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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Blaze of Glory  - Sheryl Nantus This superhero novel starts with a good premise: supers are real, but unbeknownst to the public, the heavily televised battles between "superheroes" and "supervillains" are as fake as WWF wrestling. All the supers are actors (though their powers are real), and unwilling ones, as a sinister government agency known simply as "The Agency" has captured each and every one, put a bomb in their heads, and makes them play their public roles or else.

Then an alien invasion fleet arrives. The aliens are superpowered warriors who want to fight Earth's supers, unaware that all the battles they've been watching on TV have been staged.

The main character, Jo Tanis, aka "Surf," decides to lead the survivors of the initial assault in a mission to save the Earth for real, despite the betrayal and compulsory service they have been subjected to in the past.

The story is fast-paced and entertaining, with a fairly original premise for a superhero novel that isn't just reworking themes from similar novels.

I have to ding it a couple of stars for some weaknesses in characterization and worldbuilding, though. The characters were a bit too repetitive in their hand gestures and emotiveness, and too many of them were flat, especially the so-called villains, distinguished only by their quirks ("Meltdown" is a fat, middle-aged guy who likes porn, "Mayday" is an old lady who hates swearing, Peter and David and most of the others were essentially interchangeable). I also couldn't buy that every single country is in on the whole "Capture all supers and make them fight staged battles" scheme and all had essentially identical Agencies working in concert. And all the supers' willingness to work with the people who'd put bombs in their skulls and deprived them of their civil rights didn't seem believable to me.

Blaze of Glory basically suffers from the problem a lot of superhero novels do, which is that you're naturally more inclined to take a story seriously when it's a novel and not a comic book, but a lot of superhero tropes don't work if you spend too much time thinking about them. I think this would have actually been better as a comic book, but as a book it was a fun, light read.