Occasionally, I step out of my comfort zone and read books that are not in my favorite genres. “The Outlaw” by Alan Janney is a perfect example of this. While I rarely read superhero comics, I’m less likely to read novels about superheroes. However, I’ve been swamped with YA romance books lately and thought that reading a book like “The Outlaw” would be a refreshing breather. That’s why when I got the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour, I signed up expecting a storyline that would encourage me to read even more superhero novels. Even though “The Outlaw” lacks a lot of qualities that make Sci-Fi novels great, I enjoyed watching the plot develop and can’t wait to see what the sequel holds.
“The Outlaw” is a story centered on the life of the Eagles quarterback Chase Jackson as he transforms into his alter ego, fights crime and gains a nemesis. Chase lives in Los Angeles where a fictional race war is threatening to tear the city apart. A law which will put minorities at a disadvantage is in the process of being passed and as a result the city is erupting with random riots and robberies. However, Chase lives in the part of the city that isn’t immediately affected by the race war. Still, he’s got a lot on his plate; his sick father who doesn’t have access to health facilities because his family is broke, the feelings towards his best friend Katie that he can’t ignore anymore, the opportunity to be star quarterback on his high school football and understanding the bedazzling Hannah. Not to mention, the curious growth spurts he begins to experience once he starts to fight crime as his alter ego.
What I loved most about “The Outlaw” would probably be the storyline. I felt like I was being led by a kid leash throughout the entire novel, and I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next much less what the ending would be like. The author did an amazing job of building up the suspense and long after the story has ended I’m still wondering what would cause Chase’s body to morph into something almost hulk-like? My theory is that he is just a part of this secret government experiment and that the experiment got out of control. (Why else would the soldier-like man visit him in the hospital after a brutal football game?) I’m very confident about this theory, but I’m hoping I’m wrong. I’m hoping that, like the events in book one, I’m caught off guard by an amazing plot twist.
Besides the storyline, I found that the characters could’ve used a little more personality. Chase’s character is a big goof that annoyed me in the beginning, but I warmed up to after the plot developed. He’s oblivious to the way the world views him and is driven by sheer goodwill. What really bugged me is his view of the female characters in the novel. I completely understand that men are visual and judge the people around them based on their looks but I quickly got tired of reading about girls fawning over Chase in the book. He’s enamored with three girls: his best friend Katie, the popular cheerleader Hannah and the movie star Natalie who falls in love with his alter ego. Throughout the book, he describes their beauty, the way they smell and their mannerisms, but I felt like I didn’t really get to know them properly outside of them being Chase’s love interests.
Still, what makes this novel good is the writing. While the novel boarded on usual comic-based dialect, there were moments when phrases were so memorable that I had to highlight it so that I could read it over again and again.
Buy the book here: Amazon
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