The pacing is slow and suspenseful, making readers feel as if danger lurks around every corner, and the characters talk in short sentences that would look right at home in comic book dialogue balloons. The descriptive passages, in contrast, are so detailed that they’re easily visualized ... in [Martinson's] skillful hands, the Kingfisher’s story becomes an elegant deconstruction of superhero mythology and a deep examination of 21st-century heroism ... Debut novels can be hit or miss; The Reign of the Kingfisher hits a grand slam for its intended audience. It might even convince skeptics that superhero stories can make good literature. Take it at face value, then plunge into its depths: both experiences are guaranteed to please.
An exploration of the dark side of superheroism, evocative of the work of comics legends like Frank Miller, the book digs deep into the ethical and moral quandaries that permeate the notion of vigilantism – costumed or otherwise – and offers a look at the consequences therein, some obvious, others less so ... will delight fans of comic books and other superheroic pop culture for sure. However, even those with no affinity for the feats of comic book heroes will find plenty to enjoy here. The truth is that Martinson has crafted a top-shelf crime thriller, one with rich characterizations, vivid settings and a twisty-turny plot. Yes, there’s a superhero here, but the book isn’t ABOUT a superhero – not really.