Book Review: Starter Villain by John Scalzi

My book review on Starter Villain by John Scalzi.

Title: Starter Villain

By: John Scalzi

Genre: Scifi

Pages: 264

Release Date: September 19th, 2023

Publisher: Tor Books

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

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, hyperintelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.

In a dog-eat-dog a cat.


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If you are like me, you have so many books on your plate, you can't remember who recommended them to you, let alone the summary of them all. Although I was chomping at the bit to read this one, there were a few other pressing reviews I had to read first, that this one was pushed back a bit, but once I finally sat down to dive into the pages, I was extraordinarily surprised.

The writing style is set up like a memoir. A day in the life of the main character Charlie. His life is mundane, nothing out of the ordinary, but after a series of odd events happen, Charlie is thrown into the belly of the beast as a starter villain.

My favorite scene and the moment when I realized I wasn't actually reading a memoir, was when the cat started typing on the computer to communicate. This came as a shock to me as I hadn't refreshed my memory on what the book was about before I started reading. Imagine a typical biography and bam! The cat has its own safe house.

Favorite Quote:

“Did you train that cat to attack people?” Jacobs asked. “No,” I said. “She’s just a good judge of character.”

This book receives a 5 out of 5 stars from me. I LOVED IT! Entertaining from start to finish with so many twists and turns it left my head spinning, but in a great way. A must read for scifi readers.

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