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Rise of Heroes (Masks #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  328 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Strange things are happening in Vintage City, and high school goth boy Eric seems to be right in the middle of them. There's a new villain in town, one with super powers, and he's wreaking havoc on the town, and on Eric's life. The new super hero who springs up to defend Vintage City is almost as bad, making Eric all hot and bothered, enough so that he almost misses the lo ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Torquere Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 21, 2011 BJ rated it it was amazing
Thanks to HC's constant pimping, I started this book out with high hopes and expectations... This being because I am a self-admitted Superhero freak... I desperately needed my super power fix like Lindsay Lohan needs Crack... Like Brangelina need to adopt another baby to complete their very own UN Tea Party set... Like Charlie Sheen needs...... Well, shit loads of therapy to be quite honest... but that's beside the point... I started out expecting a main character that comes into his powers and ...more
Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
Dec 06, 2010 Bubbles Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Bubbles Hunty by: Bookwatcher
First review from reading May 2nd 2011:

The MC is so funny, look forward to reading the rest of the series

Second review from reading 02/06/12


IF You havent read it you should! It's so funny and cute and just good. High quality Young Adult M/M fiction. just awesome.

So read it or I will lick you ;)

Heather C
May 17, 2011 Heather C rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heather C by: Bubbles Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
In the beginning I was only really liking this book, but by 50% I was loving it and could not put it down! Eric was such a funny teenager. He kept his hair dyed blue and was always trying to gross out his sister Liz at the breakfast table by coloring his milk and eggs with blue food coloring. I also really like Eric's friends, Peter and Althea. (view spoiler) ...more
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
I'm definitely looking forward to finishing this series! The MC, Eric, is so funny in that sarcastic, teenage way and his obsession with blue dye was hilarious. I absolutely loved it. It was awesome learning about how these kids now have super powers and everything from Peter to The Devil's Trill had me captivated by it and how Eric was like a magnet to trouble kept me engrossed in the story. I can't wait to see what Eric gets himself into in the next book and how Peter and his relationship will ...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
Mar 20, 2011 Emanuela ~plastic duck~ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, glbt, rainbow-gay, ya
This is so sweet!!!!

This story really made me go back in time: to my teen years and to my teen reads. Eric is a wonderful guy, so cute and so normal, and I mean that in the best way. His problems and his reactions were those of young people with their everyday life: school, friends, little money, passions which seem to absorb everything, and then they're put aside when love knocks on the door.

Eric's life is complicated by the strange events happening in his hometown - Vintage City - where good a
Jun 24, 2011 Mandapanda rated it it was amazing
This is my first foray into YA M/M and I could not be more impressed. The thing I like most is that it's such a FUN book. I've seen some YA stuff and it's been heavy on the angst and tears but this book is all about entertainment.

The story is written in the first person POV of Eric who is a 16 yr old gay teen. He's very emo and funny. He writes torturous haiku verses, dyes everything (including his food) blue, and has a penchant for classic literature. Eric lives in Vintage City which is very Go
Aug 24, 2009 Kassa rated it it was amazing
This is easily a brilliant beginning to a great new series. The first in a planned trilogy, the non-stop action and fabulous characters immediately immerse the reader into a comic book world filled with wit, charm, and adventure. The theme of superheroes and super villains is not necessarily new, but Thorne delivers a fresh and thoroughly entertaining voice in Eric as an average, almost boring outsider to the action. Although technically a young adult book as Eric is only sixteen, the themes pre ...more
I was so excited when I found this and read so many glowing reviews. I was even more excited when I found myself thoroughly enjoying the first half and assured by so many of those reviews that the second half was even better.

Unfortunately, I ended up with the opposite opinion. I loved the first half with the introduction to the city and to the new superheroes and their adventures.

The second half just seemed to drag in comparison. I ended up being let down enough that I'm not sure I even care eno
Cole Riann

I should have never put off reading this series so long. There are two things I love about Hayden Thorne's writing that is abundant here: her completely unique and wonderful characters and her her dry humor, usually given through said wonderful and unique character. Here, that is Eric, and he is a delight to see the completely fantastical and original town of Vintage City through.

This story is at the same time a passion-, lust-, and angst-filled gay teen's manic day to day life and a
May 07, 2011 Cay rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
It was like reading a comic book,no illustrations of course, but I could see the action. I’m a secret ( or not so secret) manga fan, so this was a treat for me.
And like Eric, I too have a color fetish (not blue), and Batman is my fav superhero. So Eric is my guy.
Can't wait to read the whole series.
Sep 04, 2011 Antonella rated it really liked it
I really liked the book. It is well written and witty in a good way. The MC is a believable 16 years old in his rebellious phase. There is also a sweet relationship.

The 4 stars are absolutely deserved. Still, I can't imagine to buy the other 3 books. I don't think that this is a contradiction, it's just that I prefer books with more conflict and adult MCs.
Aug 08, 2009 Kris rated it really liked it
The Review:

Honesty from the outset~

It's got SUPERHEROES! I'm the kid who spent their afternoons and weekends watching He-man and the Masters of the Universe, Transformers and Astro Boy cartoons. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've never looked back since. *GRIN*

*It's YA! YAY!*

First things first~

This is a well written, extremely sly and humorous story about an ordinary teenage boy, who finds himself caught in the middle of a fight between newly empowered superheroes and villains.

Why sly? Think of

Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance

Reading this book is like reading an episode of “The Incredibles.” It’s a lot of cute sweet fun. There’s a very old school comic book-esq feel to the narrative and a 1970’s (Ok so I picked a random decade.) genre style that is more heart warming than the modern blood and destruction versions of our superheroes.

Eric is a pretty normal sixteen year old, well normal by the standards of all the crazy new things showing up around town. Sure he’s a goth boy and gay and
Apr 19, 2009 J.M. rated it really liked it
I fell in love with superheroes in college, and no storyline is more endearing to me than the "coming out" or "coming of age" arc when the hero realizes the potential in his powers and struggles to come to terms with them. Most stories of that type center on the superhero himself, and all the angst associated with realizing he's some sort of freak shunned by the society he aims to protect.

One of the things that makes "Masks: Rise of Heroes" so different in this genre is that the main character i
The Novel Approach Reviews
Eric Plath lives in his own personal Gotham, a place in which gloom fairly oozes from every crack in the sidewalks, seeping from every pore of the bricks and mortar that fill its landscape. Vintage City is its environment—dingy, dank, with an air of chemical waste rising from its bowels. It’s a place simply begging for supervillians to overtake it and upset the status quo. It’s also a place, thank goodness, that has unwittingly bred its own superheroes to protect and to serve its innocent citize ...more
May 03, 2011 Snowtulip rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, fantasy
This young adult book is filled with humor and sweetness. It takes you into this fantasy world filled with teen insecurities and makes you laugh and just enjoy the story. Yes, it's a far-fetched adventure, but isn't that the great thing about fantasy and reading? A truly enjoyable read.
I was given this book through the Making Connections ARR group for an honest review, thank you.

(view spoiler)
Elisa Rolle
I had this book in my reading list since a bit but I was never in the right mood. I was expecting a superhero type of book, and it's not really my cup of tea. Then tonight I decided to give it a try and it surprised me: the story is more "normal" than expected. It's in a way a very classical coming of age novel, and I like it in that way.

Eric is an emo kid, a 16 years old like a lot of other boys of that age, with a quite supportive family. He is out with his parents and sister and they accepted
Ann Luna
Nov 13, 2016 Ann Luna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: superhero nerds & gay romance readers
Recommended to Ann by: my inner superhero geek girl
3.5 stars

Masks Book 1 is a fun read.

There were some things that bored me, though, that's why this is only 3.5 stars.

I know the superheroes and supervillains here are just coming into their powers, but I was hoping for some ups and downs in the storyline. Instead, it was just very steady - like monotonous kind of steady. There was nothing that got my blood pumped up. And this is superhero stuff. I'm a sucker for superhero stories.

Mysteries unsolved
In connection to the story being an
Jan 05, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly never thought it would take me this long to finish this book. It's absolutely no fault of the book; I just could not find time.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. I'm a huge superhero fan. Make it YA with a gay protagonist and I am all for it. Rise of Heroes delivered all of those elements in a really great way. You get the origin story of superheroes, but they're also teenagers with relationships and romances.

Sometimes the story went to fast, with too many events happening to quickl
Alysa H.
Very funny and clever. I don't think there's anything else out there like this: a YA superhero novel told from the perspective of a gay teen who is not, himself, a superhero. The characters are quite good, largely because author Thorne gets Eric's voice just right. He's a realistic, moderately snarky teen who is still finding himself. There's no coming-out drama -- Eric's been out and proud since long before the start of this book -- but there's plenty of other coming-of-age stuff, as there shou ...more
Geh...It was a great book and I can't wait so read the sequels, I must say usually I get uneasy when I see so many follow-up books, but not into this case!
I'm still pondering, since the pace, the dialogue, the villan, the characters, the narrator, the quirks....Everything was amazing and I'm already known for such a sucker for hero-setting plots....So...
Something felt too fast paced in the romance between MCs, Eric was moreless okay, but I didn't get much the 'in love' feeling from Pete
Gareth Cj.
Nov 01, 2013 Gareth Cj. rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, fantasy
3.5 stars. Not a lot of action as I hoped like Hero by Perry Moore, but it's told by someone who isn't a superhero. I was surprised by Eric's reaction to Althea's and Peter's revelations to the point where I wanted to stop reading it because of how immature his reactions were but I see that it was necessary to make readers understand what it's like to come out of the closet. Reading the second book now.
Feb 07, 2013 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Eric lives a rather mundane existence with his struggling working-class family. He's gay, in love with his best friend, and has to be constantly rescued by superheroes who keep cropping up in his dingy city to protect everyone from a maniac who is hypnotizing people with music and causing wonton destruction... wait what? Clever, funny, satirical, and yet, very heartfelt and sincere this is a wonderful beginning to a fun and exciting series.
Aug 12, 2016 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, cute, and reasonably enjoyable read. The world building of the first half come across stronger than the second, where the plot seems to struggle to find somewhere to go. And I could never quite buy into the relationship towards the end - Eric's rebellious nature didn't quite seem to fit with his readiness to accept Peter's secrets and lies. But the book certainly hold my interest enough that I will be reading the next in the series.
I really wanted to give this one 3.5 stars.

It was cute, and I will read the rest of the books.

One thing about the narrative that I didn't like was how the narrator would go off on tangents right in the middle of an action scene. I get that it is probably what might really happen in those situations, but it takes longer to read it than it does to think it, and I didn't want to be bothered. I generally skimmed those paragraphs.
Dec 03, 2012 Erichae rated it it was ok
Can we please talk about this book? I was floored by how... sour this book was. It was so generic you could find the stencil to it in a three year old's pencil box. I cannot even. I loved the concept but it felt like an Uno deck shuffled with a playing card deck. It was just unsavory.
Roclaf Alter -Ego
Aug 14, 2012 Roclaf Alter -Ego rated it liked it
A fun little read with a cute M/M romance thrown in. Looking for to the next volume in the series.

I'm wondering how a book like this, if it had been available would have impacted me when I was this age and wondering about myself. Nice to see positive stories with gay characters.
Feb 28, 2013 Wren rated it really liked it
This is a great superhero book.

I expected a sort of 2-dollar beach book, but a got something that kept me guessing, and gripped until the end. I will admit that the middle dragged a little bit, but the end made it worth it. A great read.
Jenni Frencham
Maybe my standards are too high after reading Perry Moore's Hero, but I just wasn't impressed with this particular book. The main character got on my nerves, and it was hard to stay with him for nearly 300 pages.
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I’ve lived most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area though I wasn’t born there (or, indeed, the USA). I’m married with no kids and three cats and am a cycling nut.

I started off as a writer of young adult fiction, specializing in contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical genres. My books ranged from a superhero fantasy series to reworked and original folktales to Victorian ghost
More about Hayden Thorne...

Other Books in the Series

Masks (6 books)
  • Evolution (Masks #2)
  • Ordinary Champions (Masks #3)
  • Curse of Arachnaman (Masks #4)
  • Mimi Attacks (Masks, #5)
  • Dr. Morbid's Castle of Blood (Masks #6)

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