'Baron Steele' by Rhett C. Bruno & Jaime Castle
A short story about a former superhero
This was an Audible Original short story about a former superhero. It’s a quick 45-minute listen. Overall, I liked it, but not without some reservations.
The main character, Steele, is pretty unlikable but not insufferable. He’s a jerk in a casual, arrogant kind of way, but it’s mild enough and his overall character is entertaining enough that it doesn’t make him annoying to listen to. There are other characters in the story, but none of them are really in it for long enough to have any kind of development.
The plot kind of meanders around a lot, which I didn’t care for. For the first two-thirds of the story, it’s basically just Steele going about his life, having various encounters with other people, and nothing really seems to be leading anywhere. Then the plot suddenly turns into a kangaroo court, where he’s put on trial for doing something that any sane person would call reasonable self-defense, and I really did not care for that at all. The way things turned out by the end was satisfying, though I thought that in order to get to that ending, the writers had Steele inexplicably not do one very obvious thing (namely, point out that he’d acted in self-defense), which was a bit the tail wagging the dog.
So, I wasn’t crazy about the plot. But the character and the world was fairly interesting. It’s the kind of short story that makes me wish there were a longer book in this world, with these characters.
The narration was excellent. It was read by R.C. Bray, and he did just a terrific job with all the different character voices and accents. I’ll definitely have to look out for more books narrated by him.