A Study in Spandex
Adventures of the Whirlwind Vol. 2
by Hal Bodner
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Pub Date 07 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021
Crossroad Press, Mystique Press
Grieving his husband’s untimely death, Alec Archer doesn’t feel up to donning the Whirlwind’s skintight turquoise costume to defend Centerport against yet another supervillain.
But the evil genius who calls himself the Zookeeper doesn’t care about Alec’s feelings. The Zookeeper has chosen Centerport as the perfect place to demonstrate his latest creation, a genetic process that converts harmless house-pets into lethal bio-weapons.
Whether he’s battling giant spiders, rescuing the city from a vicious army of mutated puppies and kittens, saving a child from an angry Grizzly bear, or simply babysitting a pair of awkward newbie superheros who are more trouble than they’re worth, Alec dutifully does his best, even though his heart isn’t in it.
Unfortunately, the Whirlwind’s unique biology proves irresistible to the Zookeeper. Captured, and horribly tortured to unlock the secrets of his superhuman genetics, Alec’s despair and grief threaten to overcome him, and the outcome of the Whirlwind’s final confrontation with the Zookeeper is far from certain.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
A Study in Spandex was an enjoyable sequel to Fabulous in Tights; however, it is also much darker than book one, with Alec trying to deal with the aftermath of the previous story while also taking on a new villain and being subjected to extensive physical torture. Therefore, this is not a book for those squeamish about descriptive torture scenes. If that doesn't worry you, though, you will also find in this book some sweet and funny moments. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of a couple of new characters with their own powers, and I hope we will continue to see more of them in future adventures. For me, this was a four-star read. It was, as I said, a lot darker than book one, but I for one enjoyed that sense of realism, since it showed that superheroes, despite their skills, can still face danger and, more importantly, need to battle their own inner demons at times.
When you need a good laugh, try a book by Hal Bodner. Heck, try this one! Alec Archer, AKA the Whirlwind, will have you chuckling at his antics as he saves kids from what kids do, rescues cats stuck up in trees, or wades into danger where no other dares to tread.
It's Centerport, so there has to be an Arch Villain… a big baddy that wants to take the Whirlwind down. The usual cast… Travis Buttrick, tailor, genius, and all round caretaker of our hero… Gretchen Thatcher, Chief of Police… Richard "Richie" Banterly, Mayor of Centerport… who each play their part in thwarting the Zookeeper and his minions. The second book in the Adventures of the Whirlwind series, A STUDY IN SPANDEX, is filled with lavender tinged irreverence, no little snark, and a storyline that will make you laugh and cry… occasionally at the same time.
A STUDY IN SPANDEX isn't just another superhero novel, it has messages throughout from which we can all learn. The theme throughout says we can't live our lives without others, and it's OK to ask for help. For all the intended humor, there are real world lessons to be found in the most dire of circumstances.
There are two new sidekicks introduced that bring empathy and purpose to the Whirlwind team. I do hope to read a lot more about them. I look forward to finding out their superhero names.
Hal Bodner has a way with words. I'm sure you've occasionally glanced at Acknowledgments pages and found it to be something akin to an Academy Awards thank you speech. You know the one… the recipient goes on and on thanking Mom and Krishna along with everyone from the producer and director to the makeup artist and hair stylist. Not Hal. His Acknowledgments, Thanks, and Dedication reads like a bonus tale before the actual book begins. Do read it. And, while you're at it, if you haven't read the first book in the series, FABULOUS IN TIGHTS, pick up a copy of that one too and read it first. These books are a treat!
If you enjoyed the first one, you’ll love the second! Things take a darker turn for the Whirlwind, both physically and emotionally, in this exciting sequel. Fair warning, brutality and torture are turned up to 11, but are somewhat augmented by Bodner’s pithy humor. And best of all, two new characters that you are sure to love! Super excited to see how Alec’s new friends fare in the next adventure.
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