without being overwhelming.  There’s plenty of tension too; and the cliffhanger moments just keep you clicking through to the next episode.

But what really made the series for me was the voice of the main character, Nick.  Nick’s tone is dryly humourous and self-depreciating, and I laughed out loud more than a few times at his observations.  It’s worth reading the story just to listen to his voice.

A brilliant, funny series, well worth your time and very enjoyable reading.

(Cross posted from the e-Fiction Book Club)

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