Review: Chaos Company

Chaos CompanyChaos Company by Christopher Slayton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This novel is a “Superheroes As Super Soldiers” story in which the government administers a genome-changing serum to recruits [think Captain America origin] with a wide range of results for the 6 members of Chaos Company [not unlike The Fantastic Four’s divergent enhancements to a singular event]. Unfortunately, the villain, Aussie mercenary Liam King, got his hands on the same geno-serum as did a special forces recruit turned bad. These two and a couple hundred other indistinguishable mercenaries cause general havoc in a plot to bring down the president and initiate WWIII.

The tale reads mostly as martial arts choreography with some gun play. Character development took a back seat except in the case of Liam King. Eventually, protagonist Desmond of Chaos Company is fleshed out as is his love interest Anna and her brother Tyler, also team members. One of the team members, Cameron, never rises above the level of caricature which was disappointing as a novel can handle making all six deal with the extraordinary change in their lives.

Perhaps the abrupt jump from just getting their abilities and meeting each other to three years down the road was a missed opportunity in character plumbing that can be readdressed. Even after years of working together, the interactions did not read as a “team” and the dialogue was 80% zingers and canned one-liners. Only the final chapter stood out as finally feeling real. This gives me hope for any sequel.

Grammatical errata and story inconsistencies were rife. Later editions should be scrubbed clean of those. I received my copy directly from the author.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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