Tag Archives: Superheroes

Powerless (The Hero Agenda, #1) by Tera Lynn Childs (review by Anya W. ’20)

Powerless (The Hero Agenda, #1)Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A mark to determine it all: a Hero, a Villain, or nothing–like Kenna, daughter of the late head of the superhero league. Kenna is sick of living life as an extra, and as the only child of Dr. Swift, the superhero league’s most loyal scientist, she has the resources to work on her project–even if it’s not technically approved. She’s determined to make her own place in the world, come hell or high water, or (hot) Villians, or shadowy conspiracies from the Heroes she reveres, or kidnapped teenagers, or friends dating on the dark side, or missing mother, or… you get the idea.

The book is good, and has great potential as part of a series, however, as a standalone, it feels like it could use some work. While Powerless‘s exposition is folded seamlessly into the storytelling, there isn’t quite enough worldbuilding. At the end of the novel, a snippet of the next book in the series reveals some crucial details that the main character would have known (and should have thought of) during her long periods of questioning everything in the first book.

The requisite YA romance is impulsive in a way that is rather out of character for Kenna. It also suffers a bit from the “guy can ignore boundaries if it is to protect the girl, because it is romantic” trope. If the main couple’s relationship is ignored, however, Powerless is an excellent story with a realistic main character (even if the others are somewhat flat), an intriguing (if somewhat rushed) plot, and strong friendships. – Anya W. ’20

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The Trials of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell (review by Monica K. ’14)

The Trials of Renegade X (Renegade X, #2)The Trials of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Trials of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell continues soon after the first novel left off, as Damien tries to become a full hero. Obstacles include his snarky personality, a girlfriend at Vilmore, and an emerging villainous superpower. Having the same themes as the first book, the sequel emphasizes family relationships and the letterism of Golden City society. The narration also retains Damien’s witty voice and many elements from the first. Towards the end some plot points were a bit too familiar, but overall the story was clever, fun, and heartwarming. Fans of The Rise of Renegade X would definitely enjoy the sequel. – Monica K. ‘14

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The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell (review by Monica K. ’14)

The Rise of Renegade X (Renegade X, #1)The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would just like to say: The Rise of Renegade X is a seriously cool read, whether you’re a hardcore comic book fanatic, a lover of The Avengers/Thor/the next major superhero movie, or none of the above. Set in Metroville, the city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the US, the novel introduces a world where every young hero and villain gains their power, their acceptance in respective training academies, and a H or V on their left thumb on their sixteenth birthday. Damien Locke is just one of the many villain hopefuls waiting for his sixteenth birthday. However, he is in for a nasty surprise when an X instead of a V materializes on his thumb. The novel follows his crazy adventures as he finds love, the true identify of his father, and his own true self as well. Even with its refreshing, hilarious take on superhero mythology, the element of the novel that really carries the story is Damien’s warped, obnoxious, highly entertaining personality. Highly recommended to fans of the superhero genre and those in the mood for a fast-paced, engaging read. – Monica K. ‘14

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Watchmen by Alan Moore (review by Huck V. ’14)

WatchmenWatchmen by Alan Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Watchmen, written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons and colored by John Higgins, is among the most critically acclaimed graphic novels ever created. Illustrated in a traditional superhero style, Watchmen has an aura of nostalgia that comic connoisseurs will enjoy. It is a 1985 in which a band of American superheroes known as the Watchmen have already made their mark on history but have been relatively quiet for many years. Something, however, is afoot. Retired vigilantes are falling left and right while tensions between the USSR and the US are heating up. Elaborate personal histories enrich interweaving story lines. Moore pays homage to the classic superhero form while not conforming to traditional styles by any means. The plot escalates rapidly from start to finish culminating in a final scene that will leave readers wishing there were more pages to flip. – Huck V. ‘14

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Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (review by Mrs. Vaughan, Harker librarian)

Soon I Will Be InvincibleSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world’s population includes nearly 2,000 super-powered beings. Some, like the recently escaped from high security prison Dr. Impossible, intend to rule the world. Fortunately the Champions, the world’s most famous team of superheroes, are bent on saving it. Narration flips between the obsessed evil genius Dr. Impossible and rookie Champion Fatale and leads us on a break neck ride through Impossible’s latest attempt at world domination in which he threatens a self-engineered ice age. The story includes wonderful action sequences, an imaginative set of beings that only a die-hard comic book fan could dream up and the very human side of these personalities. A pure delight from beginning to end, fans of Artemis Fowl, Ender’s Game and Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld novels will love Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible. – Mrs. Vaughan, Harker librarian

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