Tag Archives: Superheroes

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Overview
Zeroes | Book by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Title: Zeroes
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Superheroes, Young adult
Dates read: 21st February – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: All those training missions, shepherding crowds around a shopping center while listening to Glorious Leader’s orders in their earbuds.

Synopsis

DON’T CALL THEM HEROES

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t – like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are teh other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader”. After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three power-house authors for the opening instalment of a thrilling new series.

Thoughts

This book is an absolute chunkster. Which is why I have kept putting it off for ages. I just find books that are this big to be kind of intimidating at times. Plus, there’s the fact that sometimes I tend to get distracted and bored halfway through these monster tales. Yet, in spite of all of my concerns… I just couldn’t put this down! It was an amazing chunkster, one that I seriously and thoroughly enjoyed.

I loved the flickering of points of view throughout this story. It is most definitely a difficult tactic in stories – but these three authors have managed to give each and every one of the six superheroes a wonderfully unique voice. The fact that it also gives you these great views into their lives and the different ways in which they see one another… it was a brilliant journey. And, unlike many other stories I’ve read that flicker between points of view, I wasn’t more or less attached to each of the characters. This is wonderfully unique and had me grinning throughout.

The whole storyline and characterization of the Zeroes reminded me a lot of Umbrella Academy. There was that great feeling of dysfunction and coming together in a pseudo family. Although, being that this is a young adult story, it felt a heck of a lot less dark than the comic / Netflix series. I love stories of dysfunctional family units, they tend to feel all that much more humorous. Which left me grinning and smiling as I journeyed through the Zeroes reuniting and finding more depths to their powers.

This novel partners teenage angst with dysfunction and superpowers. I mean, really, what on earth could go wrong there? Turns out, everything and anything. Which then makes me want to pick up Swarms straight away… it’s surely just going to get better from here on out.

<- More Scott WesterfeldSwarm ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

Kiss and Tell by Michele Jaffe

Overview
Image result for prom nights from hell book cover

Title: Kiss and Tell
Author: Michele Jaffe
In: Prom Nights from Hell (Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe & Lauren Myracle)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Superheroes, Young adult
Dates read: 20th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Like little dolls, yeah, he liked to think of them that way.

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Synopsis

Miranda just wants to be like everyone else and go to the prom with the boy that she likes. But an awkward encounter and an irritating client are about to make her prom a very interesting and action-packed night.

Thoughts

Being a teenager is super awkward. It doesn’t really matter how you look at it, that’s just a fact. But being a teenager with superpowers? Yeah, that would be particularly difficult. Which is why I loved this story – it’s all about a girl who is just trying to navigate the horrible teenage years. But then has all these extra, added difficulties.

All in all, I didn’t think that this was the worst prom night ever. In fact, it seemed like it would actually be a little bit fun. If it wasn’t for the fact that there were multiple gunmen hunting different people. And, there is a happily ever after moment at the end of this which was seriously sweet.

Sibby is a bit of a pain in this story. But Miranda is a great lead and completely drew me in. They balanced each other well, and I had this image of the two finding a way to be friends long after the ending of this story. I mean, an irritating Kiss Bandit and the Roller Derby Princess? That’s a friendship that I can get behind.

<- Madison Avery and the Dim ReaperHell on Earth ->

Image source: Harper Collins

The Golden Age by Walter Jon Williams

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: The Golden Age
Author: Walter Jon Williams
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Superheroes, Weird western, Wild west
Dates read: 17th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: He whirred right over my head, and I felt the breeze from his cape on my face.

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Synopsis

The days of the Gold Rush are over. And, somehow, they have been overrun by a bunch of completely insane superheroes and supervillains running around in capes on their own personal crusades.

Thoughts

I could not stop laughing all throughout this short story. It was quirky and weird. And filled with a great humour that left me grinning. After all, it’s ultimately about a bunch of superhero-type characters running around the wild west. Actually, it’s more supervillains… but the humour and entertainment is still the same.

I absolutely loved that this story focused on the Gold Rush and the lack of law in the land at the time. But, then to overlay this, there were mortal enemies, insanity and all sorts of questionable decisions. There was also a constant discussion of the fact that they are all mad. It’s just a special kind of madness, running around, donning a persona and just generally wreaking havoc and mayhem. A madness that I can 100% get behind by the way.

The Golden Age is a really funny, cute and light short story. It had me giggling and smiling throughout the entire story. There was great wit and entertainment to the shenanigans throughout this. I would most definitely read this again and again whenever I need a light pick me up.

<- The Devil’s JackNeversleeps ->

Image source: Amazon

The Boys Go Fishing by Sarah Smith

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: The Boys Go Fishing
Author: Sarah Smith
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Superheroes
Dates read: 17th August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: His girl, his only girl.

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Synopsis

He’s an immortal and a retired superhero. One who just wants to be left alone. And then an organised Talent comes and ruins his plans…

Thoughts

I truly think that being immortal would be one of the loneliest things ever. And this story kind of reinforces that belief. The lead character is completely alone, lonely and looking for a reason, any reason to live. It made this a bit of a sad story. But also one that ultimately had a bit of a hopeful spin to it… being immortal would suck. Until you could find others to have it suck with.

This short story starts as a fishing trip and a nice little tour. And then it quickly gets convoluted. Between reminiscing about the past and finding out just what the powers of the clients are… it’s an interesting little story. Add to that that there is a greater reason for their powers and difference… I found it quite difficult to put this down and a little sad when the story was all over.

Although I was kind of sad that this story ended, I did love the way in which it ended. Particularly when it kind of asked the question, what is the difference between man and monster? It’s something that I’m constantly wondering myself to be honest…

<- Two BlondesOne for the Money ->

Image source: Amazon

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Overview
Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Catwoman: Soulstealer
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Superheroes, Young adult
Dates read: 28th – 29th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I gotta work.

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Synopsis

WHEN THE BAT’S AWAY, THE CAT WILL PLAY.

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. Batman is off on a vital mission and Gotham is at the mercy of the new thief on the prowl. Joined by the cunning Poison Ivy and notorious Harley Quinn, she wreaks havoc across the city.

Selina is playing a desperate game of cat and mouse. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the ultimate heist?

Thoughts

I knew that this was going to be an amazing story. A beautiful, iconic superhero who is also a little grey and a seriously sexy, kick ass chick. One of my favourite authors. And a greatly descriptive novel. I knew it would be phenomenal and brilliant. Yet, I still didn’t quite expect how fantastic this would actually be. How flawless. How amazing. How completely, totally and utterly unforgettable.

So I may not have lots and lots of knowledge about the DC comics and superheroes. I know bits and pieces, and Batman seems to be getting a lot of attention in remakes and retellings lately. But I feel like, just having read this, I know so much more. The underbelly of Gotham City and the strength of Catwoman just sing from the pages. I love that Maas is able to write a story that is seriously dark, but maintain all of those wonderful aspects of hope that most superhero stories have.

I loved the romance that filtered throughout this story. You know from the very beginning that Selina and Luke are going to end up together in some format. But the journey to get there was rife with difficulties and horrors. Moments which make you just want that happily ever after all the more. That makes you reach for it and hope that there is a nice moment at the end of all of the battles. Particularly when the release of the joker hangs over the whole storyline – it makes the fleeting moments of courtship so much more fun.

Joining Catwoman with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy was not something that I expected. I’m not sure if it’s something that comes about in any of the other stories, or if it’s done in this fashion. But it was certainly something that I loved. After all, they’re three strong, powerful, intelligent and independent women. Even if they may be a little off-kilter with their moral compasses and morals. They may actually be my favourite trio of protagonists that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long, long time.

All throughout this novel I knew that Catwoman had some kind of motive for her actions. I figured she wasn’t just a narcissistic thief. And that there was a reason for all of the mayhem that she was causing. I guessed bits and pieces of it, but it wasn’t until that grand reveal at the end that everything clicked into place. Which, for me, is one of the reasons why I love a Sarah J. Maas book so much.

<- BatmanSuperman ->

Image source: Goodreads

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex by Larry Niven

Overview
Image result for alien sex book cover

Title: Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex
Author: Larry Niven
In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Humour, Superheroes
Dates read: 15th October 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: ROC
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: It would be unreasonable to assume otherwise for a kryptonian.

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Synopsis

Could the Man of Steel reproduce? How is he supposed to ensure the success of the next generation? This tale might just have all of the answers…

Thoughts

This might be one of the funniest stories I’ve read in a while… I was laughing out loud so much that my dogs got scared and ran away. There was just a great, sarcastic, satirical take on the Superman stories… one that I really hadn’t thought about. But now, I just can’t stop thinking about it…

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex is a great tale that makes you wonder how Superman, or indeed, any superhero could reproduce. After all, their superpowers are going to affect their offspring and the way they have sex. Superman maybe more so than some others (although, can you imagine The Thing? On second thoughts, maybe don’t… get that insane image out of your brain…). There are so many questions that need to be answered after reading this… so many. And I’m also not sure that I want them answered, because this is just kinda… well, weird.

There are so many ways in which this short story could just be disgustingly ick. After all, we’re talking about reproduction of a prominent public figure. Yet, the way that Niven tells the story, the language he uses and the unique format… it was completely brilliant. It is only as I’m writing this review that I remember that there’s a bit of an ick factor there… mostly I just seriously enjoyed the tale and the questions that it raised.

 <- The Jamesburg Incubus ReviewThe First Time Review ->
Image source: Amazon

How to Date a Superhero by Jean Johnson

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: How to Date a Superhero
Author: Jean Johnson
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Superheroes
Dates read: 16th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: That was the frustrating thing about her gift; she only ever saw in glimpses and snatches, incomplete pieces.

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Synopsis

Farsight has had a crush on her partner, Steelhand for what seems like forever. But, he just won’t return her affections. So when she has a vision of what could happen between them, things are about to get a little awkward…

Thoughts

For all of my love of paranormal, people with superpowers and the many superhero movies, I’ve never actually read a story which features a superhero couple. Or at least, none that I remember. And I only have one superhero book on my entire bookshelf. Which is saying something… is this a niche that I need to expand on?

This story didn’t actually have a couple getting together. It had all of the lead up, it had the premonition of it happening… but it didn’t actually happen. Which was different, and unique. I kind of liked it though. It really took the idea of leaving a short story open ended and emphasised this. After all, they are planning on getting together, but there is still the little matter of the villains to contend with…

After reading this short story, I just wanted to delve into the world of superheroes. For me, this story wasn’t so much about romance, but about the genre of people running around in tights. Which is why, as soon as I finished it, I pulled out a copy of Smallville and put it in my DVD player… if I can’t immediately find a superhero book, I may as well watch a superhero show…

 <- Taking Hold ReviewDaniel Review ->
Image source: Goodreads