In a world of villains and heroes, the Kilborne family moved to the small town of Saint Mary. Their new neighbors, living in the 1888 Saint Mary cathedral, turned out to be a family of supervillains. Martin Kilborne would find school perfectly mundane if it wasn't for Alexa Terranova who is: constantly bothering him with a pocket raygun, demanding he become her minion and threatening to blow up the principal's office in a series of unnecessarily complicated, wacky plots.
The more Martin learns about Alexa, the more dangerous and insane his life becomes as he is dragged into terrible, misfortunate, no good adventures of doom.
A wholesome, slice of life, superhero / supervillain sci-fi comedy, sprinkled with elements of horror.
Participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge - 55'555 words in 35 days!
Dedicated to my daugher who has an unbendable stubborn spirit and my friends at the Silver Pen server who motivated me to write new things!
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I’ve read this novel a few chapters ahead as one of Vitaly’s beta readers on discord as he was live writing/sharing concepts and excerpts from it and let me tell you, great things are awaiting you as a reader within its depths. It’s a wild ride! As the chapters progress, the characters become profound in unexpected ways and the world expands from its base foundation to much more intense places. It’s like a 10cm deceptively shallow looking puddle, which suddenly leads into the near-bottomless Marianas trench.
The dynamism of the two protagonists in this book is its bedrock. Alexa and Martin start their journey as natural enemies - daughter of a villain and son of a hero, but are bound together by the coming disaster which threatens all of humanity in the future. Alexa is at the heart of this global catastrophe and Martin is dragged along for the ride right into the eye of the storm. In this way it’s similar to the comedy of Rick and Morty. One character is a mad scientist, a flawed, disturbed, sort of broken plot driver and the other is a mundane observer who is dragged along for the ride across space and time, suffering along the way as the brutal, harsh, mad truth of the universe is revealed in all of its splendor and existential horror.
This story also reminds me a bit of “quantum leap” - at its heart it’s a wholesome tale of adventure. Both villains and heroes in this novel do terrible things and neither see themselves as evil people, only as people who want to fix the world. Some see themselves as victims of consequences and others dream of a better world, which as it turns out doesn’t come.
The world of “Somebody Stop Her” is rather intriguing - its a mixture of 1950’s, 90’s and futurism tech such as holographics as the Superstate is holding biggest technological advancement such as supercomputers in the sky city of heroes, inside the giant space station Titanomachy. You can see this in the book as Martin wears a wind up wristwatch and enjoys the arcade and the school tech is quite low end, their teacher having to work with a transparency projector.
The style of this novel is an interesting combination of a comedy, mixed with superheroes, with a horror movie spliced in. The action is very fast paced and visually appealing.
The spelling is decent and whatever mistakes are there exist because Vitaly is writing it rapidly live for the wriathalon contest and such are eliminated by beta readers such as myself.
As the book progresses it ventures into unexpected lovecraft territory, which provides a nice contrast with the normal-everyday school life of Martin and Alexa. Martin starts as a clueless schoolboy who does almost nothing, tagging along and mostly observing and evolves into a character who learns to take action. Alexa starts as a bit of a bossy/mean girl, but the true depths of her character are revealed as the book progresses into chapter two, showing her as a person greatly impacted by her adventures in the future.
Teenage boy tries to stop teenage girl neighbour from doing villainous things. Hijinks ensue. Crazy yet utterly absorbing hijinks. At home, at school and all across town.
The writing style itself is excellent. Very absorbing and I had to read until the latest chapter. The characters are great. Almost caricaturish at the beginning, they gain some additional complexity as the story develops. Scenes are mostly seen from the boy's perspective and some of his initial and even later thoughts and beliefs are constrained by the relatively small amounts of information he has available. He is not an unreliable narrator but he definitely is not a very well-informed one and his opinions change as he obtain more information. Only to sometimes change again when he finds that this 'new information' he has learnt is false or maybe false.
The grammar is very good and the story is very readable. There are a few errors, but most of them seem to have been found and mentioned in the comments and corrected by the author. Being willing to read and act on these comments meant I gave the book an extra star on the style score.
I would recommend this story to anyone. I tried it out because Void Herald recommended it, but stayed because it is just really entertaining. It's not perfect, but it comes pretty darn close in my book. One of its main imperfections being that it only has 17 chapters. If you like reading and don't mind the fact that it has relatively few chapters at the moment, I recommend you give this story a try.
Hope this helps.
Review initially written when Chapter 17 was the latest chapter. It is still quite new, so I will update this review as more chapters are uploaded. And I will definitely continue reading this story.
Whew, okay. Somebody Stop Her is a tough one for me to review. Not because I'm undecided - far from it - but because, at risk of sounding like I've had a few screws knocked loose, it's one of those rare fictions that really speaks to me. And that can be tricky to describe, but here goes.
There are plenty of stories out there with professional execution and many more I find just downright fun, thought-provoking or satisfying. But for me, the best of the best - the ones I enthusiastically look forward to and will probably have linger with me for the rest of my life - are the ones which fill me with a powerful sense of awe and yearning.
This is one of those. And if you've read Vitaly's other work, Romantically Apocalyptic, this may not come as a surprise. If you haven't, excuse me while I interrupt this review to punt you towards it.
I had to stop and give serious consideration to how exactly this breaks down. What gives certain rare stories this quality and not others? And here's what I think:
Making the mundane... not. Somebody Stop Her does this amazingly well. For a story about supervillians and superheroes, it's not really about dramatic battles to take over the world. (Well, okay, maybe a little bit.) It's about everyday actions transforming from the mundane into the fantastic and unexpected. A visit to the local fast food restaurant, for instance, may uncover evidence of creepy cult surveillance and an icon (in more ways than one) from the 1990s doing heroic product promotion on the side.
It's about ingenuity in a hundred little ways you wouldn't expect, from gadgets to minor background details, subtly twisted or overtly, and every tiny piece coming together to contribute to a wonderfully rich whole, where anything could be a hiding a secret, surprise or hidden purpose and probably is. It should go without saying this goes for the characters, too.
Meaningful human connection. Okay, so the world may possibly be doomed, but its characters' relationships don't have to be. So far, the characters in Somebody Stop Her represent the best of what humanity can be. Alexa and Martin are 100% the people you'd love to be friends with. Yes, there's a little supervillany at times, just a tiny smidge, but they care, they laugh, they reach out to others and you relate to their motivations. No melodrama or poor communication here, and frankly, if it wasn't for the whole 'might die horribly' aspect, I expect this story could be responsible for recruiting quite a few people to a rewarding new career in wholesome supervillainry. You didn't hear it from me.
Logic in the madness. Smart characters are great, and smart plots are even better. A particular trait of Vitaly's stories is to toy with your surface assumptions by including seemingly absurd humour or hijinks which in reality make a great deal of sense once you discover more about the underlying context. The end result leaves you with incredibly satisfying answers to some truly fascinating scenarios. Somebody Stop Her in particular dials this storytelling aspect up to eleven due to its breakneck pace and I can't get enough of it. The plot is always pushing forward, revelations are always being uncovered, and it works seamlessly.
Scale. Some stories achieve this with big events and big consequences. Some, with the breadth of their detail. Somebody Stop Her does it with both. Not to spoil too much, but mixed in with Martin's daily school and family life are world-shattering revelations and terrifying horrors, and it's just perfect.
Back to the main review now - there are, of course, other aspects I'd like to highlight, the most significant being the writing style, which is fun-loving, eloquent and witty. But I think this is a good place to leave it.
Obviously, I think this is fantastic. When next your life needs a little more adventure and madness in it combined with inspiring optimism during horrifying nightmare situations, Somebody Stop Her will be waiting for you, impatiently, demanding a ransom. As it should be.
Somebody Stop Her is, in my opinion, one of the most unique stories on all of RoyalRoad. It reads like if a cartoon were crossed with a comic and adapted in the form of a novel. Meaning: it is very, very good. It does not follow the typical RoyalRoad tropes, nor does waste any time with progressing its plot. It follows the shenanigans of the 14 year old supervillain, Alexa, and Mr Mittens... I mean, Martin, the boy next door.
First of all, the style Somebody Stop Her is written in paints a very vvivid image of the world it is set in. The feel of the world is distinct from most other School Life novels, so if that tag is putting you off? Don't be put off.
Grammar is great, probably thanks to all the beta readers Vitaly employed for this haha
Story is, as I said, tightly paced. It wastes very little time with fluff, which is phenomenal considering it is almost Slice of Life.
And again, the characters are fantastic. Same thing as before with the School Life tag applies here with the Multiple Lead Characters tag. Because unlike other novels where you only care about the first perspective you're introduced to, you will love both Alexa and Martin.
All in all, I rate it a 5/5 across the board. Anything else would be criminal.
Somebody Stop Her is a tale set in a world where superpowers, super villains, and pocket bacon are an everyday occurrence. The story follows Martin "Mittens" Killborne on his self-assigned mission to stop his new neighbor, the precocious super villain Alexa Cassiopeia Terror Nova from blowing up the moon... or something.
Being a teen superhero isn't easy, but it's a lot harder when you have no powers, and you've agreed to be the minion for the first villain you meet.
This story is a cute take on a superhero story, following the children of heroes and villains who want to walk in the footsteps of their parents. There's only one chapter as of this review but Martin is shaping up to be the straight laced nervous Nelly and Alexa, I'm sure, will find ways to drag him into all sorts of ridiculous scenarios.
As always Vitaly injects humor into every character interaction, making the conversations feel like lively banter. Alexa and Martin, or Mittens, make a good comedy double act. Mittens is the straight man canvas on which Alexa paints her ridiculousness on.
There's also some hints and mystery and world building thrown in that leave a lot to wonder.
This looks to be a good start to a fun superhero story and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes. The horror tag has me preemptively feeling bad for Martin.
At the time of this review, I had finished chapter 10.
This story so far is incredible, with tropes being introduced and thrown at the window of a forty-story skycrapper. Except the skyscapper exists on the back of an Old One and the ground is littered with fragments of shattered universes. Oh wait, that's the other incredible work done by this author.
Still, the feeling is similar with every chapter shattering my expectations and playing a nostalgia reel in my theater of the mind. We have all sorts of scenes to enjoy with just enough descriptions to set the stage and nothing overly flowery. From blasted out wastelands filled with horrific lovecraftian creatures, to Terminator 2 with crazy powered possessed jerks. This review is all over the place but so are my emotions!
If you're familiar with Romanticaly Apocalyptic, then you'll feel right at home with this story. Characters have somewhat similar traits, they are unique. Just a quick parallel, Alexa is the cunning and devious to ze captians aloof sillyness. Snippy and Mittens both share similar experiences with becoming friends and becoming one with entities that won't die even from nukes. Pilot and cottie are a reversal, being Pilot the fried computer that acts human while Cottie is the human that acts like a robot.
Bear in mind, these are gross comparisons and don't do them justice to seperate them on their own, but that's why you have to read it! And if anything about this story is getting my jimmies ruffled, it's the chaos that's looking to be unleashed. The bombs have been placed, their fuses lit and now I'm just waiting for the whole world to blow.
Somebody Stop Her revolves around the budding villain-minion relationship between child(?) genius Alexa and the teenage son of superheros, Martin. Perhaps Alexa's most villainous act, however, is her ability to keep me reading chapters when I have work to get done.
In all seriousness, SSH is a masterpiece no matter what your taste in genre. Assumptions are challenged, stereotypes are presented and shattered, and the storyline you build in your head as you read along is constantly rewritten. While on the surface SSH appears to be another "Super" or "Comic" RR tale, you couldn't be further from the truth. The story dons the trappings of traditional cape, but from chapter one it sets itself apart as a work all its own.
The setting is a bit difficult to describe, seeing as it changes, and our understanding of it, every other chapter. Howevever, SSH mostly revolves around the quiet town of Saint Mary in a semi-modern world dominated by superheros, supervillains, and those in-between that would meddle with their plans. Then we jump a few hundreds years in the future and see just what is at stake in the lives of our middle-school protagonists. I won't spoil it, but it's quite a bit more horrifying than algebra.
The plot is an ingenious set of twists, turns, and complex but internally consistent devices that encompass multiple factions spanning the story's world. This can be daunting for writers to tackle and portray in a way that keeps the audience's interest, but when told from the perspective of a bubbly young supervillain with a raygun and time-hopping immortality, it's hard to get bored. I don't want to ruin the twists and plot in this review, but I will say that the story has a massive IQ. There is a lot of depth to understand and implications made that help you piece together the secrets of this supercharged world.
The characters offer a paradoxically bright, humorous tone to the grimdark of the world behind the curtain. Alexa is perhaps the best written antagonist on any story I've encountered on Royal Road. Her ability to not only keep Martin guessing as to her true intentions, but myself as a reader, is only matched by her witty charm. The story is compelling but, like I said in the opening, Alexa's schemes are what keep me spamming the Next Chapter button.
For a Writathon challenge, the grammar is near-perfect, and Vitaly actively scours his comments for improvement suggestions. He shows a great passion for this work, updating with new, well-polished content daily that satisfies the avid consumer like myself.
Overall, if you're still reading this review and haven't started reading Somebody Stop Her - you're wrong. No matter what you are a fan of, you will enjoy it. I just hope Vitaly continues to write SSH for a long time after the Writathon, because this story deserves to flesh out and continue for hundreds of chapters!
Holy shit this is insane. Turns are Tabled and tables are turned. You are let to make assumptions based on stereotypes. These assumptions are shattered within minutes.
In a world where people tend to manifest superpowers heroes and villains tend to pop up.
Some villains are dang proud of the fact that the law does not constrain them. So proud, in fact that they proclaim loudly that they are villains. Meet Alexa. Her sanity is slightly questionable.
Some heroes work undercover. Their job is to identify villains so heroes that can deal with them can deal with them. Some have families and they set an example for their kids. Those kids end up wanting to be heroes. Meet Martin. He does not like villains but can do nothing directly against them.
Their first encounter is when they see each other on the street on the morning of the first day of school (they are neighbours) where the first thing Alexa does is procalim he is her minion. The Wattson to her Sherlock, if you will. She bullies and humiliates him publicly in order to ensure his compliance until school starts. What happens next will take a bit to process.
Somebody Stop Her subverts the reader's expectations at every occasion. Alexa is immediately likable, for one. Personaly, I have found myself grinning the entire way through what is currently available. It is obvious that whatever this story will shape up to be, it will be grand.
Saw this story on the trending list and decided to check it out, and boy am I glad I did. Grammar is very good for a web novel (apparently the author has beta readers from discord who are doing a great job), and its fast paced (but not too fast) with little to no fillers. The beginning chapters leads you to think this is a stereotypical superhero comedy story, until the proverbial tables, ladders and chairs come out like a WWE Hell in a Cell match. Pure unadulterated chaos.
Our male lead, Martin is from a family of superheroes who believes his next-door neighbors are villains, and sets out to gather evidence against them. Enter his neighbor Alexa, a self-proclaimed supervillain who at first glance seems to be a bit of an airhead, but that could not be farther from the truth. Hilarity ensues... well for the readers, and most definitely not her victims, ehh minions. Nothing is at seems. The supporting characters also hold their own. Only problem is sometimes the abrupt change in POV is a bit confusing. I speak for all the citizens of Saint Mary when I say, "Somebody Stop Her".
Likeable characters, unique world building and a very fun story. RR is better with stories like this.
It may be a bit early to judge the story as a whole, but what I see right now is really cool. An interesting story set in an equally interesting world, though the latter isn't elaborated upon too deeply yet. Given what happened in this author's other works, "yet" is the emphasis here.
Style is Vitaly's classic. Lots of wacky stuff that inexplicably makes some bizzare kind of sense combined with a powerful sense of atmosphere. Without too much elaboration it intrigues and calls you to read on, and unlike so many works that fall flat after similiar start Somebody Stop Her quickly delivers, dropping new events and worldbuilding details on reader's head while setting up for more.
Not too much to say about grammar - it is good, although there are some typos. I'd expect more, but so far only one I actually remembered is Vitaly confusing prey and pray.
The story, ah the story. A yet-powerless kid of a superhero family finds out that his neighbours are indeed supervillains, but instead of clean report he gets dragged into an insane gallop of an adventure by a young villain, Alexa. There's time travel, murderous monsters from the future and utterly confused people. Hilarity ensues.
Characters are rather simple. Naive but heroic Martin, perplexing Alexa, and so on. They interact and clash between themselves, their differences giving plenty of place for a fun chemistry. I do have one critique, though: sometimes development is way too fast and abrupt. It feels somewhat weird, but doesn't really hurt. In fact, it may well be skipping more "boring" parts of character's interactions that would be unfit for this fast-paced webserial. Comedy is in the tags for a reason, after all.