A fun, quirky, unpredictable read featuring an unlikely superhero in the making!
Former socialite Bremy St. James is newly estranged from her father (and his fortune) after uncovering some of his dark secrets, forcing her to start a new life in the big city and leave her beloved twin sister Jenny behind. Her number one priority is to get settled and get her sister back, but things haven’t exactly worked out as Bremy planned; she has no job, no friends and owes almost everyone money. With a looming death threat from her Russian mobster landlord, Bremy has no choice but to work in a shady nightclub called The Pink Beaver. Just when her situation is improving, Bremy is thrown into the spotlight while trying to be heroic during a bank robbery. Caught up in the mayhem, she accidentally interferes in the capture of the villains by the city’s official superhero, Dark Ryder. In true comic-book fashion, Bremy finally realizes her true calling and is determined to convince the hesitant Dark Ryder she’s missing what every good superhero needs, a sidekick!
Being the geek-girl that I am, I jumped at the chance to snag a copy of this eARC on NetGalley. Growing up idolizing Wonder Woman and loving Batman, I was instantly drawn to the awesome cover and the storyline. It wasn’t long before I realized this book was not so much about superheroes with powers and more about a sidekick in training. As does Batman, Dark Ryder relies on her fighting skills and techy gadgets to fight crime. Needless to say, I quickly had to throw all my preconceived notions out the window and accept all the outrageousness of SIDEKICK for what I think it is, an homage to a lighter version of superheroes. Anything goes when you’re dealing with superheroes, right?
Bremy, the main character, could best be described as twenty-five percent Bruce Wayne, seventy-five percent Robin. She’s a young woman who has lived a life of privilege and is still immature and innocent when it comes to the real world, her age isn’t really mentioned in the story but her voice sometimes reads as a teenager with ADD! I enjoyed her sarcasm and wit throughout the first half of the book, especially when it came to convincing Dark Ryder, but there were times where she was a little too flighty for me. I feel her backstory could have been explained a little sooner in the story with a little more detail in order for me to fully connect with her character and understand her motives. That being said, I think she has the potential to transition into the strong, kick ass heroines I love…with a little guidance from her mentor Dark Ryder, who honestly is still a mystery to me! I get that this is Bremy’s story but I wanted to know more about the infamous superhero (superheroine?) and was left wanting.
SIDEKICK is filled with over the top moments and an array of unique characters that leave a lasting impression. It was entertaining to be introduced to Bremy’s newfound friends: Queenie, the annoying neighbor, Bart, the over-confident techie and her potential love interest, reporter Pierce Stricklin, who I think has a strong Clark Kent vibe (in a good way). Their clique is very Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Scooby Gang! The overall tongue-in-cheek humor, the larger than life villains and outrageous twists fit perfectly in this superhero world where all bets are off. Once I got past the “OMG is this really happening?!” stage I found myself appreciating the story more and not wanting to put it down to see what would happen next. The ending was not as climactic as I expected and there are a few loose ends that leave you thinking there will be a sequel. This wasn’t a perfect read for me, but it was a fun and light-hearted story with just enough dark undertones to keep things interesting. I’m not sure what the future holds for Dark Ryder, her sidekick Bremy St. James and the rest of the gang, but I will definitely keep my eyes open for more of Auralee Wallace’s writing!