failstate_lgWhy did Robin Laughlin (aka Failstate) think being a superhero on a reality show would be a good idea again? Things seemed so simple: win the show, become an official, licensed hero. But with his brother, Ben (aka Gauntlet) stealing America’s heart and his own powers proving too unwieldy even for the monitored studio challenges, Robin begins to wonder if his calling isn’t to save the world after all.

Until one of his competitors is murdered.

Vowing to find the killer, Robin sets out on a very real quest to unmask the hidden villain. Can Robin find justice? Or will his lunk of a big brother ruin everything?

Reviews & Endorsements:

Otte, a pastor, balances fantasy with teen hormones in a clever and page-turning debut… Otte nails the concept—what kid hasn’t wanted to be a superhero?—and fleshes it out in a way that speaks sympathetically to teens’ struggles. The amusingly noirish atmosphere of the setting might draw older readers. Those allergic to Christianity might be put off by religious elements, but they are organic to the plot. Otte has a TV show full of sequel possibilities; here’s hoping. ~ Publisher’s Weekly starred review

John Otte’s debut novel Failstate can kind of be described as Sky High meets The Incredibles, with twists that Disney wishes they’d thought of… It’s the classic underdog story rewritten in a fresh way in a fun genre. It’s the theme of Failstate that really makes the novel. Rob is just an ordinary kid with extraordinary powers out to save the world. But isn’t that what all Christians are called to be? Combining superpowers and faith, Failstate goes through the same journey many of its young adult readers are living out, albeit on a less flashy and grand scale… Otte’s debut packs quite the punch, delivering a fun read with some thoughtful themes. Wholesome, wholehearted, and wholly entertaining, Failstate continues the Marcher Lord Press tradition of offering up the very best in Christian speculative fiction. ~ Josh Olds, reviewer at

Accolades: Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, Finalist for the 2013 Christy Awards

Available through: Amazon


Cover Art by Carlo Garde and Katja Louhio

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