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A Superpowered Viewpoint Roulette

By Shogi, member

Feb 1, 2015: "Citadel" revolves around the lives of an incoming class of trainees at the eponymous campus. The author invites us to follow the daily lives four main viewpoint characters at what amounts to Quantico for superheros. After some whirlwind paced introductions, the narrative then proceeds to rotate frequently amongst the 4 main characters while also often diverging to view events through the eyes of side characters.

To be perfectly clear: the viewpoint of this story changes a lot.

If you are looking for a story that has one or two compelling main characters who you will get to know like good friends and through whose eyes you will view the world, this is not the story for you, at least not yet. Development for any given character is mostly accomplished within the entries written from that character’s viewpoint. Due to how often the viewpoint changes characters are fleshed out very slowly. This tendency can make it seem as though the characters are merely archetypes rather than actual people. Unfortunately, the most compelling character, to me, isn’t even one of the main ones, but that might just be because she is Awesome. This is not to say, however, that I do not like the other characters; only that it might benefit the story to spend a little longer with each one in order to better establish a connection between them and the reader.

There is no such problem with world building, however. The world of Citadel is well conceived, sufficiently detailed, and mostly believable, particularly with regards to the nuances of the paramilitary law enforcement organization. Powers are interesting, though their origins remain mysterious so far, and go beyond the standard "flying bricks." Of particular note is the power of Jenny Awesome (yes, that is a superhero name, and yes, the naming convention for Citadel agents is both campy and brilliant).

Currently, the story is almost entirely character driven, which is to say, there is no real central conflict to drive the plot, though there is some foreshadowing and hints around the edges that not everything is status quo at Citadel and I am hoping the promises that the author is making to us within the writing will be fulfilled.

All that being said, Citadel is worth a look if you are a fan of the superhero genre and if you like seeing (mostly) college age individuals with superpowers thrust into boot camp and trying to obtain top marks in class by mercilessly beating each other within an inch of their lives.

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