Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Release Day Review: Behind the Mask by Elizabeth Coldwell #Review #Giveaway

Author: Elizabeth Coldwell
Book: Behind the Mask
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication date: July 18, 2017
Length: 36 pages

Reviewed by Michael


He keeps his true identity hidden, even from the man he loves…

Twenty years ago, superheroes were outlawed by the mayor of Mokum City. Christopher Chase has grown up knowing that he has all the strength and speed of Sprint, his superhero father, who died attempting to save the mayor’s niece from being kidnapped. But, unlike his father, he is unable to fulfill his destiny and become a masked crimefighter. Even Christopher’s boyfriend, bar owner Johnny Brennan, doesn’t know Christopher’s true identity.

A chance encounter with a purse snatcher in the city cemetery gives Christopher a taste of what it’s like to use his powers for good. And when Johnny becomes caught up in a hostage situation, Christopher can no longer stand by. Even if it means losing his own life, he must pull on the costume of Sprint to save the man he loves.

Publisher's Note: This book has previously been released as part of the I Need A Hero Anthology with Pride Publishing.

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I have never hidden the fact that I am a huge comic book nerd.  I don’t know how many hours I have spent in comic shops debating the virtues of the Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movies over the Andrew Garfield versions.  Or how angry I was that Michael Keaton had been selected to play Batman, only to be pleasantly surprised to see that he had really pulled it off. 

As super hero stories go, “Behind the Mask” serves as a good, by-the-numbers introduction to Mokum City, the fictional location for this series of short stories.  Years previous, the mayor of Mokum passed a law making it illegal for super heroes to operate in public.

Christopher is the son of a well-known hero that went by the moniker of “Sprint.”  He’s forced to stay “in the closet” about his powers as well as his identity, keeping these a secret from everyone including his boyfriend Jimmy. 

Jimmy finds himself in a hostage situation, and Christopher must make the decision to “out” himself and risking arrest, or watching his boyfriend die right in him.

The story itself is well written, as your standard super-hero versus a bank robber fare.  There seems to be a lot of potential for future stories involving these characters.  Like any good comic book, there enough ambiguous plot threads left to make future stories.  Was the mayor involved in Christopher’s father's death?  What was his true motivation in banning supers from Mokum City?  The comic nerd in me even thought of a cool time travel story involving a team-up between Christopher and his father. 

Maybe future installments will answer all of these questions and more.


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