Review: "Chance Fortune and the Outlaws" by Shane Berryhill

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws Buy at Amazon

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws
Buy at Amazon

The Gist: All his life Joshua Blevins wanted to be a superhero but to attend the Burlington Academy he had to have some sort of superpower, something he was lacking so he's turned away. Joshua and his mentor Captain Fearless come up with a new plan to get Joshua into Burlington, create a persona that has the proper requisites and soon Chance Fortune is accepted into Burlington.

The story follows Joshua/Chance as he attends Burlington Academy. He quickly befriends a pair of two fellow students, Percy and Shockley. Chance and all the rest of the new students are quickly sized up by MOTHER, Mechanized Omni-Tasking Higher Education Regulator, the AI who maintains many parts of the school. Chance and his new fellow students are quickly assessed, equipped, super hero named and set on their dorm rooms.

One of the biggest parts of being at Burlington is being put onto battle teams. The battle teams compete in inter-team combat under various conditions and in differing scenarios in a virtual battle field. Chance is assigned to a super team with Psy-Chick, Gothika, Iron Maiden, Private Justice and his new friends Shocker and Space Cadet. They quickly take the name "The Outlaws" and put Chance in charge after he shows good leadership and quick thinking.

Along the way Chance make an enemy out of another student, Superion, and his team the Invincibles.

In the background there is something sinister going on at the Academy and eventually it'll be up to chance and his team to stop it before everyone is lost.

The Good: I gave this book to my friend Megan for her son. Garth is a young man who likes to read within his circle of interests. I figured this book would appeal to him and hopefully open his eyes to books outside of his normal reads. Megan reported back that Garth had started the book and finished THAT NIGHT after a marathon reading session. Wow. That speaks volumes to me since the book really is geared towards the young adult readership.

I enjoyed the comic book creator/artists reference in the building names at the Burlington Academy such as McFarlane Cafeteria or Kirby Coliseum.

I think this book also appeals to the old comic book fans with the Golden and Silver Age comic book feel/influence.

The Bad: It has a fairly standard "good guys win/bad guys get a black eye" theme familiar to many early Golden Age and Silver Age comics so the characters are stereotypical.

The Ugly: Nothing ugly here!

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws is a fun story that pays homage to classic comic books and throws in young people having to deal with more than just learning to use their powers. If you enjoy a good read along the lines of Mr. Potter and his friends, comic book superheroes or just want something different to entice younger readers I would recommend this book.

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws, by Shane Berryhill
Published by: Starscape (July 25, 2006)
ISBN: 0765314681
Genre: Science Fiction

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