Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez is as ridiculous as its title implies. The book is pulp sci-fi at its silliest, a series of set pieces that would make for an excellent summer blockbuster or thrilling videogame, but still make for a pretty enjoyable book. Our hero is the titular Emperor Mollusk, a squid-like brainy alien from Neptune who travels about in a robotic body (a description that evokes memories of Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for those of us who were children of the late eighties). Evoking such modern 'reformed' villain tales such as Despicable Me or Megamind, Mollusk is a supervillain thrust into the role of Earth's defender, alongside a colorful cast of supporting characters.
Facing off against giant angry vegetables, massive slime monsters and even the ravenous radioactive brain of Madame Curie (Martinez really has a thing for disembodied brains), the action and humor occur at breakneck pace in the book's brief 300 pages. Thankfully this means the book does not overstay its welcome, though the plot's conceit wears thin by the third act, eventually falling apart entirely in the last few pages. For high-concept (yet surprisingly cliche at times) goofy fun, you can't really go wrong with giving Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain a try.
Tim @ Central