Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Kind of in the mood for a superhero novel
Sadly, the Kobo bookstore's search engine is shit and I've given up looking for stuff there. I don't want to feed the beast because my kindle reader is on my phone. Anything good on Smashwords?

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

  • 1
Carrie Vaughns "something" Golden Age is a subversive take on the superhero thing

I was just coming to suggest this. After the Golden Age is the first one.

Smashwords has some annoying habits.

Kobo lacks any sort of sensible ability to search by title and author.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I enjoyed 'Fallout' by Gwenda Bond, which features a pre-Superman high school aged Lois Lane, who goes to work for the student newspaper. I thought it was a fun idea executed successfully; pretty fun, if not particularly profound. Of course, your mileage may vary. (Also, perhaps technically not actually a superhero novel.)

Very much ditto. Excellently executed fun -- so hard to do.

Rachel S

... Have you heard of Worm?  but be warned, it has a huge TVTropes entry. And it's about a million words.

Seanan McGuire has the Velveteen stories. And there's a series by Marion Harmon called Wearing the Cape, which you might well like.

Edited at 2015-11-23 01:51 am (UTC)

Reading the online velveteen stories now.

Both Jennifer Estep and Jocelyn Drake have decent superhero series. I've had mixed luck finding their work on on Kobo (stupid search engine). I can't remember if Goodreads links to Kobo if you select the ebook versions. I believe my local libraries may carry electronic copies of at least one of the two through overdrive. I'm not a big superhero fan so you'll have to take my recs with grains of salt. Of the top of my head I can't remember the name of either series and with my migraine I'm not up to doing proper research for you hence the Goodreads recommendation.

One would think search engine design is more difficult than rocket science which is why several countries have put people in space but only Amazon has a good search engine among bookstore retailers. I think this is a big part of why Amazon remains so far ahead of the rest. Customers can find what they are looking for by typing in author or book title even with misspellings and find what the are looking for.

In addition to the Carrie Vaughan books (already recommended), I'm fond of the duology by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge (_Black and White_ and _Shades of Gray_).

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)

You should read Tales of the Starbuck Avenger!

Go to for a link to the epub - it is free and also DRM-free, so you can convert to the format of your choice. It has lots of moral depth and an engaging protagonist and the best explanation for 'why, if superheroes exist, are they not in all the news?' I have ever seen.

Really, try it.

I have in my RSS feed. I've found some enjoyable books that way. (Also found some truly awful ones.)

I haven't read them myself, but Samit Basu's books Turbulence and Resistance are superhero stories which have been well received, and also feature mostly Indian characters. Ayize Jama-Everett is also writing a superhero series - The Liminal People, The Liminal War, The Entropy of Bones. No idea about Smashwords but they all have ebook editions.

I enjoyed the first one. The second doesn't seem available in ebook form, weirdly.

Search on Amazon to find a likely looking book, use the details to then search on Kobo and Smashwords.

Also, use LibraryThing to generate recommendations, then see if their buy links can find it on Kobo.

I feel morally (if not ethically) bound to recommend Zeroes by Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti, about a group of teenagers who develop superpowers based around social media.

Deborah is a friend of mine, and Margo and Scott acquaintances, but they're all fine writers (even if I didn't know them.)

Sam Hughes' Fine Structure is more of a space opera with pulp-era superscience, superdimensional beings, other universes, deep time and all the rest, but it also involves superheroes. To get a taste, head over to and read the third chapter (Power Of Two). If you're intrigued go back to chapter one and start reading.

One I haven't read - Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes series. I read a couple of his other novels, which I liked. His style combines horror and comedy.

Edit: should have checked smashwords before I posted. Although some of his books are on smashwords, these ones aren't. Fine Structure is free and can be downloaded as an EPUB at the bottom of the page.

Edited at 2015-11-23 11:47 am (UTC)

The Ex-Heroes books did have quite a lot of zombies for anyone who is not a fan of those. (I burnt out after the first 2.)

Has anyone here read Carol Lay's Wonder Woman book, Mythos (which does not appear to be available as an e-book, sorry)?

I picked it up a while ago, but it lingered on the to-read shelf shelves, and is now not easily available to me in storage.

I liked Ms. Lay's snarky comic strip "Story Minute" (example), but I have no idea how her talents might work in serious longer prose.

You can argue about whether this counts as a superhero novel, but Jaqueline Carey's "Santa Olivia" is one of my favorite books of the last 10 years (granted, the middle bogged in places--it was still ok and might not even be noticable without the truly stunning beginning and the great finish--but even American Gods bogged down in the middle, and both these were light years better than a ton of books with no pacing issues). Seriously, very well worth giving a try. The feel is sort of "Post-Apocalyptic Noir meets Zorro" or "Near-future Batgirl as written by Jim Thompson with a dash of Sergio Leone" would be my best pitch. There's a follow-up set in the same world that is completely, totally & entirely different in tone.

Not so good as Santa Olivia, & I know his politics have some issues, but Brandon Sanderson's "Steelheart" & the arguably even better follow up "Firefight") are pretty terrific, IMO.

Can't think of that many things that market themselves as superhero novels, but a LOT of YA & Urban fantasy are essentially superhero novels, imo, tho granted not of the Justice League type. (those are in the Sanderson novels, except they happen to be the bad guys, and the quandary is how to fight (or even survive) a whole bunch of sociopaths who range from low grade superhuman to flat out Superman level.)

Damn. Wish we could still edit comments here. Hate seeing where I changed my mind about how to write a sentence in the middle without ever deciding to switch the intro or finish.

Vicious, by Victoria Schwab. Loved.

Supervillainz by Alicia Goranson might meet your requirements. Not sure what platforms the book is available on.

I know I'm late to the party, but I wanted to mention Jude McLaughlin's Wonder City Stories. She's been posting them on DW for years now: and has just published the (rewritten) first volume:

I didn't mention it before because, at that point, I don't think she had it in a format you would be interested in. I think she does now.

  • 1

Log in