The First by Kipjo Ewers

The First

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In Ewers’ (EVO Uprising, 2015) novel, a woman is stronger than steel, can heal almost instantly, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but she’s not sure if she’s a superhero.

The last four years of Sophia Dennison’s life have been hell. After she’s convicted of the murder of her husband, Robert, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, she’s sentenced to death. She spends four years in prison before she’s executed by lethal injection. However, things don’t go according to plan: not only does Sophia come back to life, she comes back taller and stronger than she was before. Every time she’s hit by a bullet, she becomes more impervious to harm. After she breaks out of prison, FBI agent Mark Armitage is assigned to find out what happened and track Sophia down, but he soon finds himself stymied by a mysterious team of investigators—“Men in Black” who are also working for the government. Ewers alternates scenes of Mark’s angry puzzlement with those of Sophia’s righteous rage as she tries to find out who did this to her and why, as well as who really killed her husband. This makes for a fast-paced novel that sweeps readers along. Although many of Sophia’s superpowers may seem familiar to comic-book fans, Ewers takes enough care with the worldbuilding that it all feels relatively fresh. The author can certainly write a thrilling action scene and injects just the right amount of self-awareness into this superhero narrative (“Glasses pulled the outfit together; she figured if it worked in the comic books, it would work for her”). The only stumbling blocks are the novel’s many grammatical errors, which too frequently bring the flow of the story to a grinding halt: “Before he can finish his sentence, the ground exploded behind him.” Readers may find it very difficult to ignore them, but the story itself remains enjoyable.

A fun read but one that’s rough around the edges.

Pub Date: July 18th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-615-83669-0
Page count: 378pp
Publisher: Evo Universe
Program: Kirkus Indie
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