"Fid's Crusade" review
Title: Fid’s Crusade
Author: David H. Reiss
Subgenre: Science fiction, Superheroes
Recommended if: you want a superhero story told from the POV of a supervillain
Not recommended if: you want a super cohesive start-to-finish plot
Fid’s Crusade is the story of genius supervillain Doctor Fid in his quest to, er, save the world. Because the superheroes make terrible role models. And also one of them caused the death of his baby brother, and he needs revenge. It’s at times funny, at times heartbreaking, and at times adorable. It begins as a criticism of celebrity worship culture, turns into a mystery, a found family, and a pretty traditional save-the-world story. Which is to say, it meanders quite a bit before we get to a clear, established goal.
Each individual segment is great, though, and if you’re ok with lacking a clear narrative arc from start to finish, the book is great. The found family is adorable, the mystery is intriguing, Fid’s supervillainy is appropriately supervillainous, and the save-the-world plot has gripping stakes and unfolds at an exciting pace.
For a superhero novel, Fid’s Crusade is extremely character-driven, written in the first person with a lot of flashbacks and a considerable amount of self analysis. Fid constantly thinks about his past, why he is who he is, and the choices he’s made. He’s looking for self improvement, and he wants to do things the right way. That said, it’s still a superhero novel, and you can expect a lot of fight scenes, a lot of science-fiction tech, and quite a bit of superpowers. It’s pretty fun.
Fid’s Crusade is the first novel in a series; however, it can be read as a standalone. Currently, I’m satisfied with its conclusion and don’t have any plans to continue with the series, but I may return to it in the future.