Richard Lee Byers is the author of over thirty fantasy and horror novels, including a number set in the Forgotten Realms. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, the setting for much of his horror fiction, he spends his free time fencing and playing poker.
Anthony J. Rando
on Dec. 09, 2011 :
I thoroughly enjoyed The Impostor: #0. My only complaint might also be a positive point.
The story reads fast, with little explanation into the world we're very suddenly thrown into. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: you're sucked into the story just as quickly, and Byers makes it easy to acclimate.
If the goal was to write a comic book in prose, then well done! I will have to check out the subsequent Impostor books, as I understand they are lengthier and probably offer more insight into this seemingly apocalyptic world of Matt Brown.
(review of free book)
on Aug. 12, 2011 :
Matt Brown was your ordinary twenty-something, but that all changed when insect-like creatures attacked Jackson City. In the chaos of the attack, two of the city's superheroes, Red Bear and Dr. Umbra, arrive to get the citizens to safety and take care of the aliens. However, things don't go according to plan and Matt wakes up in some unknown place where he finds the bodies of Red Bear and Dr. Umbra dissected. Not knowing what else to do, Matt spots the heroes equipment and decides that it would be better if he takes it, and not leave it in the hands of the aliens. Knowing that Red Bear's strength may not get him out, he dons Dr. Umbra's equipment and finds himself blending into the shadows, knowing that Dr. Umbra's powers will help him escape. But before that can happen, he runs across other prisoners and has to make a tough decision.
1) World. It was somewhat hard to immerse yourself into this superhero filled world, at first. It took a while to really understand what was happening. The beginning of the story felt rather alien. You don't know who the superheroes were and it was rather hard to keep focused. It's not a way to start a story, but it felt like something was lacking. It was hard to picture this world existing.
1) Origin. The way "Suiting Up" introduced the reader to the hero felt different. Instead of having a world where superheroes don't normally exist, this is a world that really seems to embrace their superheroes. Then you have how Matt receives his 'powers', which isn't something you normally see in an origin story. It's rather dark and somewhat depressing, but that's what makes it different. There is also Matt's inner conflict of him actually taking Dr. Umbra and using his persona that is rather interesting. Having Matt take the powers, instead of them being given to him, felt very different. This is just an interesting way to have an origin.
2) Ending. The ending of the story was really good and satisfying. It's not a very happy ending, but how it ends the story, it works rather well. It really continues this feeling of doom that is constantly present. It also leaves the reader wanting more. You want to know what happens next and you couldn't ask for more than that.
"Suiting Up" is a very good origin story but has a rocky beginning. It's hard to really picture the world that the story takes place in because it seems like you, the reader, should know who Red Bear and Dr. Umbra are. It's slightly awkward, but it's easy to go over. Thankfully, this doesn't detract from the very dark and relatively unique way that Matt gains Dr. Umbra's 'powers'. It's not a 'normal' way someone receives them and the way Matt acts after getting them is also something different. His moral struggle is rather interesting and really makes Matt into a deep character early on. Then you have a very satisfying ending. It doesn't paint a wonderful picture for the future and really continues with the darker tones of the novel. There doesn't seem to be any hope for the future, and while this may feel like a downer of an ending, it just leaves you wanting more.
(review of free book)
on July 14, 2011 :
This is my favourite type of story - the reluctant hero thrown into a situation his natural good-heartedness just won't allow him escape from, no matter how badly he wants it. Nicely written and easy to follow. I look forward to reading more of Byers' work.
(review of free book)