Gauntlet Goes to Prom – John Otte

Gauntlet Goes to Prom John Otte
Gauntlet Goes to Prom by John Otte
Published by Geeky Grace on March 2013
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four-half-stars

Even superheroes go to prom...

Ben Laughlin has faced some scary situations. After all, he's a teenage superhero, known to the world as the powerful Gauntlet. But taking his girlfriend, Elizabeth Booth, to the prom? It’s too bad he can’t go in costume.

Ben wants this to be more than just one dance, one night. He has big plans that extend beyond the dance floor and could very well change his entire life. But life as a superhero is never simple.

Ben’s younger brother, Rob, has his eyes set on Elizabeth as well. So when Rob shows up at prom in HIS alter-ego as the superhero Failstate, is it to ruin Ben’s well-laid plans? Or is it a hint that something much more dangerous is brewing?

Last year, Marcher Lord Press added a new author to their ever-expanding list of speculative fiction writers. John Otte entertained me immensely with his fun and unique take on the world of superheroes as seen in Failstate. The sequel, Failstate: Legends, has just been released, but between these two—and as sort of a promotional teaser—Otte penned this short story. With the advent of ebooks, stories of this type have become more popular. Authors offer the story for free, then after a while, set the price at something like $0.99 to generate just a bit of revenue.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Gauntlet Goes to Prom. Would it be just a promotional teaser? Would it have actual substance? Would it integrate me back into the world of Failstate, Gauntlet, and the other superheroes I left behind last year? I was hoping for the latter two, and with a total page count near fifty, I was hopeful.

And I was not disappointed.

Far from being a throwaway extra, Gauntlet Goes to Prom is a full story in and of itself, containing events that seriously impact the world Otte has created. Otte manages to reintegrate readers (new and old) into the story’s world without making such explanation half the material. Instead, it flows naturally through the story, which, of course, centers on Gauntlet and his romantic relationship with Liz that began at the end of Failstate. But it isn’t all mushy relationship issues. There are a number of action scenes that are written in Otte’s intentional comic book style.

Gauntlet Goes to Prom has whetted my appetite for Failstate: Legends. Even years after its original release, this short story retains its standalone power and is a fun ride into Otte’s world of superheroes.

four-half-stars

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