Jabin Kainos and the Manifest Chronicles by Vince Mancuso
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Who doesn’t love a superhero origin story? Jabin Kainos by Vince Mancuso is a unique origin story in that the main character, Jabin Kainos, is made into a super-hero on purpose with Jabin’s consent… and it all happens at a school-slash-medical experimentation facility.
Jabin was raised in an orphanage after a modern-day civil war killed his parents. He’s a loner with no plans for his future until he’s approached by his case worker with an unusual brochure. Next thing you know, he’s packing his bags and off on a new adventure.
The adventure begins slowly, but in a captivating way. I was first impressed with the setting of the school facility. Then I got engaged with the diverse set characters as they discover what the school is all about through training and exploration. About halfway in, Jabin and his friends undergo a procedure that is supposed to help them manifest superpowers. At first, there is a question as to what Jabin’s superpower is. In truth, it seems rather lame. But about three-fourths of the way in, I discover there is so much more to what Jabin can do. This last quarter is where the antagonists arrive and all hell breaks loose. And it’s also when the history of what happened to the previous manifests is revealed.
The story ends with some mysteries left unsolved and antagonists defeated yet still at large. But this is okay since the end hints at more to come. I can’t wait for the author to finish the next novel!
There’s very little tension in the first three-fourths of the book, yet the story was compelling enough to keep me engaged. Jabin’s daily life is anything but normal. Even his game of dodge ball is beyond ordinary.
The characters are well-developed as well as unique. While Jabin is a go-with-the-flow kind of guy who seems to react to most things with a shrug, the others are rich enough in their different characteristics to add some spice. Director Slate is my favorite, followed by Killian the dog boy.
There are scenes I didn’t quite follow, but I’m not sure if this was my fault or the writers’. Actions scenes are hard to write. Too much description and the story will lag. Too little and not even the imagination of the reader can fill in the blanks. The scenes in this novel fell somewhere between and I was able to grasp the gist of the events.
There were a few more typos than what I would have seen in a book that had gone through a publisher. But who am I to judge since my novel is also self-published? Honestly, since this new era of self-publishing offers a wider variety of interesting stories (like this one), a few typos here and there is a price I’m willing to pay.
The setting, characters, and character interactions are what make this story worth reading. There are also the many little mysteries that will keep you turning the pages. Jabin Kainos is truly a super novel.