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Save the Day
Novel by DJ Fahl, furry superhero action!
I cannot recommend this book hard enough. It's a demonstration of solid writing, plotting, and editing. Excellent foreshadowing. A little more angst than anticipated, but the payoff is worth it. The super elements are enjoyable and absurd in good ways.
You want this book!
Don't pass this one up, D.J. Fahl succeeds in delivering a very entertaining experience in "Save the Day".
This is set in a parallel universe to our own, with cities and places we all know and love from the United States, but replaces humans with anthropomorphic animals, and gifts a select few of them with superpowers.
This book taps into the fascination we all have with superheroes, supervillains, and death defying skills that supersede anything we can do in reality. The fight scenes are action packed and the third person limited point of view allows us to see the creativity of one of the masked vigilantes, Star Coyote. We also see how sometimes, staying alive in such a dangerous line of work comes down to luck. The threat of death is very real, and in one particular scene, very horrifying. Even the super strong, super smart, and super fast must deal with their own mortality.
Mixed in with this is the very real fact that there are consequences to donning tights and a mask to fight people who would abuse their power for idealistic or personal gain. We gain intimate insight into the loved ones of the superheroes, who are normal people trying to worry about their jobs, finances, and, in some cases, children. On top of all this, they must find peace with the fact that their loved ones perform a vital yet dangerous service to the citizens of the world. Death is very real, and has touched the lives of numerous heroes and normal people alike.
On top of all this, the protagonist, Star Coyote, not only lives a double life of all superheroes, he has also tangled each of his two lives into knots. Each knot, when untangled, brings a whole new slew of problems for the coyote. This is compounded by the fact that he just can't stop shouldering other people's burdens. It is very entertaining to see how these shortcomings unravel throughout this lengthy piece of work.
Along with seeing the world of superheroing from the perspective of Star Coyote, we also get to see it from the eyes of the border collie who loves him the most. This is something I feel lacks in many other superhero pieces which is delivered very nicely here. We get a peek into the normal, and very sweet domestic life of the main characters. You can imagine a Thanksgiving day dinner with these people as your neighbors and friends, without all the masks and fighting. It definitely leaves a warm fuzzy feeling when their personal lives come together and they can be themselves.
This book throws in serious discourse, action packed fight scenes, along with comedy, all in a very entertaining fashion. With a strong and diverse supporting cast, this novel is a recommended read. Some of the climactic and emotional scenes are illustrated by Vince Suzukawa and they are true to the text and done beautifully.
Picked this book up while at Furry Fiesta and I'm very glad I did. The story is very interesting and while sure it's about superheroes it has very realistic issues, I'd recommend this book easily and would love to see a sequel.
Up, Up and Away!
Save the day is a book about furry super heroes and about a couple in particular. I really enjoyed this book. It was gripping and I couldn't wait to see that happened in the ensuing chapters.
DJ Fahl writes with a passion and it really shows that superheroes is a topic that he really enjoys writing about.
The only thing that may turn off some readers is the fact it's written in present tense. I have to admit I found it a little bit, towards the second or third chapter, before I was used to the writing style. But that may just be my own failings.
It's, without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in a long time.
Not Your Mother's Superheroes
At first glance when you read Save the Day, you might think "Oh, it's a furry version of X-Men, and one of them happens to be gay." However, you're not going to see a dude with retractable claws mincing around in a yellow jumpsuit. In fact, the superheroes and supervillains here are original, with the possible exception of the telepaths, but it's hard to make them completely original. So you have Jay, a city planner in the city of Portland, Oregon, who has been with his boyfriend, Ted Rodriguez, for five years now, and they recently moved in together. Jay is about to find out that there's more to Ted than he ever could have guessed, which thankfully the author gets out of the way right at the beginning of the book. From there the book switches back and forth between the viewpoints of Ted and Jay. Ted has to deal with being in the closet to the other superheroes he works with and trying to come out to the team. Jay now must adjust to having a superhero for a boyfriend and the responsibilities and risks that it can bring. I really enjoy seeing a lot more of the "civilian" point of view of being attached to someone who is a superhero, and the fact that none of them turn into a cheesy damsel in distress or stupid risk-taker is a welcome relief. The fights that occur between superheroes and supervillains make for a fun read and each one is different. There's one towards the end that is so ridiculous you'll laugh, but it was clearly the author's intention to make that one as ridiculous as possible. You'll also find the ending to be full of surprises, and without giving a major point of the ending way, it would be nice if there was a real-life politician that behaved as the mayor of Portland does. Overall this is an excellent story and one that you will be reluctant to put down. So many crazy and funny things happen along the way to help break the tension at times because yes there will be angst, though not as over the top as some non-furry comics. Anyone who has ever had to come out of the closet in any form will be able to connect and sympathize with the characters and what they go through. Yes, you sometimes want to smack Ted, but in the back of your mind, you can't really deny that you might do the same things he does. I hope to see a sequel to this book and it certainly is a good possibility.
I could not imagine how I would enjoy this book when I picked it up at AC, but when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. D J Fahl's world is beautiful - filled with the down to earth people, with their own issues, loves and hurts, that you'd meet in every day life, but with the added twist of superpowers. You feel the panic and fear at the tragedy and hurt that befalls the main cast. You fall in love with the main characters, even as they fall deeper in love with each other. This book is one that has all the hallmarks of great reading - I want to read it over and over again, and I can't wait to make sure all my friends read it too!
ANTHONY R WILLIAMS
damn freaking AMAZING
So yeah as I say before I love that book.
At first I had bought it because Vince Suzukawa did the drawings, I admit it. But after I started it I couldn't put it down.
I've read it already 15 times in a year and I had to buy another copy because my first was such in a state it was scary. LOL
The characters are so attaching, the action is breathtaking, the situations are funny as hell. I have a freaking great time with it. I even end up rereading it after just finishing it at times. Sincerely it's an amazing cheer up book for me. All the characters are so cool and nicely created.
You can really feel their emotions. Fahl did AMAZING with them.
More than 5 stars, I would give him 100 stars and even more. I was stunned by that book to the point that I am really hoping he will come with more, and I would be the happiest if it is based on those characters still but I would buy I think, even blindfolded, any books he comes out with.
Sincerely this book is a MUST READ!
and the author is a very cool guy really.
So if you wondering what to read, if you want a book that gives you a nice fuzzy feeling, that makes you smile, laugh or makes you wonder what is going to happen next
THIS IS THE BOOK YOU NEED.
Not joking there :)
This was one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Going into it I was just thinking it was going so campy book a little like Queer man, but it was nothing like that, it was done the right way. I couldn’t put it down, every page drove me to read farther faster, wanting to know what was going to happen next! It was like finding x-men, doctor who, star trek BSG, and batman, for the first time, just wanting more and never wanting it to end!
I have to say this is one of the best books I have ever read. My expectations where not too high when I got the book. But I was happily surprised when I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Every page made me want to read the next one. I would definitely recommend this book to every one.
Will there be more?
My partner bought this book a year ago, and I just got around to read it. So cover to cover took 4.6 hours. Which is about my normal reading speed. However, I will say that I completely enjoyed the book.
- Strong Character Distinctions: There is a never a point where I am struggling to identify which character is speaking and to whom they are addressing. This is particularly difficult when there are a large collection of characters speaking (there are several of these occasions throughout the novel).
- Strong Thematic Modulations: To explain this concept simply, "Plot is the mannequin - your story are the clothing." Although this is a very standard plot (the evolution of a difficult relationship) the customization, twists, and unique elements of this novel make that mannequin interesting, deep, and most importantly authentic.
- Suspension of Disbelief: In fantasy, superhero, and urban fantasy sub-genres there is an inherent difficulty in balancing what is plausible and what is not within a single world. D.J. Fahl has gone to great lengths to balance these elements of a "Super" world. The novel addresses the political, social, economic, and military issues that arise in a "Super" world. Although those elements are not dominant in the novel they are in fact part of the overarching tension of the narrative.
- Cliche Work Arounds: Dangers in "Super" worlds tend to revolve around the binary nature of Superhero vs. SuperVillain. It is refreshing to encounter a novel that not only allows for characters to die - but allows evil to win. Additionally character morality is not black or white, again a great sigh of relief. Additionally the gay characters are not walking stereotypes. Instead they actually have depth, balance, lives, and most importantly character flaws. I will not say there are not several "stock" background characters - they happen in novels - what I am saying is that they are balanced with "real" characters. Character origin stories are not a belabored plot element, which again is refreshing as it allows the story to move and continue to develop.
- Narrative Structure: First person narration can be very tedious. This is a failure of a first person attached viewpoint. The author here has used a shifting attachment point to create interest in the story as well as a way to colour the situation. This ties back to the review commentary of the character distinctions. The transitions, which do not normally occur within chapters, are handled well are handled well.
I could continue my discussion on the more detailed points of the book. However, I would run the risk of revealing too much of the story. My overall impression of the story is that the narrative itself is strong and well balanced.