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Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots

(Velveteen vs. #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,197 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Velveteen: How dare you? I never asked for you to hunt me down!

No, Velma Martinez hadn't. But when you had once been Velveteen, child super-heroine and one of The Junior Super Patriots, West Coast Division, you were never going to be free, even if your only power was to bring toys to life. The Marketing Department would be sure of that.

So it all came down to this. One youn
Hardcover, Limited Edition, 204 pages
Published November 9th 2012 by ISFiC Press
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Bri no, not unless a new publisher buys the rights from what Seanan said here:

However, Seanan used to also offer …more
no, not unless a new publisher buys the rights from what Seanan said here:

However, Seanan used to also offer to send a pdf of the out of print first book if you contacted via her website with proof of having bought books 2 and 3 - not sure if this is still on offer, but could be worth asking via her website form!
website contact form:

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  1,197 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Tamora Pierce
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Velveteen is a has-been junior superhero, sort of like a Disney child star, buffed and marketed, and now she's an adult who's held down a bunch of jobs (barista, cleaner--minimum wage, minimum reward). Right now she's got a golden opportunity in Portland, if only she can nurse her beat-up car from southern California across the northern border in time. Unfortunately, there are roadblocks, many of them in the form of old comrades now turned adult star heroes who believe that she, like other washo ...more
Tim The Enchanter
A fun and snarky 3.5 Stars

What do you mix the power to animate cloth representations (i.e. doll and teddy bears) of humans and animals with a sarcastic and reluctant super-hero? You get Velveteen, the hero of this fiercely imaginative and entertaining book.

I could say this was a full on 4 star book for a few simple reasons. While the story was entertaining, it was disjointed and lacked some focus. This may be a bit unfair as I have learned that these were stories the author had posted on her w
C.T. Phipps
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
VELVETEEN VERSUS is a series which I first became acquainted with due to the crossover done with GRRL POWER and WEARING THE CAPE. The premise is Velma Martinez is a retired superhero (except she was a teenage superhero so it was doubly traumatic) who was exploited and abused by a marketing company that didn't care whether she lived or died.

The fact she was a toyetic adorable heroine who had the power to animate toys made her doubly valuable to the company, though, and they're pursuing her in or
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Seanan McGuire is my 'new' to me favorite author, just record the second book by her in the last few days and loved them both.

This was a great read and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes super heroes and hates corporate marketing. My favorite scenes are the seasonal themed superhero sequences, and the "Princess" and Hailey Ween my favorite characters along with Vel being a thoughtful protagonist. Oh and a character introduced late in the book quotes "Buffy" so I'm already to read book 2!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty fun especially as audiobook. I never got around to reading these stories on her website so it was good to have them collected. You can kinda tell this is earlier Seanan and her later works have more developed characters. I really did enjoy it and am looking forward to listening to the sequel at some point.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-prose
I'm rating this three stars because it seems like it's only half a book.

It's not really a "novel" it's an "open ended series of short stories"- which is not what I expected. I expected a story with a beginning, middle and end, like Superfolks or Soon I Will Be Invincible, instead it reads like a comic series, with each prose chapter similar to a self contained comic book issue with ongoing subplots. The story is very meandering.

She fights the "Junior Super Patriots" in chapter 5, and I expected
Marion Harmon
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Blearily surfing TV Tropes for inspiration, I stumbled upon the Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots entry, chased the link to Amazon and read the Look Inside pages, then bought the Kindle edition and read it in four hours. Velveteen is as amazing as her world, and I wish I'd thought of her myself. In the Velveteen Vs. stories, Seanan McGuire gives us a superhero world where the heroes, while real enough and heroic enough, are mostly under the control of a publicly benign and secretly ruthles ...more
Caitlin (Ayashi)
I am a definite fan of Velveteen and her battle against Marketing, especially after having been on a marketing team in the past. (Kidding -- mostly :D)
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
A good idea for a story but the execution......anyway it was a ok book.
Tsana Dolichva
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots by Seanan McGuire is the first collection of the Velveteen vs stories. It's out of print in ebook so I wasn't actually able to get the book, but the stories themselves are all available to read on the author's website, so I'm counting it as having read the book. Because of how I've been reading and posting mini-reviews of short stories, you might have already seen my comments on some of the stories, but I still think it's nice to collect them all in one pl ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Mini blurb: A 24 y.o. former child-superheroine finds herself targeted by the corporate entity who used to own her (and other kids with powers) until she walked out on them at 18, and does her best to keep them at bay - with the aid of the toys she animates and a few unlikely allies - while saving (corners of) the world in the process.

Rated 4.5 really.

An imaginative, fond yet subversive take on superheroes, in which children with powers (and their adult counterparts, if they make it that far)
Jun 21, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: digital, fantasy, sf, audio, powers
Take the boys and give it a massive makeover with heavy doses of sweetness and humor.
Jannah A

Well that was a bloody awesome book. So damn awesome. Velma is kickass and so human. I'm not a fan of superheroes and suchlike, usually running for the hills when people start foaming at the mouth for Superman, Spiderman and other heroic dickheads (sns). However I'm in love with anti heroes or heroes who didn't particularly want the job they landed with (Deadpool) and Velma is beautifully relatable. Seanan McGuire you got yourself a new fan.

Velma, the once child hero Velveteen, has long si
I started reading this series of linked short stories for free online (all of the stories in this book are available for free at Seanan McGuire's website, and all the sequel stories can be read on her Livejournal) but after a while I started enjoying them so very much that I decided I had really ought to support the author by buying a copy of the collected Velveteen stories, so I did. Two in fact: a kindle version for me & one of the hardbacks to give as a gift to an SFF buff for his birthday. S ...more
I really enjoyed this audiobook. The narration was perfect, and the pacing was good. I also really liked the story, and the way it manages to be fantastical and realistic all at the same time. (That is something I feel McGuire excels at, and this book is no exception.) I greatly look forward to reading more of Velveteen's adventures.

As to the story... the fantastical part mostly comes from the superheroes. There are all sorts of superheroes, and power types. It seemed Seanan let her imagination
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I bought Velveteen when I read mention of it on Seanan McGuire's blog. I decided to read it next because I was in the mood for something light. What if I hadn't? What if I had read something else, letting Velveteen languish on my shelves? I would have missed so much!

Velveteen is filled with heart, social commentary, action, humor, and all the best things about everyday people. This superhero's tale is an allegory for all the rest of us out there, and it's done spectacularly well! I know that Vel
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: super
Wow! This was really good! I don;t mean to sound surprised, given that I love Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. It just the title seemed, well, a little fluffy. Do NOT be fooled. This is a great series of vignettes that make for one SUPER story!

Audible is good
Jill Heather
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhero, favauthor
This isn't a 5 only because I read the rest of the stories on the website after I bought this compilation and loved them even more.

These are wonderful. If you like superhero stories -- a sadly underserved genre for novels -- you really should love these.
Stephen Mandrgoc
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable if darkly comic take on what it would really mean to have grown up a teen superheroine whose handlers were more interested in PR than saving the day. It does suffer slightly in that it's a series of short stories gathered together in a volume, but not hugely. ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I needed a refresh before starting the long awaited sequel. Seanan's writing is just as compelling and resonant the second time around. ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun! I'm so glad I stumbled upon it. Velveteen is my new favorite super heroine. ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
More like a 3.5 but definitely more than 3 stars.
Shame it's such a short story.
Ross Alon
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very sweet, very girly nice take on superheroes.
I enjoyed it a lot.

It was published as short storied, but it's basically a chapterized long story
Kenya Starflight
Oct 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-love
Most superhero novels I've read have been an attempt to deconstruct the superhero genre, or at least attempt to make it more "realistic." And oftentimes in the process they drain the sense of wonder and fun from it. Seanan McGuire's "Velveteen vs. the Junior Super Patriots" falls into the deconstruction camp, as it doesn't shy away from some of the darker aspects of being a superhero... especially what happens when they're turned into a marketable commodity. But somehow she manages to maintain t ...more
Steve Tetreault
What it's about: The story of Velma Martinez, a.k.a. Velveteen, the (former) superhero who can animate and control toys.

Velma just wants to live her life. She isn't interested in being part of the Super Patriots, Inc., world, controlled by Marketing, for whom stopping crime and saving the world is a way to sell toys, movies, and comics about the superheroes in their stable. And it is a vast stable, controlling 97% of the superheroes in the world.

Velma is on her way to a job interview in Oregon
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book fairly well. I think it deserves about 3.5 stars. I wish that it was possible to give half stars when rating books. The story was enjoyable, although it felt like a compilation of short stories rather than a normal whole story. This prevented a ton of buildup for the main story that did appear in some of the stories showing up throughout. Unfortunately, there were some stories that brought up stuff in the main character's past and that felt unnecessary and kind of like tangen ...more
J.A. Ironside
I'm not sure how this one passed me by before since it's completely my brand. It seems to have flown under the radar somewhat, together with its sequel (which I've just bought).

This is the story of Velma Martinez, gifted as a child with an animism superpower, and rebranded as the junior superhero 'Velveteen'. Already cynical and not especially inclined to bow to authority at twelve-years-old due to her poverty stricken and abusive home life, Velma is not keen on saving the world for the enterta
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wavered between giving this book four or five stars. In the end, I settled on four because, no matter how much I enjoyed reading it, there were some technical issues that pulled me out of the story.

For one, a very large world was created inside the book with many different concepts. A few concepts didn’t really to seem to have a place in the story or drew away from it in some way, such as the “Seasons” characters and storyline

For another, there were times when the writing seemed a little cli
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loaned-out
Review first published on My Blog.

Velma spent a good part of her "childhood" as Velveteen, a member of the Junior Super Patriots West-Coast division, a super hero who could bring stuffed animals and toys to life to do her will. Her every move, piece of clothing, and word coming from her mouth were scripted by the Marketing Division.

Until she turned 18 and she quit.

Now she is trying to find a way to make ends meet without using her super powers while evading the attempts of the Super Patriots to
Berni Phillips
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read these when Seanan was publishing them as separate adventures on her Live Journal blog. I was so happy she put them all together. I decided to buy it as an Audible recording, and it was a delight to revisit this, having the stories in order and not have to wait for updates.

If you're not familiar with this, it's her take on the super-hero genre. American children with powers are inducted in to the Junior Super Patriots, a way to control kids with powers and, more importantly from thei
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

Other books in the series

Velveteen vs. (3 books)
  • Velveteen vs. The Multiverse (Velveteen vs., #2)
  • Velveteen vs. The Seasons (Velveteen vs., #3)

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