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Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy
Joe Sergi
iEnovel, 216 pages

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy
Joe Sergi
Joe Sergi lives outside of Washington, DC with his family. He has published short stories in the science fiction and horror genres. In addition, Joe has published several comic stories and was selected as a semi-finalist in the Who Wants To Create A Superheroine contest sponsored by the Shadowline Imprint of Image Comics.

Joe Sergi Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Nathan Brazil

'Imagine my surprise when I tracked the Choyut Dragon back to my village: the same place I had drank my magical potion and become the genius I am today.'
As a lifelong fan of the superhero genre, and a reviewer who admires the pluck of writers who refuse to accept defeat at the hands of the corporate machine, Sky Girl appealed to me on two counts. I was enthusiastic to read the first adventure of a fresh super-heroine, and knew that small fry publishing occasionally turned up real gems. Thus I began to read, with hope in my heart that Sky Girl would be one of the better novels in this niche genre. Author Joe Sergi made a good initial impression; the review copy had a professional looking cover, web site support, its own postcard and business card, and even a hand-drawn cartoon on the first page! Effort and thought had clearly been put in to marketing this title. But was it any good?

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy is the story of ordinary American teenager DeDe Christopher, who has an extraordinary destiny. DeDe dreams of winning the National Gymnastic Tournament and dating the school quarterback. Until she begins to develop powers strangely similar to those of a fictional superhero named Sky Boy. DeDe enlists the help of her best friend and comic book geek, Jason Shewstal, to discover her true destiny. Looking on Joe Sergi's Amazon page, I read that he wanted to bring his own daughter into his comic book world, and as a father, he wanted a strong role model for her. Sky Girl is his attempt to do both.

Admirable though that aim may be, the other half of the equation requires both imagination and the skill to combine the fruits of his mind into a credible, engaging story. Unfortunately, this is where it all breaks down. Beginning with the author's desperately unimaginative choice of names; Professor Z, Commander Chimp, the Evil Brain, GRONK, and Woolish the alien ferret. No, I'm not joking, those are genuine characters. Then there's the major plot device to explain the absence of Sky Boy; a machine invented by Professor Z which has removed all memories and evidence that Sky Boy ever existed. Except for the comic books in which Sky Boy stars. Comics which are, in fact, true accounts of his real life exploits. Only, no one can recall life that way, aside from the villains, who have begun to remember. No reasons or detailed explanations are given. I honestly could not believe the poor quality of what I was reading, for example the quote used at the top of this review. Another major problem was the author's strange habit of having his lead character talk normally, but her best friend speak without ever using contractions, which came across as so stilted that it could've been dialogue produced via an early text-to-speech engine. Add to this explanations such as the way to defeat the giant Mechape -- by using a giant metal banana from a nearby planet -- and you can understand why I began to lose the will to live.

Much as I wanted Sky Girl to be a great little book that I could recommend to its young adult target audience, what I found was something that failed on almost all counts. Joe Sergi seems like a nice guy, with bags of ambition, and a series of these books is apparently planned. But, in my estimation, he simply cannot write to a professional standard. Anyone wanting a good female super-heroic role model for their kids can find better written examples, both in comics and novel forms. If Sky Girl is ever to take her place among them, Joe Sergi is going to have to read at least a few of those creations, and understand the mechanics of how the greats do their stuff. Until then, I'm sorry to say, Sky Girl is more likely to crash and burn than she is to fly.

Copyright © 2010 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at

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