Monday, October 1, 2007

Hero by Perry Moore

This book has generated quite a bit of buzz so I thought I'd finally read it. I believe I suffered from a little over-exposure as I am not as big as a fan as other reviewers.

I liked Hero. I did. Hero is the story of teenager Thom, who, in the span of a very short period of time (or long one?) learns he has super powers, is recruited to a superhero league, learns painful secrets about his family, and saves the world. Oh yeah, toss in that Thom is gay.

There are 2 things that kept me from loving it. First, its length, which is well documented here: I like a well-paced, tight novel. This one clocks in at 428 pages (ARC version) and it was slow going for me until his mom appeared in chapter 26. After that point I pretty much read the rest in one sitting. I also experienced a few plot bumps. I had trouble keeping track time during the story and I had difficulty believing that Thom's dad would not talk to him, especially after the confrontation at the League. The more I read the more I understood why his dad was not around/didn't talk, but it still seemed more convenient than necessary.

Thom is a wonderful character. He's clueless, which I admit I find charming in my teen coming-of-age novels. He's sincere. He's funny (the wet suit!) He's interesting. Actually, this book is full of interesting characters and I'm not just talking about the superhero alter-egos. Ruth and Goran are probably my favorite supporting characters because of their fascinating back stories. Typhoid Larry, while a swell guy and all, was a little revolting.

I loved the part about The Lorax. Sunita. Heh. I have mixed feelings to learn that there's a sequel. Not because I don't want to know about Thom's mom or Goran, but I thought the book ended perfectly, a little surprising, but really perfect. I think teens who like a some fantasy in their realistic fiction will like this book. I'm curious about how serious comic fans will take to it. The author creates his own superheroes but readers of the genre will easily identify parodies and homages. They may love that or hate it. Comics people can be weird.


Anonymous said...

I love Ruth! And her backstory *sob* made me cry.

I did think the Goran subplot with--hmm, how do I put this while avoiding spoilers?--nevermind, I'll just say overall, it was a bit predictable, but I still really enjoyed the book.

Patti said...

The more I think about this, the more it seems like an adult novel to me. I'm not exactly sure why. It just doesn't scream teen appeal. And as much as I loved it (which i really enjoyed it) I'm not looking forward to a sequel at all.

I wrote about it too!

joanna said...

Yeah, the Ruth story was such a great surprise. He really packed a lot of information into this one novel.

I also realized, when trying to describe the book to Greg, that I couldn't remember why Justice wanted to go back to his non-existent home planet.

Well, there you go. Our blog is so big I didn't remember that you blogged it, Patti.