Friday, July 16, 2021

Book Review: "Flash Fire" by T.J. Klune

Sure, T.J. Klune's Flash Fire is a gay superhero novel but it’s so much more, too!⁣

⁣ It’s funny, two years ago I hadn’t heard of Klune at all, but having just read and loved his fourth book, he’s become one of my favorite authors. And even though his books may be considered “fantasy,” they have contained some of the realest, most powerful, memorable emotions I’ve seen.⁣

Flash Fire is the sequel to last year’s The Extraordinaries. You really need to read the first book so I won’t spoil anything, but the book is about Nick, a teenager with ADHD, who has a bit of an obsession with the superheroes who protect (and sometimes traumatize) his town. He imagines what it would be like to be an Extraordinary.⁣

⁣ But while the book does focus a bit on the Extraordinaries (and one particular one quite often), at its heart this book is about relationships. Nick and Seth are adorable; their best friends, Gibby and Jazz, are seriously kick-ass (and an adorable couple as well); and his relationship with his dad provides some of the book’s most tender and most hysterical moments. (Imagine watching porn on your phone only to discover it’s on Bluetooth—in your dad’s car.)

⁣ ⁣ The book is also an important look at the relationship between police and the society they are supposed to be protecting. It touches on racial inequity and the way police officers often get a pass on their brutality and mistreatment, particularly toward and of racial minorities.⁣

⁣ Maybe you’re thinking you don’t like superheroes, so these books might not be for you, and maybe they’re not. But if they intrigue you in the slightest, give them a try. Klune’s books tend to leave me in tears—sometimes from laughter, sometimes from the profound emotions he provokes—and to me, that’s some of the best stuff to find in books.⁣

⁣ NetGalley and Tor Teen provided me with a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!!

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