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.
Superhero novel? I’m here for it, especially when it’s as well-written and thoughtful as T.J. Martinson’s debut ... I really enjoyed the brisk pacing of this surprisingly dense and thoughtful novel, as we race against time with our heroes to stop a maniac from killing innocent people in his fixation on a superhero long disappeared. A lot happens in this novel, even as Mr. Martinson expertly skewers vigilante superhero tropes ... Mr. Martinson populates this story with some truly remarkable perspectives for the genre, seamlessly melding a fantastic tale to an ultra-realistic present day. The tropes of veteran journalist, rogue cop, and introverted hacker are given fresh life by how grounded the characters are, particularly in their loved ones ... I was also really impressed with how Mr. Martinson conveyed the hacking scenes, something a lot of superhero works, in whatever medium, tend to handwave in a decidedly unpersuasive fashion ... a highly entertaining, well thought-out superhero novel that plays almost cinematically ... T.J. Martinson is a writer to watch out for, and I can’t wait to read what he publishes next.