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The Tournament of Supervillainy

The Supervillainy Saga, Book 5
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

Gary Karkofsky, aka Merciless the supervillain without mercy, is presently the most disliked supervillain in the world. Superheroes don't want to just throw him in jail, they want to deliver an epic beat down for ending their golden age by killing Merciful, the superhero with mercy. His fellow supervillains aren't much better, either jealous of his success or loathing him for all the other baddies he's killed. Also, what's up with his wife, Mandy? She's been acting extra strange since getting her soul back (long story). That's when Gary receives an invitation to the Primal Fighting Tournament - an interdimensional contest involving all the universe's greatest warriors. The prize? A wish with no limitations. Gary can finally get on that world domination thing he's been putting off.

Unfortunately, Gary is competing against good and evil way above his league. Not only Gabrielle Anders, aka Ultragoddess, his former fiancée, but Entropicus, the Space God of Evil. Thankfully, Gary has allies from unexpected sources including Jane Doe, the protagonist of I was a Teenage Weredeer, G from Agent G, and Cassius Mass from Lucifer's Star.

©2018 Charles Phipps (P)2018 David N. Wilson

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  • JulieM
  • Louisiana, United States
  • 01-29-19

Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

I've been eating up this series from the first book, so I jumped at an opportunity to review the audiobook. Here's the disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I didn't expect to see a book 5 because I thought book 4 had wrapped up Gary's tales. Nice to see I was wrong.

Here's the deal about this story: Gary and crew (Cindy, Mandy, Diabloman, Gabrielle and others) from the previous books are back. This is almost a reboot of the series, or it's the place where the author finds his mojo again. As fun as superhero/supervillain tales can be, they can be a drain on creativity. So Phipps spins it in a new direction with this salute to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and games of that sort.

We get the same intelligence, irreverence and cleverness that we've known in the previous books of the series, but here it's an everything goes in the multi-verse type thing. Basically, Phipps brings in characters from other book series he's written that are completely unrelated to this story and lets them play here. It works so well that now I want to get my ears on the Agent G and Jane Doe series. (A were-deer. Seriously? Turns out she's cool!)

Jeffrey Kafer's performance was as great as ever. He's a hard-working narrator with lots of titles I've enjoyed. Some of my favorite voices of his are Cindy's and Diabloman's. Even though he's got a vast audiography, he excels with scifi/fantasy titles.

Bottom line: A good story to start fresh with Gary/Merciless, but I do recommend going back to the beginning. The other books are just fun. For those who love their leads witty and snarky and who don't mind their bad guys doing good. This is why Gary is the best anti-villain.

Looking forward to book 6.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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What a ride! Thoroughly enjoyed this crossover event.

Phipps is that rare storyteller who can juggle multiple series with independent themes and characters. He produces engaging, entertaining plots and arcs within each individual book and throughout each series.
With “Tournaments”, he has brought some favorite characters from around the CT Phipps multiverse together for an epic battle. The lines between hero and villain are blurred, new alliances are formed, and there are moments of loss and sorrow amongst the victories and sarcastic quips. This was an excellent addition to my library. I look forward to hi future projects.
Specific to the audiobook: Excellent performance by Jeffrey Kafer, bringing to life the huge cast of characters!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A story of constant change!

Stated laughing from the introduction to end of story. UAnnunciations were clear and professional.
Has a surprisingly funny/ good ending

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I truly love this series!

Seriously, its like I'm reading dessert lol. Sarcasm, wit, bad puns, these stories have it all!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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another great story!

well developed characters that while the author shamelessly "borrows" from other works and micks multiple generes openly, manages to still be unique and thrilling.

can't wait for many more in the series to come!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

loved it an Awesome addition to the series looking forward for the next one .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Randy
  • Riverside, CA USA
  • 01-24-19

hurray!

thought this series had ended. I'm glad it wasn't. Love the 80's pop cultural references, and yes the song is now stuck in my head. loved, laughed, and can't wait for the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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More of the same

Tournament has more of what you've come to expect from the Supervillainy series. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on how you feel about the previous 4 books. I expect that fans will enjoy this quite a bit.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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ALWAYS a blast!!!

This series is a joy to listen to. Great characters. Laugh out loud situations. The narrator could be no other. Wonderful!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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My favorite in the series so far!

I discovered C. T. Phipps when I came across the first book in this series, The Rules of Supervillainy. I was instantly enthralled with the story of a man given the powers of the city's greatest hero, and deciding heroics is for chumps, I'll be a villain instead and make some money! That appealed to me, in the same way Ben Bequer's Blackjack books caught my attention. To say I was anticipating book five is an understatement, and I was not disappointed with the final result.

Through the first four books, Gary Karkofsky, aka. Merciless, the Villain Without Mercy (tm), has had some definite highs and lows, but has always seemed to always just scrape by. Finally, after defeating his nemesis Merciful, his alternate universe doppelganger, along with President Omega, Merciless just wants to settle down to some quality low key supervillainy with his newly re-souled wife Mandy, his other wife Cindy, the villain known as Red Riding Hood, and their daughter . Instead, he is offered a chance to compete in the Primal Fighting Tournament (think Mortal Kombat), with the chance to win the ultimate prize: one unlimited wish.

Realizing there are definitely entities he doesn't want with that wish, Gary, along with his crew, enter the Tournament. Upon arriving at the interdimensional equivalent of Han's Island from Enter the Dragon, Gary and company meet some of the other contestants. Included in this group are Jane Doe, Weredeer shaman (I Was A Teenage Weredeer), Cassius Mass, former Fire Count in the Archduchy of Crius (Lucifer's Star), and Agent G, cyborg assassin (Agent G series). All these characters belong in other worlds in the author's various series, crossed over for this event. All these characters are trying to keep the grand prize out of the hands of Entropicus, the ender of worlds, who just wants to destroy the universe.

As the tournament progresses, Gary discovers the stakes are even higher than he knew, since there are cosmic entities much higher on the food chain than he is with a vested stake in the results. Gary will have to go through enemies and allies alike to be able to take the ultimate prize, and the ending is nothing like he expected, with a twist you just won't see coming. The revelations for some aspects of his personal life are also completely shocking.

Like his other books, which all have impressive worldbuilding and plotting, the characters are where this series really shines. From the impressive development of Gary and the rest of his crew, to the various villains and secondary characters, C. T. Phipps lavishes attention on the smallest character details, and you really get into the heads of the various characters. This is just one of those series that gets better with every installment. If you are like me, you will definitely be anticipating the next book!

Update

Now that I have finished the audio version of the book, I have to say this is probably my favorite bit of work that Jeffrey Kafer has ever worked on. He really brought his "A" game, infusing life into already well drawn characters to create something special. He even got to add his own forward to the audiobook, explaining their process developing these books in a hilarious way. It shows how the team of Phipps and Kafer work so well together. I can't recommend the audio version of this book highly enough!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful