Inheriting your uncle's supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who's running the place.
Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.
Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.
But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.
It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.
In a dog-eat-dog world...be a cat.
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In this clever, fast-paced thriller, Hugo Award winner Scalzi (The Kaiju Preservation Society) subverts classic supervillain tropes with equal measures of tongue-in-cheek humor and common sense. For years, business reporter–turned–substitute teacher Charlie Fitzer has struggled to find purpose; his current goal is to buy a pub just for a change of pace. Then his uncle Jake, a reclusive billionaire owner of parking structures, dies. Charlie, as Jake's closest living relative, stands to inherit everything—but what he doesn't realize is that his uncle was really an evil genius straight out of a James Bond movie. After the funeral, to which goons show up just to make sure Jake is really dead, a bomb destroys Charlie's house, leading him to move into his uncle's secret island volcano lair, complete with a satellite-destroying death ray and genetically modified superintelligent cats. Danger comes in the form of the Lombardy Convocation, a coalition of fellow evil billionaires who secretly rule the world and want Charlie to join them or die. Scalzi balances all the double-crosses and assassination attempts with ethical quandaries, explorations of economic inequality, and humor, including some foul-mouthed unionizing dolphins. The result is a breezy and highly entertaining genre send-up. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary.
Just brilliant! (The you can’t put it down kind)
Yet again, Mr Scalzi delights his readers with pace, story and imagination. And all of it delivered in a brilliant style that facilitates a 3 night read for this reader. Great story, great characters, even the non-human ones, and a thrilling twist ending. Well done sir, well done…
Very Enjoyable Read
Starter Villain is constantly interesting and engrossing. It was unpredictable and I had no idea how it was going to end, until the final chapters. Scalzi’s books are all like that and all full of surprises. Not to mention some very creative premises.
Scalzi’s best, again
Best Scalzi is a high bar, but he keeps doing it. I felt Redshirts was his best to date (for my tastes). Kaiju Preservation Society less goofy and less treacly but maybe better, again ymmv. For me, this is best. Best Scalzi. Solid. Twisty. Engrossing. Funny. Swiftly brutal. Satisfying. 5/5 would preorder again