Author David Terruso, Illustrations Nick DeStefano
This is the spoiler free review of Alter Ego: The Other Me. If you would like to read the spoiler full review and really understand how much is packed into this short book then please visit here.
Many thanks to author David Terruso for providing me with a copy of Alter Ego in order to write this honest review.
Let me get this part out of the way. I loved this book. I LOVED it. I think it’s my favorite book that I’ve read so far this year. Read it, do it. Stop reading this, go read Alter Ego instead.
Alter Ego is in its own genre. I’m calling it a comic novel. It’s formatted in a way that the top part of the page is written in paragraphs and the bottom of the page is in comic panels.
But I wouldn’t just call it a picture book. It’s more than that. It’s extraordinarily well thought out and well formatted. The paragraphs always page break at a natural spot. You never have to finish a sentence on the next page and then flip back to look at the pictures. You can finish the paragraph and then take your time analyzing the pictures without ever leaving the flow of the story.
Additionally, there are codes to help you keep track of the storytelling devices. If a picture is tinted blue it’s a flashback. Such a simple device helps the reader so immensely. It’s this kind of detail that really helps the book stand out from any other slapped together mystery novel.
The author wants you to be able to follow the story and find the clues within both the words and the pictures. I always hate it in mysteries where it feels like the author wants you to get confused and lost and deliberately leaves false clues and red herrings and keeps things vague just to mess with you.
Alter Ego doesn’t do that, it’s better than that. Terruso treats the reader with respect, he treats the art of storytelling with respect, and he elevates the whole craft to a new level. The bar is up here people!
This book is what it looks like when a team takes the time to make it perfect. It’s not churned out for profit. It’s the culmination of study, research, natural talent, and love. This is what you get when you have a vision and don’t stop until it’s exactly what it should be.
The basic story is that Chris Club, a private investigator, is hired to discover the true identity of a mysterious superhero who appeared after a supernatural event occurred.
We follow Club as he picks up clues. We do not know anything that he doesn’t know. We’re not watching him solve the mystery, we’re solving it with him. That’s way more fun to me.
And this book is FUN. It’s so much fun to read. I usually crank through a few books a week and I figured this short one could be knocked out on a lunch break. I was wrong. I slowed down. I took my time on each page. Re-reading sentences. Staring at pictures. Taking notes and looking back over them as I went along. I got so sucked into this story what normally would’ve taken me two hours took two days and I loved it the whole time.
The characters are interesting and realistic. Everybody has some good and bad to them, no one is pure hero or pure villain. There are risks taken with the characters and the stories that most authors shy away from or would only display in order to be edgy but Terruso handles everything with care and foresight.
I have absolute faith that every piece of this puzzle will come to place by the end. I trust that nothing is superfluously added just to stand out or be shocking. It all belongs and will pay off.
I honestly haven’t been this wowed by a book in a good long time. This review probably just sounds like a gushing fan girl but I think I am at this point. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series as it’s published and I really hope that you buy this book and feel the same way.
5/5 blue people 🧞♂️🧞♂️🧞♂️🧞♂️🧞♂️
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