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Great Character Driven Story

By Scott Scherr, author of Don't Feed The Dark

Oct 16, 2016: Sanctioned begins with five young women celebrating the completion of a grueling year of testing mandated by the Scottish National Defense Agency (SNDA) who identify, develop and eventually control young men and women with latent ‘powers’. Essentially deemed ‘rejected’ for sanctioning as superheroes, these women are all about to head their separate ways until discovering on the News that a famous superhero, Glorious, has been killed. After a series of circumstances that don’t add up, these young women decide to launch their own investigation into the mystery behind Glorious’ death, serving as one of the primary storylines at the heart of this tale so far.

I’ve engulfed the first twenty-three chapters of Sanctioned in just under two evenings and was reeled in very quickly from the first chapter. The author does a wonderful job of introducing these five very different and relatable characters right from the start, who reveal their close bonds at times, while at other times, wanting to go at each other’s throats. For me, the greatest strength of this story are these diverse young woman, each with their own strengths, quirks and backstories, as they will leave you laughing at their misadventures and quick-witted comments, and then catch you off-guard when sharing vulnerable moments from their pasts or just the overwhelming need for a taste of ‘home’. All of this along with their unique abilities, lend for fascinating, in-depth character stories which continue to evolve as Sanctioned progresses.

Aside from the endearing personal stories and a sinister murder mystery behind the death of a superhero, there are other characters and storylines introduced touching on a much larger picture and plot taking place in this new world where no corner has been left unaffected by the introduction of ‘powered’ individuals, which adds incredible potential to this compelling tale. The seeds have already been planted.

My only criticism for Sanctioned is that there are so many storylines happening at once, especially in the Day 2 arc, that I’m occasionally disoriented when jumping from one story to the next, and then back again, that I need a moment to regain my bearings and remember where I left off. At times, I get the impression that many of the chapters were written out of sequence and that they could have been arranged better to allow more cohesiveness between switches.

All in all, I recommend this strong character driven story to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted narrative, witty dialogue, believable characters and compelling multiple storylines. With or without superheroes, I would still enjoy this story.

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