First off, this one was a compelling story, but the way it was told and narrated let it down. Between the constant “telling” with dialogue tags (i.e. [so and so] lied, [so and so] acquiesced) rather than “showing” through dialogue and actions, and the way the narrator seemingly mercilessly stomped on each one regardless of who was talking made this a difficult one to get through. Being an audio medium, the overuse of such tags is redundant with a narrator who can make the characters sound different. But the frequency of [so and so] said, [so and so] replied was a bit much to take at times.
The story itself is good, though, focussing on a group of “powered” kids as they make their way through college. Different from the “supers”, they can’t control their powers and are considered second (maybe third) rate citizens by everyone. The kids have been given some mysterious treatment that allows them to control their powers and essentially become “supers”.
Shipped off to a college that specialises in Hero Certification, they are put through their paces with a bunch of other (regular) supers. Originally written as a web serial, rather than being all-action all the time, this story plays out much like a television series. An overarching main story arc but lots of “slice of life” time where we see the kids and their daily struggles throughout the school year.
As mentioned up top, the “telling” side got a little old. There’s a general rule of thumb for writing that you should strive to “show” the story to the reader through action and dialogue, not straight up telling them. If you’ve struggled to understand the difference, this story will help set you straight.
Redundant dialogue tags were littered throughout too.
[so and so] agreed. It was clear from what the person said they agreed.
“Ditto,” [so and so] seconded. This one, in particular, had me groaning.
The narration by Kyle McCarley was good and bad in almost equal measure. Some voices were effortless; others were hard to listen to. Some of the female voices Kyle does almost sound like parodies of someone trying to do a female voice badly. Combined with his hard stomping on every dialogue tag (“blah blah,” VINCE SAID) … like calm down.
I think this will be the end of my Super Powereds journey. As much as I enjoyed the premise, this just annoyed me way too much. A shame, as I’ve read later works by Drew Hayes and have enjoyed them immensely.