Hero by Perry Moore
Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009
So, I had this dream last night where Eye-shuh suddenly appeared next to my desk. "Good job at not writing," she said. "Writing? I've done a crap ton of writing!" *I wave my hands emphatically at the monitor.* "How about a paper on the relevance of Library of Congress subject headings in the digital age?" "BORING!" "Okay, how about a one hour information literacy lecture on research methods??" "Our readers don't give a damn about your stupid graduate work, write something interesting!" *Eye-shuh then began to beat me over the head with my own keyboard, crumbs flying everywhere.* "FINE, FINE, I give up! How about a book review on a young adult superhero novel that I booktalked at a high school last week?" "That will do... mortal." (Really Eye-shuh, you're more demanding than my profs :P )
I know what you're thinking. Did I hear you just say that this is a YOUNG ADULT novel?? Yes, yes it is, and if you are a fan of superheros you should still read it. But Eep, this is classified as an issue book about *gasp* HOMOSEXUALITY. And again, yes, yes it is, and if you are a fan of superheros you should GET OVER IT AND READ THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY.
If you can't tell, I enjoyed this novel.
The book is about Thom Creed (yeah, you try doing a book talk with that name), son of reviled ex-superhero Hank Creed, who was tossed out of the League after the Wilson Towers incident.
If having an infamous father wasn't hard enough, Thom has two secrets that must be kept at all costs. First, he is gay, something that his exceptionally homophobic father would never be able to handle. Second, unlike his father, a man who became a hero on training alone, he has superpowers. After catching the eye of the League Thom is offered the chance to audition and accepts, despite the fact that it would break his father's heart.
After getting accepted as a probationary member Thom is paired up with an unlikely group of misfits including: Scarlet, angry chick extraordinaire with the ability to control fire, Typhoid Larry, a sweet guy who is every doctor's nightmare, and elderly Ruth who has the ability to see into the future and the sense to know when she should keep her mouth shut. Soon Thom and his new teammates are thrown into the action as someone begins to kill off the city's superheros.
I loved the characters in this book. It's a fantastic mix of personality types and the characters are believably complex. You really get to watch Thom grow as a person as he begins to deal with his own sexuality, his super powers and the discovery that he has grown up knowing almost nothing about his parents. And the superheros, you can't forget them. It's a grand *BAM* *POW* *BLAT* romp at times, pure joy for someone who enjoys the occasional Batman or Superman story.
This is Perry Moore's first novel and was inspired by the outrage he felt in 2005 when Marvel had Wolverine kill a notable gay superhero. I have to give credit to the Chronicles of Narnia producer, I had no idea where this book was going so the ending was a complete surprise. Moore does suspense well and had me up until 2am since I HAD to know who was behind the attacks. Is this novel high literature? Not at all. But it's fun, a quick read and something new for the superhero fans out there. So wander over to the teen section of your library and pick Hero up. You can tell them it's for your younger sibling, if it makes you feel better. ;)
When not writing for Pretty Gamer, riding around on her scooter or obsessing over her newest video game, Eep is a grad student in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington. She is passionate about reader services, especially for young adults, and will gladly accept requests for book recommendations based on reader interests.