Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


Matt Forbeck The Con Job

The television show Leverage has been a staple around my house for the last five years. I can’t believe it’s been that long, and I can’t believe it won’t be back next summer. Learning that was a total bummer because I totally enjoyed the characters.

When I learned that there would be some original novels based on the series, I started looking forward to them, and I was wishing I’d gotten a chance to write one of them. So, yeah, I’m a little envious of the guys who ended getting to do them.

Matt Forbeck is the first author on tap, and he delivers a twisted little novel called The Con Job. He’s playing with the title, though, because con works as a confidence ploy as well as for convention. Namely, arguably the largest comics convention in the United States: Comic-Con International.

Reading the book was a double treat for me. I got to peer over the shoulders of some of my favorite television goods guys, while at the same time wander through the aisles of the convention. I’ve been a few times, and Forbeck renders the convention experience true to form while at the same time touching on nostalgia and secrets within our little band of heroes.

One of the more touching stories concerned Nate’s reluctance to visit the convention and his reasons for feeling that way.

Forbeck does a good job of letting the readers see the inside of the characters’ heads. Eliot feels like Eliot, and Hardison is the uber-geek at the comics con that all the fans who are in the know about comics knew he would be.

It was fun watching Hardison and the others play off of Cha0s, the villain character played by Wil Wheaton, who is another television star often celebrated at conventions for his Star Trek: Next Generation role. However, I kept wanting the gang from The Big Bang Theory to pop in as well so the Wheaton “real” life could really explode in the story.

The book is well done and renders homage to a lot of the events that have been revealed in the television series. Forbeck has to be a fan of the show, and that the real con of the book: he’s pretending to be a writer writing about a television show when he’s really just doubling down on flying his geek flag with the Leverage crew and Comic-Con.

Even if you’re not a comics fan but enjoy the show, this is a way to get an awesome “episode” of the series. But if you know comics and Comic-Con, you’re gonna triple your enjoyment.

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