This was an interesting read and a difficult review to write. This story had the action, had the good versus bad and the naivety of the reluctant hero. A perfectly laid out villainous plan that magically fails in the end and even a sick child to empathise with. It honestly should’ve been amazing. However, with all that going for it It didn’t quite deliver.
This book hits that old adage of show don’t tell in a way that created good well-written scenes but not much connection for me. The whole back story of how Steve the human became a supernatural took up a few chapters. I don’t even remember the scientist’s name involved in them. I was so focused on what happened in the chapter before these scenes and where they would lead I skimmed them to get back to the main plot.
He’s a super, someone made him this way, great. What about now? The same with flashbacks to Steve’s past. He lost his family in a crash. I’m there, I get it. He has memories of them alive, totally get it. But what about now? How does this affect his newfound possible immortality? How does it affect the way he connects with D’Andre, a dying child older than his own son was in the crash. All this information from the past must be effecting his decisions somehow. I couldn’t really connect to this because I had all the show but no reaction. I could make assumptions about how all the flashbacks affect him but this is not a short story. It’s more of a novella at about 160 pages so there is plenty of page time to delve into Steve’s e mind and how his past is directly related to the task at hand. Especially so with how he deals with D’Andre but only really if some of the focus is diverted from showing the backstory into the effects of the backstory in the present.
This sums up my opinion really of all the flashbacks except for Dragomir. All of his backstories clearly related to his present-day action and without any guesswork or assumptions. Just as it should be.
It wasn’t just Steve. D’Andre, who had a much smaller role than I expected given the blurb, I couldn’t connect with either. Plot spoiler, I think, but he loses his parents, in a plane crash. He finds this out watching TV with his grandpa only hours after they dropped him off and the next time we see him it’s just business as usual. Story continues. This kid is dying, he’s lost his parents, his grandfather has just lost a child and… nothing? That’s some heavy emotional stuff and it never gets talked about except for the one time D’Andre says to Steve my parents are dead and the second time when he says my mom died in a plane crash. It’s a big missed opportunity to get me into the head of the character. Glossed over for the ever-important fact that he’s the next child in the Wish To Dream Foundation to fly with Super Steve so he can then drop the bomb mentioned in the blurb about the supers being caught exiting a crime scene on video upon meeting Steve. This was not the only time jump after something important would happen just to go to the next scene.
It felt like a lot of time that could be spent making the reader connect with the two main characters was used for backstory, or to jump to another plot scene. ‘This video has to be seen because later in the plot’… ‘this thing has to be said because next there’s.’.. and s on and so forth. But all of the reactions and in-between plot setup stuff are left out so it’s just one scene jump to the next. Sometimes the transitions worked and other times it was like… How did we get here? Flips back a few pages to try to connect the present scene directly to the last which sometimes was before a flashback so more than a few pages had to be turned to find the connecting scene to even figure out if they did indeed connect.
After all this back and forth the second half of the book was amazing. It flowed well I didn’t skim much and I was in it. Like really in it. The pace was perfect. Even with the predictable and roll-eyes inducing new hero stuff that almost seemed unnecessary, I could still enjoy it. Even the oh too easy end and cliche ‘I don’t want to be the hero stuff after it’ still didn’t take away from the reasonably good flow and heightened action. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough dive into the emotional state of the characters for me to feel what I should’ve felt when the end finally came. Was it still good, that’s a hard yes, but it left me feeling meh because good was all it was.
I had high hopes for this book even though I knew where it was going within the first few chapters. Other than some awkward or non-exsitent transitions, this was a well-written book with clearly defined plot points and interesting villains. Miss Melt was my favourite, but even she did two things to annoy me. She got angry about the same thing twice Something that someone who had lived for thousands of years would’ve known wasn’t going to be as easy as she expected it to be. She came off as way smarter than that. Even still I expected this story to leap based on chapter one. It didn’t fail but didn’t live up either.
As far as villains go there are henchmen, an evil villain hell-bent on revenge, a number two who seems like they should be number one but is happy with their role, minus the one Miss Melt flashback, the villain story line was great. I got them. Like really got them. I even laughed a bit. It’s safe to say I probably loved them all. Villains get to have the most fun so I’m glad I loved these guys, especially Miss Melt. I could’ve used more of her. She got my biggest laughs. Evil villain genius writing she was.
This story was good, not great but good. If you’re into show and not tell it’s better than good. It’s probably amazing. Almost every scene besides the flashbacks is plot moving. Without the flashbacks, the pace is good, especially in the second half, or third act depending on your perception, when the book really gets going. It’s your feel-good, naive reluctant superhero gets a reality check and saves the day with the bad guys being defeated but not destroyed, (seriously they should’ve been locked up or killed but meh. That’s how these hero stories are.) type of story. If all of that is what you’re looking for, this story delivers tenfold, read it. But if you’re trying to connect on a deeper level with the two lead characters this might not be your flave. Not to say you won’t enjoy it. Cause I certainly did once I got through the beginning, but this is definitely a superhero adventure and claims that boldly and successfully without dipping into any more developed territory.