Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: "Hero" by Perry Moore

Loved. This. Book.

Growing up isn't easy for Thom Creed, and it's not just your typical teenage angst. His mother disappeared one day and his father, once a revered superhero named Major Might, was disgraced after a rescue attempt went awry, so he now hates all heroes. Problem is, Thom has just been invited to join The League, the organization of superheroes that rejected his father. And to top it off, Thom is just coming to terms with the fact that he's gay, which makes two major things he can't discuss with his father.

The League is populated with heroes that are versions of those we've come to know and love—Uberman (Superman), Warrior Woman (Wonder Woman), King of the Sea (Aquaman) and the Galaxy Twins (Wonder Twins), to name a few—as well as some more interesting heroes, like Typhoid Larry, whose power is to get people sick. (It works, believe it or not.) As Thom gets more involved with The League, he realizes he must learn to harness his powers correctly and deal with his real feelings at the same time. And of course, that's when things start to get threatening—both from an external villain and a scandal within the League itself.

I found this book tremendously entertaining and really emotionally touching. I'm a big superhero fan, so it was interesting to see how Perry Moore created the different heroes along with their strengths and quirks. And while the superpower stuff was a lot of fun, Thom's emotional journey, dealing with his feelings about his dad, his powers, missing his mother and his sexuality, makes him a truly complex and appealing character I could identify with on a number of levels. I raced through this book (at super speed?) and was sad when it ended. Even sadder is the fact that Perry Moore died unexpectedly a month or so ago at the age of 39, so his plans for a series featuring Thom may never happen. If this sounds like a book you might be interested in, go for it. You won't be sorry.

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