In a sign of good things to come in 2016, the East End Irregulars series kicked off the year with some love in the review department. First, The Dismal Tide got it’s first review on Amazon, a solid four stars of approval from a reader who also enjoyed After Dark. Here’s what he had to say about the Tide:
Sebastian the young vigilante is back, along with his sidekick and girlfriend. As before, they stumble into some adventures, with a nice measure of action and humor. Sebastian has finally done a little thinking about his power and a little practicing, and the group performs much better in the fights they get into. This second volume is a little longer (the first was very short), and feels a bit more like a book then a small slice of Sebastian’s life (one of my critiques of book 1). Although there is no complete or discernible story arc here and the group is still mostly stumbling into trouble rather then facing off against a recurring villain, it looks like things are being set up to have one or two main enemies in the third volume.
Although book 2 is better in many respects, still a bit short of 5 stars for me. At times, Sebastian just feels like an arrogant horse’s backside rather then an amusing young rogue, and when this line was crossed I wasnt fully able to appreciate the humor. There are also a few spots in the book that dragged, like Sebastian arguing with the moderator of the young talents discussion group about the abilities of law enforcement and the merits of vigilantism. There is also a sense of things going in a lot of, and possibly too many, different directions, with a smorgasboard of different enemies floating around, and the addition of possibly “mystical” enemies as well as talents.
Overall, I did like this book and recommend it. Mr. DiBaggio can be quite funny, and there is a considerable amount of charm here (lost briefly when Sebastian becomes too much of an *&^). Things seem to be developing such that I expect more of an over-arching plot in book 3. Although I generally prefer more progress in that regard in a second book, things do seem to be shaping up, and I’m very curious where things are headed.
P.S. I was requested to review this book and received a free copy. This did not impact the content of my review.
The next day, we got a five-star endorsement from Readers’ Favorite reviewer Stephen Fisher:
After Dark by Michael A. DiBaggio and Shell DiBaggio is a story about Sebastian Pereira, a teen who has wanted to be a vigilante his whole life. Shortly after reaching puberty, he discovers that he has attained the talent of psychometry. He is able to touch an object and the owner’s thoughts begin flooding his mind. He awkwardly describes it as telepathy’s homely sister that nobody ever asks to a dance. Then he gains another talent called hydrokinesis. After trying out the name Doom Spectre, he decides on Torrent. He and his best friend Alex, who goes by Mysterious X or “X” for short, patrol the streets at night on their bicycles.
Enter Evangeline “Eva” Garver, a new student who is the target of three bullies when Sebastian rescues her from the abuse. Time goes by and they become closer. But things change when she invites him to dinner to meet her scrutinizing father. Sebastian then has a revelation when he finds out that Eva’s father was associated with famous super heroes, which he denies. Eva then invites Sebastian to a meeting of metahuman rights and, when confronted, Sebastian gives his opinions, which causes an argument between them. After some research and in between his alter ego excursions, Sebastian as Torrent attends a secret meeting of Talents in their costumes.
The duo of Michael DiBaggio, and Shell DiBaggio deliver this story with clever wit. Shell’s illustrations of the not so famous people that feel the need to protect society from the evildoers of Pittsburgh describe vividly the mishaps and successes of our heroes in action with a raw sense of humility. This work would be great as a comic book except for the cleverly written, R-rated dialog that had me laughing out loud. The cliffhanging revelation at the close of After Dark will leave you salivating for the next installment.
If you still haven’t read the adventures of Pittsburgh’s favorite band of teenage vigilantes, what are you waiting for? Buy them in paperback or for Kindle (After Dark, The Dismal Tide) or for other e-readers (After Dark, The Dismal Tide).