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Publisher's Summary

Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown's resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion's magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy. But is he evil enough to be a villain in America's most crime-ridden city? Gary soon finds himself surrounded by a host of the worst of Falconcrest City's toughest criminals. Supported by his long-suffering wife, his ex-girlfriend turned professional henchwoman, and a has-been evil mastermind, Gary may end up being not the hero they want but the villain they need.

©2015 C. T. Phipps (P)2015 Amber Cove Publishing and C.T. Phipps

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Fun!

I'm a huge fan of the Dresden Files and Bill the Vampire. This series is starting off in the same irreverent, hilarious tone. The nerdy, yet loveable, hero (well, supervillain), the quirky sidekicks... my son and I listened to the first 2 hours of this on Sunday afternoon in the car. We both resumed on our personal devices as soon as I stopped the car. It's now Tuesday, and he's asked me to purchase the next book! This is huge! Phipps is a new to me author, but quickly becoming a favorite. Kafer does a great job with the audio, his voices are all perfect, and the sound quality is excellent.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Amazing - Get it!

This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read/listened to in my entire life, and I have read a lot of books. The cover and blurb did not catch my attention. I passed over it the first time I saw it, but a friend mentioned it, so I listened to the audiobook. Within a few minutes, I downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited to enjoy it twice. I will reread and re-listen to it many, many times.

The humor is very unique and exactly in my taste. I could not ask for anything better than this book. The plot is very silly, but the humor is threaded into it brilliantly. If this author had a hundred books like these, I would buy a new bookshelf and fill it with them. I have never gushed over a book before, except for one book series that is still my favorite. My friends can't get me to shut up. I can't believe I almost missed out on this treasure.

I want to include quotes from the book, but I'll leave the surprise for the readers/listeners.

The narrator did this book justice. He brought an amazing book to life. I loved the performance and his dry tone was perfect for Gary. I did have some trouble confusing Gary with the cloak's voices, but it wasn't distracting.

Overall, Jeffrey Kafer did a great job and I would be happy to listen to more audiobooks by him. C.T. Phipps did an absolutely amazing, fantastic, exceptional, brilliant job and I WILL read anything he publishes. I want the second book in this series yesterday.

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Use My Powers for Wha???

Thank you so much for sharing this precautionary tale. Since obtaining my powers I've had quite a lot of peer pressure to use them for good. I attribute some of this to the fact that I still haven't officially "come out of the lair." But I also may have been a bit hasty in choosing my first sidekick. You see, I believed I would be able to use my villainess wiles to seduce my young apprentice to the benefits of working on the dark side. But so far all attempts to overpower his goody two shoe conscience, whom he refers to as "Mod" (morals on duty,) have failed miserably.
Until listening to this supervillainy rules guide, I had begun to question my decisions. And I now believe I was actually under some sort of Mod mind control!! Never fear, I have now designed my own hat, which blocks any attempt to access my brain or thought patterns. It's perfectly stylish but will cause sudden death to any trespasser.
And I am continuing forward in my studies to be the next criminal mastermind of the South.
I look forward to the next lesson and eagerly await its arrival. Until then...
Supervillains Unite!

~Miss Hospitality

33 of 42 people found this review helpful

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The most fun I've ever had.

I saw this one crop up on my lists so many times, Jeffery Kafer is one of the best narrators out there, and he usually nails it, but this kind of genre I wasn't so sure on. So I never bothered. Until most recently, where I discovered CT Phipps works and had one of my other friends almost order me to buy these, and I've very glad I did.

What I really loved about this book was not just the narration, man Jeffery do you blow this one out the water. Gary's voice, his sense of weird humour and fun was just performed down to a T. I can't stress how much you made me laugh out loud. I must have seemed like a crazy person.

This whole plot was just a gas from start to finish, one of the funniest books I've ever listened to, and although I don't really think of myself as a superhero or comic book fan, this just won me over to the dark side.

Gary was such a great and dorkable idiot. He really, really wants to be a supervillain. And yet, everyone else thinks's he's not cut out for it, he seems to be doing more good than bad. Haha, Red is great, I love her character, spunky and also just on the verge of being so dopey it's awesome.

The story itself has some fantastic action, great twists to how things turn out, and the ending just leaves you wanting so much more.

For anyone who wants something fun, entertaining and with some great character depth. This book is it! Highly recommended.

On to the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Turns metahuman tropes on their head!

In which Gary Karkofsky receives the intelligent magic cloak of Falcon Crest City's greatest superhero, The Nightwalker, in the mail, and decides screw being a hero, I'm becoming a supervillain and getting rich! So starts Rules of Supervillainy, as Gary, an unemployed bank clerk, embarks on a hillarious path to crime as Merciless, The Villain Without Mercy™. Thats right, they even reference the Trademark. That is the kind of humor strewn throughout the book. As Gary struggles to become the villain he want to be, he does pull off some impressive heists and other villainy. Along the way, he picks up a henchwench...err, henchperson (don't be sexist, Gary), in the person of Red Riding Hood (think a more stable Harley Quinn) and a henchman in El Diablo, a one time A-lister down on his luck, but looking for another chance at the big leages. As they grow Gary's criminal career, Gary must deal with his wife, who is not inclined to villains, and the need to use his powers, which are required tobe used, since this keeps the dead from rising, since his cloak is one of the Grim Reapers cloaks. Along the line he gets the wrong kind of attention and gets arrested by UltraGod, the worlds greatest superhero. After being brought to the moon and tried and imprisoned, Gary becomes part of a plan to escape hatched by a megamaniacal villain bent on world conquest. Along the way, he runs into Some other old friends and aquaintences, and ends up fighting a couple of Jewish demigods (not an easy thing for a jewish guy like Gary) When he returns to earth, things are much changed, and Gary will have to deal with a very different Falcon Crest City. Will he continue on his quest to be the big villain, or will his better side win out? Only one way to find out, and thats to take a listen!
The characters are a real strength of this book. From Gary and his obsessive need to be a great villain, Red's need to just be amoral and crazy, El Diablo's need to be useful and relevant again and all the other myriad characters interacting with them in such funny ways make for great characters. Even the personality of the cloak is hilarious and snarky, all while helping Gary. The characters are well rounded, even the crazy ones, and the dialogue is just superb. Falcon Crest City is a great setting, well described and sounding like a place you wouldnt want to visit on a vacation, unless getting held hostage by a supervillain is your idea of a good time. The pacing is great, with never a slow scene.
As far as narration, what can I say other than Jeffrey Kafer hits another one out of the park! Great voice work for each character, especially Red Riding Hood, my personal favorite of his many voices. He never lets the story lag, keeping even pacing throughout. This is some of his best work, in my oipinion. All in all, a five star effort all around. If you are big into comics or metahuman stories,this is a must have!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Short fun wit with a dash of goofy

Epic. Comedy. Just not an epic comedy. Fun and lighthearted, RoS was a win for me. Plots were a bit wild and missed with an over abundance of characters, but if you stick with it the charm is in the path Gary takes and the code he's developing along with the disgust of his attached life-partner.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Prime Example of A Professional Audiobook!

I read the book, and enjoyed it enough to also listen to the audiobook. When I saw that Kafer was the narrator, I knew I couldn't go wrong. I was NOT disappointed. A well-written book, it is further translated into an even greater experience by a flawless narration. I highly recommend it, and I'm looking forward to Charles Phipps next book!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Awesome Story ~ Worth All Five Stars!

Everyone needs a good laugh and The Rules of Supervillainy is full of them! I could easily listen it to again and again. (I actually started off reading it but the story had me smiling and laughing out loud, I had to go ahead and download the audio version.)

It was creative, funny, and full of interesting superheros and supervillains. I especially like Merciless. He really wants to be supervillain, who is out for himself but his actions and choices contradict the image he is going for. Between Merciless and his "cloak," I had a great time listening to the story and laughed all the way through it. I will definitely be listening to the next book!

If you like stories that aren't serious, have crazy characters, and will give you a good laugh, this story will not disappoint!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I'm hooked

fantastic story, way to get through. way cool characters and a brilliant combination of snarky and charming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great entertainment! !!!

five stars
a wild ride and great fun
though wish it has more distinct voices for characters

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • nicole
  • 10-24-15

Well it made me laugh

The combination of a great story with a brilliant narrator made this really worth recommending, as there are so few genuinely funny fantasy books for geeks. While not quite up there with the greats like Terry Pratchett this is fun with just enough darkness to draw you into the plot. Fun with numerous comic book and film references to make you laugh. While it's not a literary game changer, the fact that it doesn't try too hard is part of it's charm. Despite my concerns when reading the description, it's actually one that should appeal to both male and female listeners. I would have liked it to be longer but I'll definitely be buying the rest of the series. Probably not for those who only get through one book a month as there are probably enough 5 star books to keep you busy but for those of us who are frequent listeners, know far too much about comic book law and 80's movies, i'd give this a try.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 06-15-16

A wild, but sometimes confusing romp

What made the experience of listening to The Rules of Supervillainy the most enjoyable?

Jeffery Kafer does a really good job of performing a snarky super villain.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The world is a bit confusing, at times I didn't know what to make of it, supers (both good and bad) seem to run roughshod over national government. At times there are floods of exposition, and then things are causally tossed in and then not mentioned again (such as Atlantis). <br/>Gary Karkofsky (aka Merciless) is a very odd character, at times he is extremely moral (he is outraged when some anti-heroes cause collateral damage to get to him), but feels no remorse when he casually murders someone who gets in his way; he hates authority and has somewhat anarchist/socialist view points, but at the same time wants to rule the world and get rich, the character doesn't seem to make a lot of sense (at least to me)

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No one scene particularly stood out.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was decent enough that I could have done, had my schedule allowed for it.

Any additional comments?

Other books have covered the same ground, and done so better (D-list supervillain series, for example), but it not a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. P. Brown
  • 04-06-16

Fantastic!

This superhero/supervillain novel turned out to be just the sort of fun romp it promised from its synopsis.

Gary Karkofsky is just a normal guy living in a world filled with all sorts of people with superpowers. He lives with his wife in the suburbs and used to work as a bank teller before he lost his job. Opportunity knocks for Gary when the magical cloak of his home towns greatest superhero gets delivered to him in the mail. Rather than take up the selfless mantle of the heroic Nightwalker Gary instead decides to indulge in his life long dream of becoming Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy!

The whole story was as crazy and as fun as it sounds. Gary was an easy to root for guy. He loved his wife, cared for his friends, and was not quite as evil as he wished he was. Though he did have his villainous moments!

The world was pretty fun. It was the sort of over the top type of superhero world that you get while watching a movie like Marvel's Avengers. Which is great. This actually had a similar tone to the Avengers movies with plenty of humor and crazy action mixed in with likeable characters who were never short of a witty bit of banter.

The only real flaw I can spot is that this was such a short story. With the open ending I hope we do not have to wait long for the sequel.

Jeffrey Kafer did a fantastic job with the narration. He really got the tone of the story and has the perfect sort of voice for narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-15

Great Listen

At times laugh out loud listen. The story of the world's newest Super Crook, Gary aka Merciless. Fun, exciting and at times poignant. The story falls in two parts, the first his 'rise' as he takes to a life of crime, the second his 'fall' as he is incarcerated and seeks escape. Perhaps stronger in the narrative as his rise is set out, the book sets the scene for hopefully more adventures. I would definitely get more of this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-31-17

A love letter to the Superhero genre

This novel does a masterful job of giving its protagonist (and audience) a tour of comic book superheroes. It feels like a series of set pieces, each of which showcases a different classic comic book scenario, but tied together by the supremely likeable main character and his long suffering magic cloak. Whether he's robbing a bank or rescuing hostages, Merciless (the supervillain without mercy) is a delight to read/listen to.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-13-17

So glad I stopped at this!!

Fantastic listen. Great narration of an unusual take on the genre. Unfair to compare to Pratchett but a dark cynical and funny look at the super hero world. Enough to keep the geeks happy and not to much to put a first timer off! Looking forward to the rest of the series!

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  • Shane Fitzsimons
  • 03-29-17

funny take on super heroes

excellent audio book , great story funny and full nerdy one liners. performance is good but take a while to get used to the multiple Voices done be the one actor.

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  • Allan
  • 12-03-16

Great start to a Series of books

Definitely like the interaction between all of the different characters, some great sense of humour the start of the book getting slightly darker as it moves through, I have already downloaded the next two books and I hope they are as good as the first

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 08-27-16

anti villains are great

excellent take on a subject that is overly saturated in comics. absolutely brilliant and funny.

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  • Brandon
  • 09-12-16

Brilliant

One of the best books I've read/listened to in a while would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun way to pass some time

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-17

Superlisteney

The only thing i did not like with this story is that it ended. i cant wait to get the next book. listen to this book people its a must.