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Sprawl by Billy Higgins

A Journey Through the Chaos of Everyday Superheroics 

A madwoman dashes through the city, carrying a book containing the life story of a 3,000 year-old man.

Businessmen sit trapped in a gold-plated skyscraper. They are not alone.

A guy breaks into a bank to piss on a pile of cash. Who does that?

These are but a few of the problems faced by The Line, the world’s first and last line of defense against threats only metahumans can face. Sprawl follows the myriad members of The Line through their everyday adventures. When a supervillain tries tearing down your house, don’t you want to know who’s fighting for you?

A novel, no longer online

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Listed: Aug 25, 2013

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A World of Superheroes, Eh? Wait’ll They Get a Load of This

By Psycho Gecko, author of World Domination in Retrospect

Aug 28, 2013: Sprawl is a lighthearted read for those willing to go in multiple directions at once and for those who gladly embrace the crazy world of the comic book, albeit without artwork. Superheroes, super villains, aliens, time travel, legendary beings, psychic abilities, robots, all are present in a modern setting that clearly copes with the chaos. Unlike comics, who focus on a few closely connected characters, Sprawl shows this world by presenting a variety of personalities all connected by the organization they belong to, like various titles in a comic universe.

Each of these individual stories has its own take on things. One story might cover comedy or post-apocalyptic adventure. Another might have shades of horror. Yet another might be more of a romance.

So far, it’s shaping up to be a story about super people who just happen to interact with the crazy world they live in. If you’re looking for a lot of justifications and lore as you go along, you may not enjoy it quite so much. If you prefer only one point of view, you’re also out of luck.

While you can binge through it easily, the short length of each post suggests a more casual read. The author does a good job making use of those words for the most part. Sometimes, though, the attempts at different flavors of story don’t work out. With viewpoints changing and even the individual stories changing direction, this can lead to a little confusion as to what the tone is supposed to be at any given time.

There is very little to the site and that’s not a bad thing for now. There are no frills. No About page. It’s just you, a search bar, and the story. With so few entries and the site’s ease of turning the page, it’s not difficult to catch up to where you were when you left off, but that is going to have to change as the story gets longer. The author may look at adding a little more color to the site as well as it lacks the attention that was clearly put into the story.

Overall, I see some clear ability and potential here and I’m looking forward to seeing how Sprawl shapes up. The shifting narrative may turn people off if they don’t like that kind of story, but the writing itself is mostly solid.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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