His mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.
Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.
With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.
Crimson Son by Russ Linton tells the story of Spencer Harrington, the powerless nineteen year old son of the world’s most powerful Augment. To the world, the Crimson Mask is everything a superhero should be, but to Spencer he is the man who constantly fails his family. When the mechanized super-villain known as the Black Beetle abducts Spencer’s mother, Spencer finds himself confined by his father for over two years in an arctic bunker in an attempt to keep him safe. However, when the bunker comes under attack, Spencer finds himself enmeshed in his father’s world of rogue Augments, government conspiracies, and rampaging robots.
I really enjoyed this story, I’ve read a lot of superhero fiction over the last couples of years, and they all tend to be very similar to each other. It was an interesting change: to see a world of superheroes from the eyes of someone who has no powers of his own to speak of. Linton did an excellent job of capturing the voice of a nineteen year old boy who has essentially been in solitary confinement for two years, especially when it comes to his interactions with the women he runs into.
While I enjoyed Crimson Son from the beginning to the end, there was one issue that threw me out of the story. The story is primarily told in the first person, from the PoV of Spencer Harrington, but there are occasionally random chapters told in third, from the perspective from someone completely different. This on its own wouldn’t be an issue for me, but nothing warned me about it, and it took me a moment to mentally switch gears for those chapters. Other than that, those chapters were an interesting way to show what was going on elsewhere in the world.
I would definitely recommend that all fans of superhero fiction read this book. Russ Linton did an amazing job with his characterization. Spencer Harrington was someone who was very easy to empathize and fall in love with, just as the Black Beetle was a character I found myself loving to hate. I really hope this is not the end of Spencer’s story and that Russ Linton is a name I hear more of in the future.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.