I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have to say that reading this book, it might have had more of a disadvantage than others I’ve read. Some might notice that there’s been a decent amount of time between this review and the last one I’ve done. To put it plainly, I’ve had some teeth pulled and have been recovering, on top of other issues. This meant things weren’t getting done the way they usually are, and this is the book I happened to be reading while everything was going on. It took me a while to finish, and even now it’s been a while since I finished it to the time I started writing this review.
That said, I don’t think it’s a bad premise for a book. Generally, there aren’t many errors or anything like that. The artwork in the book is amazing, so major kudos to the artist.
I never quite got into it, though. I think it’s because the book sounded too much like a real self-help book, and was a bit too formulaic. I could see how things would be structured before reading it. Narrator would bring up a problem. Narrator would say that problem doesn’t have to get them down because X. Narrator would give examples of villains who didn’t follow said advice and were okay, or villains who did follow said advice and how it worked for them.
At times the text could have been written for anything. For example, there’s a whole part about dealing with stress. It wasn’t particularly villain-centric, and could have been placed in any self-help book.
I feel like the book missed some golden opportunities and ended up following this pattern. For example, in the beginning of the book it puts the definition of a villain, and then the narrator criticizes the definitions. The narrator tell about how villains have a message for the world and their actions are only considered ‘bad’ based on societal norms. But this leaves open some things that could have been addressed by the narrator. If he doesn’t like the current definition, how would he define it?
Also, in an example he gives, there’s someone who is for animal rights, and therefore does things to try and bring attention to this message. If the narrator considers this a noble cause, and essentially the basis for the actions is ‘good’, why the narrator then identify as a villain instead of a hero? I feel like this is another thing that could have been addressed that wouldn’t have followed the formula used throughout the rest of the book.
While the idea is good, this would be a tricky book to write without falling into a pattern that felt safe like that. Maybe now that it’s fully written, the author could look at it again and find more ways to add variety in the way it’s presented. I think being stuck in this genre held the book back, but it doesn’t have to. This guy is a villain, he’s there to break the rules! Have him break the rules of how self-help books are written and add something new and different.
I give it a 6/10. It may entertain some people, and there wasn’t anything particularly ‘wrong’ with it, but early on I found myself waiting to see the same pattern.