I read this when it first came out, initially attracted by the gorgeously intriguing cover. I mean, just look at that thing. Sampling a few pages insiI read this when it first came out, initially attracted by the gorgeously intriguing cover. I mean, just look at that thing. Sampling a few pages inside convinced me to buy, and I was not sorry.
Generally speaking, I can pigeonhole any work within a specific genre (that was going to be my doctoral thesis in college, before I dropped out. Twice.) but this book brilliantly rejects any attempt to do so. Is it Science Fiction of Fantasy? I find it impossible to say, because MacDonald presents evidence and speculation for both genres equally. I would've been happy either way because it's a cracking good story with interesting characters and badass action scenes, but the inability to genre-type it makes it all the better....more
Quantum Prophecy #1: The Awakening by Michael Carroll is a YA book, which I didn't know when I ordered it from the library. Once I got it, I was a bitQuantum Prophecy #1: The Awakening by Michael Carroll is a YA book, which I didn't know when I ordered it from the library. Once I got it, I was a bit trepidatious that it might be a little too emo or overly "teenage" in a bad way... you now, a Twilight sort of way. My relief was great when I found that's not the case. Yes, the two main characters are teenage boys, both about 13, but they're smart and capable and not at all annoying.
The book opens with a humdinger of an action scene: the world's biggest bad guy, Ragnarok, has built a gigantic battle tank that's headed for New York City. He's gathered a small army of supervillains to assist him, drawing in most of the world's superheroes for a titanic fight. You pretty much don't get more widescreen epic than that, and the book moves right along. That's just the opener, however, because the climax of the fight results in a gigantic explosion... and all the superpowered people in the world disappear, except for three siblings, who have no idea why they were spared.
Cut to 10 years later and our two heroes, Irish schoolboys, are given an assignment to write about their favorite hero on the anniversary of "Mystery Day." Except the mystery is even bigger than they imagine, because suddenly one of them exhibits uncontrollable superspeed and the other is being hunted by black helicopters. Carroll ties it all together so it doesn't sound as random as that.
I give it a solid 4 stars for being engaging, fun and full of characters who do smart things rather than being dumb for the plot's sake. I've already ordered the 2nd in the trilogy from the library. Apparently Carroll has written a number of other books in this same universe (according to his website it's 5 novels and short story collection). The New Heroes: Superhuman looks like it's a flashback tale to when the adult heroes of this book's opener were just starting out, so I figured I'd wait to finish the first trilogy before going on. ...more
The second book in Michael Carroll's "New Heroes" trilogy keeps up the momentum of the first book. It also maintains the "Young Adult fiction in nameThe second book in Michael Carroll's "New Heroes" trilogy keeps up the momentum of the first book. It also maintains the "Young Adult fiction in name only" theme by tackling tough choices and not flinching from the logical progression of the characters he's set up. There's nothing graphic about the violence, but it's there in spades. It does suffer a bit from "middle chapter syndrome" as many second installments to trilogies do, but it sets up the conflict for the final conflict quite well, with battle lines clearly drawn. Unfortunately for the New Heroes, despite a few wins all the cards are held by the bad guys. I did have kind of a hard time believing some of these characters were only 13- to 16-years old since they acted like little adults sometimes, but that's a minor quibble for me.