Tuesday, July 2, 2013

League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin

Summary on GoodReads.

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About the book
The story opens with Lenard, 13, is standing in the middle of a railway bridge with his father because his father is convinced that his son was born to be… well, a super hero kind of boy. So his father is asking Lenard to run from an oncoming train to … help Lenard’s powers to manifest?? I guess. Through his life, Lenard manages some hero stunts and that is that.

The second half of the book is about Lenard’s son, Nemo. Unfortunately or luckily, Lenard follows his father’s footsteps and is determine to make a true out of Nemo. Will he feed Nemo plutonium too? Will he test his son as his father tested him?

There’s the mysterious Sikophsky men, a compulsively suicidal love interest (for drama), a rulebook, a violent entity called THEY… and Leonard has to defend everything he loves.

My take
What an agglomeration of pompous diatribe. So numerous bound rectos and leafs filled with coded and highly superfluous parlance ostensibly designed to exhibit the author’s knowledge of such non-lexical vocables rather than to convey any real meaning or carry any meaningful augmentation to the chronicle narrative.

Did you understand, but most importantly, did you like the paragraph above? Did it grip your attention and make you want to read 400 pages of the same type of writing? Then congratulations, you will enjoy reading League of Somebodies.

I on the other hand, am of the belief that you don’t need to embed a science fiction book in a million-plus-one (and then some) sci fi references and jargon.

I tried to like this book because the premise was such a cool one; really interesting and promising elements that should make this a raw and fresh take into the superhero genre.

But the language really turned me off from the story. I don’t consider myself an idiot, but I felt like I needed a companion translation encyclopedia to read this thing. Couldn't Sattin have substituted at least some of the words from technical words to laymen’s terms? I didn’t know what exactly to focus on, I found the flow forced and… well, I guess it just wasn’t my style.

At the end, League of Somebodies leaves one question for readers: how much do you believe in yourself?

Samuel Sattin’s work has appeared in Salon Magazine, The Good Men Project, io9, Kotaku, and has been cited in The New Yorker. He is a Contributing Editor at The Weeklings, and author of the debut novel League of Somebodies. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, beagle, and tuxedo cat.