I adored this book from start to finish! It surprised me, made me laugh, tugged at my heartstrings, and made me think about the meaning of good and evil. Brilliant writing, a delightful story, and a compelling and likable main character! I love it!
The story is told from Drew’s perspective, who is a teen sidekick-in-training with a super that has abandoned the superhero community. As Drew tries to convince his super to come back and fight against evil, the other sidekicks are having difficulties as well, especially once an old archenemy returns and begins kidnapping supers. The best thing about it is that Drew’s superpower is his supersenses; super-hearing, super-smell, and super-sight.
I loved Drew’s character, because I always love the underdog. I immediately connected with him, his angst and self-doubt, his unexpected courage and clear-thinking, his loyalty and tenacity. The plot forces him to really think about the superhero world and what it means to be super, but he also has the funniest one liners and silly situations he gets into. He discovers and changes and learns and takes risks with his heart and throws himself headlong into danger! I adore this character so much!
All the supporting characters have their own voices too. Each character is well-developed and unique within just a few chapters. And Drew’s relationship with each of them, whether friendly or otherwise, is wonderfully explored and fleshed out through the rest of the book. We never know who to trust, and it’s evident that someone has betrayed the supers, but I never guessed who it was. That plot twist completely surprised me!
One of my favorite things is that one of the sidekicks is deaf, and that does not stop him from kicking butt and being completely awesome! His deafness is never treated as a disability, and there’s some hilarious deaf humor in the book. (Someone shouts, “Everybody shut up!”, and the deaf hero sits on his hands. haha!) This reminds me strongly of the way Toph’s blindness was presented in Avatar:The Last Airbender, never as a disability, but as a strength for that character. Beautifully done!
Drew and Jenna… ah, what can I say? Blossoming teen romance or devastating friendship-gone-wrong? I still can’t decide. Those two are so brilliant together though. Jenna is such a complex character, and seeing Drew trying to figure her out just brings the tension mounting through the whole story. Absolutely incredible writing!
There’s a perfect balance between serious material and humor, fighting action and personal drama. Most of all, the story is just plain entertaining! The writing has wry humor, dry humor, puns, and slapstick humor and every kind of humor in between. Even in the most tense moments, I just laughed and chuckled and rolled my eyes at everything!
The theme is definitely that good and evil are not black and white. Moral dilemmas get complicated sometimes. There are gray areas, but you have to be careful that those gray areas don’t lead you into complete darkness.
I cannot think of a single thing that I didn’t like about this book. So I must give it 5 stars!