Nic's Reviews > Hero

Hero by Perry Moore
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's review
Sep 13, 14

bookshelves: audiobook, made-me-cry
Read in May, 2012, read count: 2

** spoiler alert ** SPOILERS: I would give this book an enthusiastic five stars - FOR THE AWESOME - if not for the fact that it does that thing where the protagonist loses loved ones in a violent manner, then seems at the end (not long after) to be pretty much okay snuggled up with his sweetheart. Thom! Your parents were both exploded! Like, a month ago! You're seriously going to be out picnicking and smooching and stuff? Action books and movies love to do this. The beloved mentor/family member/best friend has just been killed, but hey, got to end on an upbeat moment and a kiss! I'm happy to read an awesome book with a gay love story that ends happily; I just object to the general action-plot idea that a story can HAVE a happy ending when the protagonist's loved ones have just been murdered.

BUT. This book is packed with so much win. Especially if you like superheroes. I'd kind of thought that the fabulosity that is Soon I Will Be Invincible was just one quirky book that I loved, but it would seem that I actually just love superheroes. (Which is not to say that that book isn't completely amazing.)

I adore Thom as a character. Just love, love, and more love. He's funny, insecure, hardworking, hopeful, caring - and a community volunteer! He makes mistakes, but not the kind where you roll your eyes and think nobody would be that stupid - the kind where you ache for him because he hurts so much that he can't see anything else to do.

Goram is great, too - so much more than just a love interest. (If I've spelled his name wrong, that's something that can happen when you listened to the audio version of a book rather than reading the text - I only got "Thom" right because of seeing it in other reviews.) One of my favorite moments is when Thom realizes what Goram was trying to do when he put Tom's hands on Goram's face: he was trying to get Thom to recognize him based on what he looked like as Dark Hero, when the mask covered all but his eyes. I didn't arrive at that conclusion until Thom did, but it clicked perfectly into place - a feat I always admire when authors pull it off. (I mean, yes, I'd guessed who Dark Hero probably was; I just hadn't understood Goram's gesture with the hands.)

The League is great, too. I enjoy the details, the superhero (and villain) names, and the various similarities between some of them and some heroes I know well from the comics and TV of the real world, but with some differences. Major Might is basically Batman, complete with angst - although Dark Hero is kind of Batman, too. Warrior Woman is totally Wonder Woman, down to the lariat. Captain Victory and Justice sort of split Superman between them. The Silver Bullet is Flash, and Golden Boy is Kid Flash. King of the Sea isn't really Aquaman, because King of the Sea has, like, scales, but there are clearly some parallels. And then there are fabulously different heroes like Typhoid Larry and Thom himself.

A few things I'd like to have understood better, or have had cleared up:

- Thom says he puts Larry back together. Does this mean Thom can return a dead person to life if he has a body? (And that red goop spattered across a city block can be considered a body for this purpose?) Or is he just reassembling the parts, and Larry is still dead? You'd think that if Thom could raise the dead, this would have other ramifications. But then, he says that he put Larry back together, not "Larry's body." Also, if he can't bring Larry back, did Thom really propose that they save the city using a plan that involves Larry's certain death? Because that's cold. Also, didn't they say they had practiced this plan? How do you practice a plan that involves one person dying?

- When Thom's mother seemed to be betraying his father, handing the ring to Justice, I assumed she had a super-sneaky last-second plan that then just got foiled by her being atomized. I kind of think Thom assumes this, too, because when he's reflecting on his mom at the end, he doesn't wonder what she was up to or how she could betray his father. So, I guess we're just supposed to make that assumption?

- I just Justice must have really, really flipped out, because there's no clear way that a sadistic murder of King of the Sea (and a bunch of his loved ones) furthers Justice's plan to get back to his home world. The Spectrum seemed to have figured out something - maybe King of the Sea did, too? But why not kill him in some quieter way, and maybe hide the body instead of practically displaying it?

Man, these questions make the book sound ultra-violent and kind of disturbing. I promise, most of it isn't. There's lots of humor, great character development, fun action scenes, and a sweet love story. A great, great book.

I will say about the audiobook that, while many parts are extremely well-done, some of the voices the reader does for different characters annoy me. At the part where Ruth dies, I cried. I was seriously sad. But some part of my brain was happy that I wouldn't have to listen to the reader's impression of an old-lady-smoker's croak anymore. And that's unfortunate. (It's especially hard because Ruth and Miss Scarlett, two of the characters whose voices annoy me most, have at least one long, emotional speech apiece.) But overall, I found the audiobook a good experience.

And now I kind of want to read Soon I Will Be Invincible again . . .

Edit: I listened to this on CD the first time, but I read the actual book in September 2014. Good stuff. Less action and focus on superheroes and more emotion than I remembered, but I still really like it. Which is good, because it was chosen (not by me, even!) for the Teen Lit Book Group I run at the library!

Also, haha, did I really spend the whole audiobook thinking that Goran's name was Goram?

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