Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?

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The main focus is of course on the superheroes, and the main character who we follow is Southern Cross, a new member of the Equalizers, a group of costumed vigilantes. We get others, too — such as Pretty Amazonia, Brick and more — all with names that whilst may not seem much on paper, all help add to the pulp-themed aspect of the book, allowing for a lot of fun, where this would almost end up as well drawn out as a comic.

The book takes place in an essentially an artificial reality — Heropa — where outsiders from society can take up the guise of a superhero and find themselves in a world of happiness. There seems to be a lot of superhero novels nowadays. This novel is no exception, and Bergen has crafted an awesome, wonderfully fun read that will appeal to comic fans possibly even more so than non readers. This is the world that people come to in order to escape the harsh reality, and the book itself follows main character Jacob Curtiss, who intends to escape from a futuristic Melbourne City the last on Earth to this virtual world of Heropa.

However, when that rule is broken, and a superhero is killed, the Equalizers are mobilized into action. Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa then, is a lot of fun, even though it may suffer in places from an uneven pace and too much banter. This book is certainly worth checking out, and it provides a very entertaining read. The Plot very briefly : Melbourne is apparently the last city on Earth.

Upon admittance, they are invited to be 'jacked' into an on-line city called Heropa, where they become Heroes or Villains. Other than these worthies, the city is populated by 'Blando's' or disposable human facsimiles. It's Groundhog Day for them. The 'Ocker-isms' ie. Aussie slang are there, but not overwhelmingly so. Having lived in Oz for a number of years, i felt the author could have upped the ocker quotient, but decided not to, so the book would be more reader-friendly. It's not a laugh-a-minute but it has it's humorous moments.

I felt the premise had a lot of potential, but i didn't feel it's potential was fully realised. Still, as i said, enjoyable regardless. Jan 11, Christopher tm rated it it was amazing. The book is thrilling, full of unexpected moments - frequently funny and, occasionally, surprisingly poignant. Unreservedly recommended to fans of View all 3 comments.

Aug 23, Heath Lowrance rated it it was amazing. Andrez Bergen is possessed of an enviable imagination, one that soars away with old ideas and turns them into Fresh New Things of Beauty. Just as importantly, he's got the writing chops to bring the reader along with him. His style is fluid and playful, full of the joy of language. An excellent book. Don't miss it. Slow going up front but picked up steam midway through. Think it would have worked better for me to start if I hadn't had so many small reading sessions to start.

Well written, snappy and fun overall.

Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?

While this might not have hit my sweet spot as much as Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat did, I enjoy Bergen's world, the "autrailanness" and his penchant for well written dialogue and snappy humor. Apr 18, Lori Holuta rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. And then decant that concoction into the legacy of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Andrez Bergen has stuffed all these comic book concepts into one hefty novel. But the visuals so dear to comic book aficionados have not been forgotten. I appreciate comic books for their rich history and contributions to our culture in the form of action movies, occasional fashion statements and a rich abundance of cultural references. However, my own interest in comics was short-lived, just a small dose of Superman back in grade school.

Right off, I was introduced to Jack, a kid struggling to survive in the dirty ragged remnants of Melbourne, Australia. Eventually, Jack learns of an unusual way to escape his life in Melbourne and finds himself wandering Heropa, a retro-virtual metropolis that seems capable of giving him everything he needs. He gets a fresh start, food, shelter, clothing, and caring friends.

Jack bumbles along, slowly figuring it all out, while I cheered and encouraged him along. He settles in with other Capes and learns more about life in the virtual world of Heropa. There are standards he must uphold; no drinking, swearing, or smoking there are repercussions , and he quickly learns that wearing a superhero mask every day is really annoying. Their memories are reset as well, so every day is a new chance to do the same old things, oblivious to the repetition. Seems simple enough on the surface, but Jack begins to discover that something is very wrong in the city. Capes are being killed more often and more flagrantly.

The resets have stopped working.

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Alcohol is re-discovered and overly enjoyed. Jack meets a bank teller Blando who steals his heart. And what about the Blandos? With the reset off, are they closer to becoming real people? Are they capable of building memories and relationships and bringing lasting changes to Heropa? Is the definition of reality changing? By comparison, his previous novel, Years of Vicissitude, is a Mazda RX-7, able to zip through convoluted Japanese streets and change directions quicker than you can blink.

Big enough to hold a pile of passengers and all their baggage, but with enough attitude to cruise stylishly down a vintage virtual boulevard. This novel ramps up the action one gear at a time, each shift revealing faster and more breathtaking scenery right up to the very end.

As a bonus, the back of the book contains a glossary of all the slang and comic books mentioned in his story, as well as bios of the artists, acknowledgements, inspirations, influences, moments of worth in the authors life, and essential comic book reading highlights. As you can see, Andrez is not one to take shortcuts when talking about his passions.

You have nothing to lose but your preconceived notions. Nov 26, Sunday Smith rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction. About the Book: Jack, fifteen, lives in a ruined Melbourne, alone after his parents are disappeared by the state for sedition. On one of his forages out into the bowels of the city, someone hands him a flyer giving him an address. He follows the trail from one place to another where at each spot he must answer a question to get the next address. Finally he lands at the last stop only to be turned away until he accidentally says the password.

Jack's next stop finds him on the streets of a clean About the Book: Jack, fifteen, lives in a ruined Melbourne, alone after his parents are disappeared by the state for sedition. Jack's next stop finds him on the streets of a clean city with a mismash of architectural styled buildings unlike anything he had seen before. Here, he discovers he is Southern Cross, a superhero, also known as a Cape, and he is part of a group of Superheroes know as The Equalizers. The city is populated by people the Capes call Blandos because they are so bland and other Capes who belong to The League of Unmitigated Rotters.

There are rules to this new place - no cussing though some words are okay , no drinking, no smoking, and no killing other than Blandos , except someone is killing. And that is the mystery of the place. Who is killing the Capes, why are they killing the Capes, and how are they killing the Capes? Jack, together with Equalizers Brick and Pretty Amazonia, sets out to find out what is really happening in this fair city.

Along the way he picks up a petty reporter, a sharp detective, and a girlfriend. It is the girlfriend that has Jack sidetracked from his task of finding the killer or killers. My Take: This book is a huge tribute to comic books, with blatant, not so blatant, and obscure references to the comic book heroes of the last century. I read these stories back in the day, my favorite being Spiderman and Daredevil, though I was familiar with others.

Most of the references in this work went over my head but it never, ever distracted from the story or the humor and there is plenty of both. Quite the opposite, in fact. And I enjoyed all the references I picked up on and learned a lot from others. I was taken back when the jump from Melbourne to Heropa took place but soon sussed this is a story much like Tron or The Thirteenth Floor though with much more humor. As with all such stories, you die in Heropa, you die. The concept that everything is extremely real - food tastes, odors smell, pain hurts, and love is a deep emotion - keeps the reader vested in what is happening within Heropa.

When our hero Jack faces death, it keeps us on the edge of our seat, just as his falling in love melts our hearts because we know for Jack it is all too real.


  • July, 2011: This Months Stories.
  • who is killing the great capes of heropa? - Heropa.
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The mystery plot was well done and the why of it properly hidden. Like all life, the pathway through the plot is never direct since, like many, Jack gets taken in by a beautiful woman. The love interest keeps the mystery from overpowering the humor and lightness of this tale. Bergen does his characters a powerful service by making them so real and simple to connect with throughout the story.

It is too easy, when writing a light touch story to give a light brush to the characters. Not only did I connect with the main characters, I fell for the minor characters, too, being completely vested in their lives. This is a quality tale with exceptional writing, dialect and all, and something I do hope you pick up. I have only one question for the writer. Who is Melbourne paying and why??? My Recommendation: I loved, loved this book. I believe anyone who loves comic books and their heroes will love this book. Those who are not familiar will still find this edgy tale a keeper.

There is a bit of sex, more than a bit of cussing though clean by many standards and some violence similar to comic books. Oct 31, Nai rated it really liked it. So, when the opportunity came to pick up 3 more books from Perfect Edge, I had to jump. I prefer them to also be full of good books. Even though my expectations after reading 4 other books put out The last book I reviewed for Perfect Edge may have been Angel Falls, and I loved it.

I can be brutal with my critiques. This link will take you to the tour page where you can enter for prizes, and read about the other two books for the tour. My initial thoughts after finishing Heropa were pretty much this. As I mentioned, the success of the last tour of Perfect Edge Books had my expectations set very high. Then, the first book on the tour list was in one of my favorite genres.

It couldn't get much more intriguing than that. It's also no small feat to successfully combine all those genres into one book and have it work out. I could say all the normal things like great characters, amazing plot lines, good story telling and world building. They're all true, but this book is so much more.

I wanted to feel like I was in a black and white movie, be close to the comic book style, and enter a science fiction world of dystopia like no other. Thanks, Andrez Bergen, you've done it. You've gone and mixed genres, created a dystopic world like no other I've read before, and you've made it into a masterpiece with some great societal references I can't wait to jump into.

May 17, Haralambi Markov rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction. A conceptually intriguing exploration of superheroes in an artificial playground where social outcasts can don capes and have a shot at happiness. The novel has great potential, but doesn't quite deliver the punch. These people are the so-called Capes in a fake city, where each day everything is reset and the NPCs Blandos , who usually get caught in the crossfire, live from day to day with no memories. Southern Cross. He comes to Heropa to seek refuge from the unforgiving, authoritarian nightmare Melbourne has become and the only prospect for happiness is to switch one world for another reality.

Jacob does this readily, pushed onwards by his love for comic book lore, but his ultimate fantasy slowly tilts off-center. Yes, he joins the Equalizers, the elite team of do-goers in Heropa, but instead of team spirit and heroics he meets jaded players — tired of the game, tired of staying in characters, tired with each other. Barbs and cynicism have substituted playful banter. Disinterest has substituted team work. It's a novel of great ambition brimming with escapism and heroism, portrayed in a dystopian setting encompassing an ideal that's refreshing, honest, and true to pulp culture.

The superheroes capes of Heropa are being picked off one by one. Southern Cross Melbourne teen, Jacob is the newest member of a small group of heroes banded together under the good-guy banner The Equalizers - their primary goal, to keep the inhabitants of Heropa safe from rogue Capes and other criminal threats. A task made harder by the mystifying murder rate of Capes that came before him. Core to proceedings is Southern Cross and his ability to adapt then evolve to his persona and surroundings. From apprehensive baby steps to duking it out with menacing foes direct from the pages of superhero comics, Jacob's journey compliments the artificial reality of Heropa.

True to form for a superhero caper, there's a love interest with a little likeness to Lois Lane in terms of civilian-come-hero-love-interest , a broad spanning mystery across the city itself and a another within dystopian Melbourne, and cool character designs some of which are provided in the book. Louise, a seemingly innocent and bland character at first captures Southern Cross' heart and kick starts another dimension to the already stellar story giving it a more human side.

Fans of DC comics will marvel pun intended at the cityscape, and capes alike some baring a likeness in premise to The Thing and Wonder Woman. The action is top notch with further exploration of the city and it's heroes not outside the realms of possibility.

This is a book that demands future installments. Highly recommended. Nov 17, Darren Sant rated it it was amazing. Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa is a fantastically different and entertaining novel. Set in a dystopian post apocalyptic future where there is only one city left on earth. Therefore is it any wonder that the oppressed citizens of this city seek escape within a virtual world? Our hero, who is just fifteen, lives alone his parents long ago dragged off by the fascist police.

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He ekes out a meagre existence by scavenging for food. It's on one of these food hunts that he discovers a hoard of Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa is a fantastically different and entertaining novel. It's on one of these food hunts that he discovers a hoard of ancient comics. From that moment on he is hooked. Later, his knowledge of comic books will lead to him securing a place in a virtual world that is quite unlike any other. As with any virtual realm there are defined rules. Andrez Bergen is clear in outlining these: No swearing and no drinking among others.

Breaking these will result in our player being kicked from Heropa with a two-day penalty. I'm no reader of comics. I grew up reading the classic sci-fi novels so just about all of the author's carefully crafted references and in jokes probably flew right over my balding head. However, I enjoyed the witty comic book banter, which was always effective, and it was great to read a book with no swearing in for a change!

In my own fiction there's foul language on almost every page. What I enjoyed most about this novel is the interplay between the characters. Humour is very much the backbone of Chandler style who dunnit. Our hero, Southern Cross, attempts to find out who is killing the great capes of Heropa. Bergen has created a spectacular world here and I could easily see it running to a series of novels, comics and spin offs.

Interesting artwork enriches the kindle edition I read. A very different read that I enjoyed from page one until the conclusion. The author has researched his subject painstakingly and meticulously and the novel flows like warm butter from a pan. A well deserved five stars from me. Nov 02, prk rated it liked it Shelves: aurealis-awards.

Southern Cross is the newest superhero cape to arrive in Heropa, only to find that things aren't quite as expected - someone or something is killing off the capes, both heroes and villains, one by one. Southern Cross must become familiar with the rules of Heropa, fit in with the Equalizers a group of superheroes , try to find out who's killing off the capes, and develop a relationship with Louise, who doesn't seem to be like the other Blandos non capes.

This was a fairly well written blendin Southern Cross is the newest superhero cape to arrive in Heropa, only to find that things aren't quite as expected - someone or something is killing off the capes, both heroes and villains, one by one. This was a fairly well written blending of an homage to the golden age of comics with a detective noir story.

While I'm not a comics fan and probably missed many of the more esoteric references, there was enough there around the detective story and pop culture knowledge of superheroes to carry the story and keep me interested. The characterisation was a bit one dimensional in places, but it's difficult to tell if that was deliberate homage, or not, so I have to give it the benefit of the doubt.

The dialogue was quite good, in particular the banter between several of the characters brought an appropriate level of light comedy to an otherwise dark story, stopping it from becoming too depressing. There were also quite a few sketches of superheroes in different poses, which may mean something to comics fans or artists, but were wasted on me. All up, I found it a bit slow going at first, but the second half of the book picked up significantly, and I was quite satisfied with the ending.

Disclaimer: Whilst I read this as a judge for the Aurealis Awards, this review is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging co-ordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team. Nov 25, Ralph L Jr. I liked it quite a bit, though it did have a few flaws. I thought a good portion of the beginning of the book was very slow and dragged quite a bit.

Also the ending was very abrupt. This was my favourite. Like the newcomer hero, Jack, we find out about the world as he finds it out. Illustrations from fantastic artists help bring the world to life in stark black-and-white. The styles range from a Manga-styled Amazonian heroine to shots of the Southern Cross arrayed in dramatic splash page fashion.

These vintage jalopies honked one another while a traffic cop in jodhpurs, knee-high riding boots and white gloves, standing with rod-straight posture as the next intersection, used his whistle and energetic arm movements to control the flow.

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