The Backup Superhero | Book Review

Tough-as-nails Tanser Girl has worked hard to get where she is – a Backup Superhero. The public didn’t get the memo in the superhero caste system – when Tanser Girl and another Level D superhero receive accolades, a sinister hierarchy threatens her and her friends. As Tanser Girl unravels the plot, she uncovers deep corruption and an international scheme.

Cover of The Backup Superhero Book 1 by Kayla Hicks depicting a row of five red capes over skyscrapers and one lone black cape over a skyscraper in the middle.

One of the things I like best about The BackUp Superhero world is that there are zero super powers, so it requires no suspension of disbelief. We’re thrust into this world and it doesn’t require elaborate backstories or explanations. With no farfetched science or wacky mysticism, it’s easy to jump right into the story – no infodump required.
For most of my reviews I try to focus on three things – character, setting, and emotional payout, and will do so here.

Character: the main character, Tanser Girl, resonates with me. I deeply appreciate that Tanser Girl is competent. The conflict of this story isn’t reliant upon the main character being incompetent, which is a trope I find tiresome. Tanser Girl, instead, is the captain of her fate and pushes through scary situations with sheer grit.

Dwighter, her friend, struggles with alcoholism, but isn’t crippled by this. He makes valuable contributions to the team and plot and his mental health isn’t a token or mere plot device.

On a side note, the author’s illustrations of the characters far exceeds my own drawing talents.

Setting: being a visual person, I love the author’s descriptions and vivid use of setting and colors. Again, being rooted in the real world (New York City), this was easy to picture and leant to the fast pace. At the same time, there can be real challenges using actual places. Capturing the feel and being authentic with the real world takes a combination of skill, experience, and sometimes research.

Emotional Payout: I was on the edge of my seat during this quickfire novella. The end of the story went in a completely different direction than I anticipated, which I consider an element of an excellent story. I don’t want there to be only one solution possible that I’ve been spoonfed.

In Conclusion: A quick read, The BackUp Superhero is perfect for fans of The Boys, Marvel, and DC. This is a pretty clean story that doesn’t use sex or romance to drive the plot.

I was honored to beta read this book for Kayla, and am currently reading the accompanying short-story to be featured in Night Foundry Publishing’s anthology debuting spring 2021, The Decagon Key. I look forward to the next stories in this series.

The BackUp Superhero: Book 1 is available on Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, or paperback.
Check out Kayla Hicks’ other works on her website.

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