Official Review: Copper Knights and Granite Men

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ALynnPowers
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Official Review: Copper Knights and Granite Men

Post by ALynnPowers »

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Copper Knights and Granite Men" by Michael A. DiBaggio, Shell DiBaggio.]
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Copper Knights and Granite Men, written by Michael A. DiBaggio with illustrations by Shell “Presto” DiBaggio, had me hooked from the moment I read the description. It starts off sounding like some kind of groan-worthy joke – three superheroes walk into a museum – but the result is anything but terrible. Any adults who are fans of superhero stories or comics would love this book, the first in a series about this crazy team of superheroes.

This book is organized into two main parts: the “story” itself followed by a set of Appendices. The story itself contains the main plot. Set in an alternate universe with an amazingly detailed back-story, Copper Knights and Granite Men is told from the first person perspective of the pop-star superhero, Amplitude, who has amazing powers in acoustics. Amp and his fellow superheroes – the Promethean, his immortal adopted father with an endless supply of knowledge, and the Atomic Ranger, a radioactive man who can fly – are called into action to assist with a strange situation at the Met in New York City. Patrons at the museum have been turned into solid stone, and a certain Medusa is suspected to be behind the criminal act. However, a suit of armor has also been stolen from the Met, which leads the superheroes on a chase of a villain who is supposed to be dead.

The story is fast-paced, action-packed, and non-stop hilarious. The voice of the main character had me laughing from start to finish, and the overall story is told in an excellent style. A few illustrations accompany each chapter. While I often associate superhero stories with something that interests only children, this particular story is one that adults don’t have to feel embarrassed about reading. The illustrations are also amazing and just add to my love of the story. I couldn’t stop reading, and I hated that the story was over so soon.

Then there are the appendices. Taking up more than half of the book, these contain background information about different elements mentioned within the story. For example, there is the story of how the Atomic Ranger got his radioactive powers, an extensive history of the New York City of this alternate reality, and the story detailing the discovery of the solution used to turn living objects to stone, among others. Personally, I thought that these appendices didn’t really add anything to the story, and I would have been perfectly happy reading only the story and omitting all of this additional information. I think that a lot of this information could be incorporated into the story itself rather than kept separate, or else they would be better placed on the author’s website for fans who just can’t get enough.

If I had to rate only the story by itself, I would give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I loved the story immensely and found nothing at all wrong with it. However, since the book includes the story plus the appendices, I feel obligated to rate all of it together. Reading all of the extra information, histories, and background stories of characters and events was more tedious than enjoyable and only took away from my pleasure of the story. I give this book an overall rating of 3 out of 4 stars and encourage fans of superhero stories to check it out, without feeling it necessary to read the appendices.

***
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Post by MikeDiBaggio »

Thanks for taking the time to read the book. I'm glad that you found Amp entertaining and enjoyed the story overall! Sorry you didn't care for the appendices; I find people either really love them or find them a waste of time. There are two primary reasons that I included them: first, it allows me to include the public domain stories that my own tales are based on ("The King in Yellow", in this case), and hopefully expose a new generation to classics that they might have overlooked. Secondly, I'm an inveterate world-builder and I tend to bake more tidbits of background into the first draft than what ends up surviving the editing process. I'll have to think carefully about where and how I present them in the future. Thanks again!
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Post by Skillian »

Great review! Sounds like a really fun read. Yeah, I think I agree that such a large portion being appendices would diminish some of the enjoyment, but taking into consideration that it is the first of a series... I think I will overlook it. I am sure that having that foundation of knowledge going into the rest of the books only makes them that much more enjoyable. haha *adds it to reading list*
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Post by ALynnPowers »

MikeDiBaggio wrote:Thanks for taking the time to read the book. I'm glad that you found Amp entertaining and enjoyed the story overall! Sorry you didn't care for the appendices; I find people either really love them or find them a waste of time. There are two primary reasons that I included them: first, it allows me to include the public domain stories that my own tales are based on ("The King in Yellow", in this case), and hopefully expose a new generation to classics that they might have overlooked. Secondly, I'm an inveterate world-builder and I tend to bake more tidbits of background into the first draft than what ends up surviving the editing process. I'll have to think carefully about where and how I present them in the future. Thanks again!

I really loved the story and don't think I emphasized enough in my review how extraordinary the alternate world you created really was. It was like it really existed, and I wouldn't have gotten that feeling without the appendices... but I just loved the story the most!!!
You hit my weakness for hilarious super hero characters!
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Post by gali »

Thank you for the lovely review. Sounds like a nice story overall.
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MikeDiBaggio
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Post by MikeDiBaggio »

ALynnPowers wrote: You hit my weakness for hilarious super hero characters!
I have another book out with a superhero who I think is pretty funny as well, though not exactly of the same sort as Amp. The book is called "After Dark" and it was reviewed on here a couple of months ago. It's quite a bit longer than "Copper Knights & Granite Men" and has a smaller appendix. You may enjoy that, as well.
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Post by ALynnPowers »

MikeDiBaggio wrote:
ALynnPowers wrote: You hit my weakness for hilarious super hero characters!
I have another book out with a superhero who I think is pretty funny as well, though not exactly of the same sort as Amp. The book is called "After Dark" and it was reviewed on here a couple of months ago. It's quite a bit longer than "Copper Knights & Granite Men" and has a smaller appendix. You may enjoy that, as well.
I'm on a superhero book/movie kick here recently! Thanks for the heads up!
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