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Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo

December 26, 2011

cover of Sidekicks by Jack D. FerraioloAfter spending the past six years as sidekick to the famous superhero Phantom Justice, Bright Boy (real name: Scott Hutchinson) decides it’s time for a change. Scott still believes in saving people from evil villains, but can’t he do it while wearing something other than bright yellow tights? The tights are embarrassing to begin with, but when television cameras catch him getting a little, uh, involuntarily excited while holding the very attractive woman he just rescued, Bright Boy becomes a joke. Seriously, even the little kids at Scott’s school are laughing at Bright Boy.

It doesn’t help that Phantom Justice’s archnemesis, Dr. Chaotic, returned to town after a five-year hiatus (translation: he just broke out of prison). Dr. Chaotic’s sidekick, Monkeywrench, was always a thorn in Bright Boy’s side, and now Monkeywrench is back as well. Only Monkeywrench now has a brand new, totally awesome, costume.

So not fair.

Phantom Justice refuses to listen to Scott’s complaints about his Bright Boy costume. Nothing their butler/trainer Louis says can convince Phantom Justice, either. No one else knows that Scott is Bright Boy, which is fine; Scott understands why Bright Boy’s identity must be kept secret. And, hey, at least this means no one knows it was Scott who had that untimely physical reaction.

Until Bright Boy and Monkeywrench lose their masks while battling one night, and Scott immediately recognizes Monkeywrench as one of his classmates.

Jack D. Ferraiolo’s Sidekicks is funny and fast-paced, with unexpected twists that kept me glued to the pages. Ferraiolo, a writer and producer of children’s television shows, is as adept at writing action scenes as he is delving into Scott’s emotions. And, perhaps due his television background, the story feels tightly written, without any padding or momentum-sapping scenes. Not until the very end of the book (in all honesty, my least favorite part) does Sidekicks lose a bit of steam. However, even taking this into account, Sidekicks is one of my favorite books of the year, an entertaining mix of humor, action, and depth, starring a likable, sympathetic main character.

Book source: public library.

Cross-posted at Guys Lit Wire.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2011 3:07 pm

    I loved this one. Did an interview with the author earlier in the year. working on a list of books I am looking forward to reading in 2012, just added The Quick Fix by Ferraiolo, the follow up to his first novel Big Splash.

    • December 26, 2011 3:36 pm

      Doret, I loved your interview!

      I have The Big Splash checked out from the library right now and am looking forward to reading it.

  2. December 26, 2011 3:45 pm

    I just finished listening to it and haven’t decided how I feel about it yet and am mulling it all over before I post on it. The beginning was rather hilarious, and sure to draw in a certain reader and turn off others. Then, it got kind of thoughtful and subtly funny, and not the sort of book to maintain the interest of a certain reader. I agree, the ending lost a bit of steam. I’m still interested in reading the sequel that should tie up the loose ends though.

    • December 30, 2011 1:47 pm

      I would totally read a sequel, too.

      Aside from the shift in tone (and romance), how was the audiobook?

  3. December 29, 2011 1:26 am

    I loved this book, but yeah, I have to agree about the end. It is a testament to how good the rest of the book is, though, that I still recommended it to other people (and my sister further recommended it to a friend of hers and picked up the author’s previous book, which is currently sitting on my TBR shelf).

    • December 30, 2011 1:51 pm

      Bad endings can ruin, or at least drag down, a lot of books. But I definitely agree that the most of Sidekicks was so strong and enjoyable that the relatively weak ending didn’t bother me excessively.

  4. Mark permalink
    March 25, 2013 3:17 pm

    There should be a lot more kissing

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