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PRICE

Incredible world building, with slightly weaker characterization

By gloomybear86, author of For Riches or More

Jul 6, 2016: One of the most interesting things about Price is its dedication to keeping everything strictly street-level. No planetwide crises, no danger of the universe coming to a crashing end . . . just regular people (teenagers, at least in the story I read) given dangerous powers and the struggles that follow from that.

(Note: I read In Triplicate, but not Death of a Hero. Apparently, the former is a prequel to the latter, so there are almost certainly some neat details that I’m missing.)

In Triplicate, the second of TanaNari’s books in the larger Price anthology, the story focuses around three characters: Dom, Chloe, and a third character I won’t name because potential spoilers. Of those three, one wants to be a hero; one wants to be normal; and the motivations of the third character are confusing, even after finishing the entire book.

TanaNari clearly has a deft grasp of his universe, constantly referring to historical events and folklore that provide a effective backdrop to the primary story. The plot moves along at a decent clip, asking questions at about the same pace that it answers them. Despite it’s importance to the plot, the family life of one of the characters is a little hazy, but that’s no big loss; the majority of focus remains fixated on the main characters themselves and, honestly, I wasn’t particularly interested in who had what children or when they had them.

The entire story, once it finished unfolding, was filled with tense conflicts (both physical and emotional), and those scenes were always handled extremely well. The characters don’t develop TOO much (well, one of them does, but the change seems abrupt . . . but perhaps that suddenness was due how quickly I read through the chapters), but they remain generally likable throughout the entire work.

I say ‘generally likable’ because there are a few PoC characters that come off as more caricature. Some of that is due to my own thoughts coming into the serial, but several of the black characters seem a little too one-note or discriminatory for my tastes. It wasn’t enough to break immersion and it certainly wasn’t enough to make me stop writing, but it should still be noted.

The PoV shifts multiple times and, although it always clearly noted at the beginning of each chapter, it can be a bit confusing if you aren’t paying strict attention. Switching between the three main characters, as well as two others, caught me off guard more than once. Again, this wasn’t something that damaged my ability to enjoy the story, but it did throw me off.

I think my absolute favorite character was only introduced at the end of the story and, I feel, underutilized. There are several more books in the anthology, though, so I hold out hopes that Granny Greenwitch will make an appearance again.

SPOILERS

I will say this. The ending left me feeling very conflicted. One of the two primary villains was seen going a LITTLE too far over the moral event horizon for the . . . well, happy ending that she received. This might be something that gets remedied or resolved in a later book, but it really hit a bad note for me.

SPOILERS

All in all, In Triplicate was an interesting take on a familiar concept: damaged heroes, damaging objects and each other with equal abandon. The universe that TanaNari has created seems filled with mysteries and wonders, and he clearly has a grander story to tell. I’ll be following along to see where it goes and you should be too.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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PRICE

Cynical Supers

By Lee Carlon, member

Sep 11, 2016: I’m enjoying Price a lot. I was immediately impressed by the writing. I’m part way through the first arc, Death of a Hero, and I think the author has done a lot of things right with this one. The title itself is the first hook, and even though I’m still getting to know the protagonist, Zach Parker, the title has me worried. Is it a trick, will the hero be reincarnated, is death the price he pays for his powers, or will there be some kind of reversal that lets the (or this) hero survive. The setting and some of the tension are familiar, a high school kid trying to deal his ordinary life and extraordinary powers. The nice thing about this one is that he’s not alone, there are other supers in the world, and the world has adapted to deal with them, so it’s not just a matter of avoiding the supervillians, there’s also the government to worry about.

Who’d enjoy Price

This is one for fans of superheroes. There’s a lot that feels familiar, but with enough twists to keep it interesting. It’s more Watchmen than Superman.

What could be improved

The writing is good, the dialogue is sharp. I spotted occasional typos, but nothing that threw me off enough to distract from the story. Some of the teenage banter gets a bit much, it’s realistic in its juvenile tone, kids pretending to be worldly etc.

Presentation

The site is built on wordpress making it nice and easy to follow if you’re on wordpress, or an RSS user. The template is clean and easy to read on both desktop and mobile.

I plan to keep reading and might update this review when I’m caught up.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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Intelligent and Exciting

By Baron Mind, author of The Experiment

Feb 20, 2016: Price is a fast-paced rollercoaster of a story. Told from the perspective of a teenage boy with freshly-acquired superpowers, it manages to find a surprising depth while also keeping the action happening at a steady clip.

We’re introduced to Zach, a functionally immortal character, already in the middle of his plan for vengeance on a villain. This plan quickly falls apart, and Zach is forced to fall back, lick his wounds and regroup, his desire for revenge burning hotter than ever.

Meanwhile, life obstinately continues for him, and Zach is forced to juggle his burgeoning abilities, the celebrity and target status that they grant him, and his home and school life all at once. Watching him often gracelessly fumble his way through this is both funny and poignant in turns, and it kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.

The author set up some great promises early on in the story and paid off on all of them by the end. He’s described a small corner of a very exciting world, and I enjoyed the trip through it greatly.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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