Review: Starter Villain

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just like Scalzi’s previous book, The Kaiju Preservation Society, this one is a real popcorn book. It’s also got a pretty silly movie-inspired premise and I consider them to be in a meta series.

As the book blurb says, our protagonist inherits his Uncle’s villainy business (think Dr Evil and Scott in Austin Powers). Because Scalzi has good writing chops, this turns out to actually be a pretty neat story and not one overly long joke. Just like The Kaiju Preservation Society I feel like this story ends just as it’s really getting started. In a way, both of these books have the feel of a short story with the length of a novel. It’s the only real criticism I have and the biggest reason for just 4 stars.

Because the book is so short, there isn’t too much more to say that wouldn’t be too spoilery, so just a few random thoughts before I end the review. The cover DOES make sense about 3 or 4 chapters into the book. Scalzi definitely has THOUGHTS on tech bros and the highest levels of capitalism, but nothing that would be a surprise if you have read his other books, his blog, or his social media feeds.

Overall, if you like a nice, fast read (just took me 2 days) and Scalzi’s movie-in-book-form style, I think you’ll enjoy this book a lot. If you hate Scalzi because of “reasons”, you won’t like this book.

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