Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Solstice Survivors #1

Superhero Syndrome

Rate this book
Tess McBray was dying. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’s hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, or steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic-book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.

Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox to create the world’s first superhero duo might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

324 pages, Paperback

First published September 12, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Caryn Larrinaga

22 books204 followers
Caryn Larrinaga is an internationally best-selling mystery and horror author. She has won multiple awards for her work, including the League of Utah Writers Gold Typewriter and the Cat Writers Association Muse Medallion. In 2021, she was named Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers.

In addition to her novels and short story collections, Caryn has written for tabletop RPGs, podcasts, literary journals, newspapers, and zines. Her work has been adapted for audio, short films, and a forthcoming animation. Her spooky supernatural whodunit, DONN'S HILL, topped the Amazon best seller lists for psychic mysteries and cozy animal mysteries.

Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. Her 90-year-old house has a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.

Caryn lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. She is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, the Cat Writers Association, and the League of Utah Writers.

Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short fiction and true tales of haunted places.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
38 (45%)
4 stars
34 (40%)
3 stars
9 (10%)
2 stars
2 (2%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Kara.
717 reviews1,246 followers
August 17, 2019
“Superhero Syndrome (Solstice Survivors #1)” is not lesfic, but is a very enjoyable interpretation of the superhero/supervillain origin genre.

The author did a wonderful job defining characters as believable people, with many of the positive and negative attributes on exhibit IRL: fear, friendship, love, hate, lust, forgiveness, cruelty, greed, goodness…and many other emotions and behaviors. I was reminded of early Fantastic Four or Spiderman stories, where ordinary people gain extraordinary abilities and learn to adapt to their changed lives.

It’s fun being alongside MC Tess as she finds that her death is suddenly not imminent, and as she finds that something is..different. As Tess returns to her hometown, she learns more of the sister she loves, the brother-in-law she despises, the parents who abandoned her, and she makes new friends.

Descriptions of her daily life are very well written. We learn of Tess’ love of trains, and we can feel the wrongness in the run down section of town that she now calls home. There’s lots of humor throughout the story; imagine having a superpower that allows your hands to become blue office furniture upholstery! Also, imagine your sister creating an online dating profile for “Sexy Tessy” and using an old childhood photo…including braces! While Tess and other characters are hetero, this is a very PG story, nothing graphic occurs.

Tess is very likable, as are many of the side characters. Though Tess is a nerd who loves comic books and sketching, she’s socially aware enough to know a bad date when she’s on one, and is willing to make an effort to ask out someone she connects with.

Once she becomes something of a sidekick to superhero “The Fox”, we get a very entertaining crime/mystery action story involving sex trafficking. I won’t say much more about that because you’ll enjoy the story without spoilers.

The story ends with a new costume and superheroine name for Tess, and she and “The Fox” are flying (via plane) to Chicago for a first-ever meetup with other new supers. I can’t wait for the next episode!

This is the first audiobook I’ve listened to narrated by Ruby Hankey, and I really enjoyed her performance. She voiced Tess, her inner monologues, and other characters wonderfully, and I very much look forward to listening to her perform other audiobooks!

If you’ve read this far, you may have guessed that I really enjoyed this audiobook, and I recommend “Superhero Syndrome” with 5*.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

My rating and my review was not in anyway affected by my having been provided a review copy.
Profile Image for Laura..devouring books like crumpets.
1,494 reviews89 followers
October 1, 2019
🎧 📖 Audio book read for review from Audiobookempire 🎧 📖

3.5 stars

A little bit like x men meets superman...... A brilliant concoction!

I did Listen to the Audio version of this by Ruby Hankey, first time i have listened to a book narrated by her and i think her voice which was young and fresh fit Tess's POV perfectly, not only Tess but she has a wide range in giving an independent voice to other characters.

Very softly spoken you could imagine her being a teacher reading to Children at story time, clear and pronounced, occasionally being so soft didn't fit certain scenarios, the Narrator sometimes does go very slow and drags things out when going into description or Tess's inner monologue... But the range of voices and distinction between characters was brilliant and the narration carried the story smoothly, the audio quality was great!

But the greatest thing with the Audio was hearing the narrator smile, my mum always told me to answer the phone with a smile, as the receiver can hear it, the same applies here.

The story

Suffering from solstice syndrome Tess under a much anticipated Meteor shower finds her Illness has disappeared and after a life affirming moment decides to return to those that mean the most to her.

It was a slow start but once the story hit its three quarter mark and the pieces in play were placed and the story took a great turn. I found the references to star trek brilliant it had me laughing.

Human trafficking aside i did feel the book was written for a younger audience, some parts were brilliant witty and fun, then some parts were immature and juvenile, my main case in point would be Tess.

Tess did grow on me toward the end but for the majority of the book i really disliked her, i loved the side characters, Tess as a heroine fell a little short, she was very self obsessed and self involved, everything was me me me.... Although the Author did write her initial loneliness so perfectly that you could really empathize with her, i still couldn't warm to her.

Another little Irk was Tess's powers, i was waiting for a little more to happen, i'm sure in future books something else will come to her as its still only book one.

Reed was a brilliant Love interest, from the sparks and his stoic nature i fell a little bit in love with him, i also loved Beth i thought her warmth and love and natural caring nature gave pinpricks of light throughout the book when things got a little dark, making a really nice smooth balance.

I'm sure the solstice syndrome, the superpowers and the meteor shower will be explored in other books another aspect i'm itching to find out about, I'm also curios about where the road will lead for Beth and if the solstice survivors will all come together, maybe even Churn out a big bad as i'm sure not all solstice survivors are good.
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,007 reviews29 followers
September 16, 2017

omg! so glad I got to read this!

Oh My God this book! This book was like reading the pilot episode of an awesome new superhero series. (theme song Unknown Brain - Superhero or Simon Curtis - Superhero) The Solstice Syndrome is a wasting disease, where the body runs hot and the fever burns through the body's water, you basically die of fever and dehydration. Tess is prepared to die, she knows it's soon because for some fucked up reason her case progressed faster than most. On the night of the freak meteor shower Tess checks herself out of the hospital if she was going to die it was going to be on her terms and since she alienated herself from her family she's alone and wants to see the meteor shower. But something happens and Tess doesn't die that night, suddenly she's cured. With nothing else she decides to go back to her hometown and makes nice with her sister who had the bad fortune to marry an abusive loser.

Once Tess is back home she discovers there have been disappearances, young woman about her age have been going missing and rumors about the white slave market going on. She also discovers there is a weird side effect to the Solstice Syndrome. Tess' can absorb different materials and change her hands into that material. Tess then discovers that her hometown has it's own vigilante and the only way this guy could move like that is if he was like her, they aren't only ones people have been popping up all over the globe with superpowers and acting the part too. Tess becomes obsessed with the vigilante known as The Fox. Tess steps up her game when her sister goes missing and she's determined to find her no matter what to the point she joins forces with The Fox to rescue her sister and stop the white slavery ring.

I love Tess! oh boy do I really love that geeky, awkward, artistic Tess, and the fact that she becomes best friends with a trekkie is a big bonus. Reed, oh heart throb, what is there that I don't like about him? Nothing he borders on perfect. Was I the only one freaked out that her home town was called Weyland? I just kept thinking androids, I mean synthetic humans, were going to pop up somewhere, 'cause you know Weyland/Yutani from Aliens.... anyways. I would love to see the stories of other Solstice Survivors, if there is going to be a full series, but if it stays with Tess and The Fox that's awesome too. It's kind of like Kickass, except with real superpowers. Overall, this book was a very big win for me, I absolutely loved it, everything about it.
Profile Image for Fani.
182 reviews21 followers
October 4, 2017
“The world had changed. But I didn’t mind. I’d gotten to change right along with it.”

I can’t believe that I finished reading this book in one sitting. I started “Superhero Syndrome” thinking that I would read just a few chapters, but the next time I checked my progress I had almost reached the end. Not once did I feel bored while reading this book.

The plot was interesting and the way the main characters reacted when they found out about their superpowers seemed realistic to me. I liked the fact that they didn’t suddenly transformed into the ultimate warriors. Instead, it took them some time until they gained confidence in their abilities and were able to form a strategy on how to best use them against their enemies.

Tess, with her love for comics, was an intriguing heroine. Her personality was strong and she wasn’t someone who waited to be rescued, but chose to take action herself. I liked the fact that she wasn’t there to be saved by The Fox, but instead she was there to work together with him. She even had some humor that was much needed for a person like her who was going through so much.
“I don’t know how to handle this, my brain informed me. Then it stepped out for a cup of coffee to mull things over, leaving me to black out and smash my face into my bathroom counter.”

This book was more focused on the action, but I liked what I saw from the romance between Tess and her love interest. The main characters had a nice chemistry and they didn’t focus too much on each other’s physical appearance, like I’ve seen in many other romance stories.

I also appreciated the fact that there was no drama between them. The author didn’t keep them apart or make them flirt and sleep with other people just to create tension and fill more pages. I like that they stayed devoted to each other and they had a nice connection.

This is only the second book that I read from this author, but I am slowly becoming a fan.

I voluntarily reviewed the free copy that I received via Reading Alley.
Profile Image for Els .
1,695 reviews30 followers
March 26, 2018
Who does not love a superhero??? This book is so much fun to read. It is a very fluent story and I finished it in one day. I could not put it away.
In the beginning I did nor see where it was going but it soon became clear that is was going in the perfect direction. It was like a comic book translated in to a novel but with a lot more depth. I just loved it and I hope we won't have to wait too long before we can start with part 2. I am really looking forward to it. The 5 stars are well deserved.
Profile Image for Neil.
1,435 reviews8 followers
March 21, 2018
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This is a really good superhero story which you just will not want to put down.

Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,183 reviews57 followers
August 25, 2019
**You can find my review at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/

Tess knows that she is going to die from the mysterious solstice illness just like so many other people, but she refuses to die in her hospital bed. Instead she goes to watch the meteor shower, expecting the last thing she sees to be the stars- but when she waked up from the meteor shower, she appears to be miraculously healed. Deciding to change her life, Tess goes back to her home town to make some big changes and life altering choices.

I am so down for this superhero origins story! When I read the synopsis I found the plot vaguely interesting but the book was so much more and better than what I anticipated. In the style of maybe of Batman (or maybe the darker world of the DC Universe in general) this was a dark side of the city, with a crime filled underbelly of stealing women and prostitution, and a couple of vigilantes with some new unique super powers on the loose- and a hint of romance that I can't wait to be explored further.

The narrator was prefect for bringing Tess to life. She emoted perfectly, pushing out sorrow, exasperation, sarcasm, fear, acceptance and stress to make me become fully immersed in the story. Keep in mind that I listen to my audiobooks sped up, so the 1.75x was the perfect speed for this story for me. This was my first book narrated by Ruby but I would easily check out more by her in the future.

I found myself completely enthralled by this dark, dangerous and surprising superhero story and I need to keep going in the series. Even though this book wrapped up really well with almost zero loose ends, I feel like things are just getting started for Tess and I plan to be there to see what she gets involved in next. And I hope the second book comes out on audio soon because I would love to listen to it as well!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Mike.
Author 45 books160 followers
October 8, 2017
I've complained in the past about superhero novels often being poorly done. This is a welcome exception. It's remarkably non-tropey, especially the characters, who are at the same time familiar and fresh, with some depth to them. Tess, the main character and narrator, is particularly fun; she could easily have been a whiny loser, or a fake "strong woman" who constantly has to be rescued from her bad decisions, but she's neither. She fights her own way out of trouble that her inexperience, or the machinations of the villains, gets her into, and does so with creativity and verve.

In the pre-release version I got from Netgalley, there are a few minor typos and a couple of clumsy phrasings, but overall it's smooth and competent.

All of the chapter headings are in the form "Tess vs...", something that Seanan McGuire also does in her Velveteen novels, and I wondered if those had been an influence. I enjoy Velveteen, and this book has other similarities: a young woman dealing, sometimes wearily, but perseveringly, with a realistic world in which good jobs and good men are both hard to find; where evil resides less in stereotypical supervillains than in manipulative corporations and corrupt civil servants; and where, despite all that, one determined person can make a difference.

The source of superpowers is, in this first book, mysterious, an illness ("Solstice Syndrome") which multiple people develop just before Christmas and then recover from after an unusual meteor shower. Tess is one, and her near-death experience refocuses her on what's important to her.

I very much look forward to seeing where this series goes, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys superhero fiction, or for that matter urban fantasy.
Profile Image for Shelleen Toland.
1,351 reviews65 followers
October 27, 2017
It's like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. There is no cure for the Solstice Syndrome and just when Tess gave up and she knew death was just days away, all of a sudden her symptoms mysteriously disappear.
Then she notices something is wrong with her hands.No matter what she touches her hand turns into that object. Wood, steel, and concrete. Tess is 21 years old and loves comic books and has realized she now has superpowers. All of a sudden people across the country have gifts too. In the city she lives the police are having trouble with human trafficking and a vigilante named The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.
I liked getting to know Tess and her strength and The Fox and her working together was amazing chemistry.
I received this from NetGalley for a review.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,054 reviews38 followers
October 14, 2017
Superhero Syndrome is the first installment in the Solstice Survivor series. It’s a promising start to this new series. I love this fresh take on superheroes. I’m looking forward to more adventures with Tess & Reed. And meeting more superheroes with different powers!

*ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
1,855 reviews10 followers
September 26, 2017
I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review and blog tour can be found on *Milky Way of Books*

This was a hidden gem for me. Inkslinger was asking for more blogs to participate and when I saw that this book had super heroes in it, I jumped in the chance! "Super Hero Syndrome" follows Tess, who is dying from an unique disease. When a meteor shower passes over Earth, she wakes up the next day, healed...and with special powers.

Crime fighting, a mysterious vigilante and action ensures as Tess tries to discover the mystery behind the power-appearing all over the world.

This book is a meeting between X-men and DC. There is humor too, in the mix. Also Tess loves comics which made me like her more as a heroine. She is smart and reacts logically in everything happening around her. Her co-operation with the Fox is also really good.

I can only hope that this book will have more sequels because it's actually really good!
Profile Image for Errin Krystal.
Author 6 books14 followers
September 4, 2017
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Minor Spoiler Warning

I loved this book! I read 75% of it on the first day! I would have finished it except for that whole real life bit getting in the way. But, yes, loved it! I was never not going to love a book about superheroes!

The story opens with Tess in hospital, dying of a rare and incurable disease that has struck down members of the population. She does not want to die alone in her hospital bed, but on her own terms, watching the meteor shower and witnessing something beautiful in her final moments.

But here’s the thing, they are not her final moments. Upon waking, Tess feels better than she has in months.

I just loved Tess. She is rash and impulsive and very much wants control in her own life. Plus she’s a huge comic book nerd! Leaving home almost immediately after high school, Tess has every intention of never looking back, but the last thought she has before ‘dying’ was of her sister, Bethany.

So, on a whim, Tess decides to move back to her hometown, soon learning about a spate of disappearances that have occurred in her new neighborhood.

The interactions between Tess and her sister really broke my heart. The sisters attempt to rekindle a relationship that has always been fraught with tension. Bethany appears so put together, giving off an aura of perfect domestic bliss. But it is an illusion. Sweet kind Bethany married a brute of a man straight out of high school. The main sticking point between the sisters. Watching them both try rebuild a broken relationship was beautifully bittersweet.

Then there is Reed. I looovveee Reed! Tess and Reed don’t get off to the best of starts, since she initially believes he was stalking her down a darkened street. Which, he kind of was, but for very valid and not so creepy reasons. They strike up a bit of a friendly flirtation and one of my favorite scenes is *SPOILER ALERT* when she takes him back to her apartment, forgetting that she has her walls covered in sketches of his alter ego, The Fox. He takes it in stride while Tess is mortified. Good times.

When her sister goes missing and the police fail to help, Tess is all over it. No matter that she has yet to figure out how to put her new found powers to use. She care’s not one iota. If The Fox, (a masked vigilante with inhuman agility and speed) can make a difference, then so could she. She gets pulled deep into a world of human trafficking, aided by The Fox himself.

This is a great book, and I would definitely recommend to fans of urban fantasy and superheros.
Profile Image for Theresa Braun.
Author 26 books237 followers
August 12, 2019
Just for the record, I’m a slow reader. However, I literally flew through these pages. And, that, my friends, made me feel like a superhero.

I absolutely dig the premise of this story and agree that the set-up is ripe for a series. Regular folks embolden with superpowers? And both good and evil people are blessed with them? Oof! Talk about a recipe for chaos. One of the things I enjoyed is Tess’ particular ability. It made me want to read on just to find out what it entailed and how she was going to use it.

Larrinaga teases us along throughout. We have to sleuth together tidbits, often wondering how they will all fit together. Some of these are surprising as we plunge deeper into the story. And there’s tons more to keep our interest—a possible romance brewing is just one example. Also, Tess’ narrative is likeable and witty, yet she’s flawed, which I like. She can be a tad judgmental, but she’s self-deprecating and has a kind heart—which is one of the driving forces compelling her into action throughout. Another of Larrinaga’s writing superpowers: her ability to leave chapters on cliff hangers. I often didn’t want to put the novel down because I had to know what happened next.

The overall feel of this book is one of girl-power, and one that should encourage both genders to stand up and participate in social change, even if we aren’t ‘suffering’ from Superhero Syndrome. The author also asks us to consider accepting others who are different. (I hope to see an expansion on that idea in the sequel!). Issues of domestic violence and human trafficking are also tackled with empathy.

If you’re up for an adventure with a feel-good ending, add this one to your TBR. I, for one, look forward to what Larrinaga does with the next installment.
Profile Image for Lauren Jones.
416 reviews11 followers
September 2, 2019
From sickness to health and…superpowers? How does that happen? If you were dying and one night, something changed all of that—made the pain completely go away—would you question it or thank your lucky stars? Or, in this case…what appears to be a lucky meteor shower. Wait, if another meteor shower came through, does that mean that you might lose them again and be as sick as you were before? So much to think about; it’s a bit unnerving. Well, you won’t have to think about it for too long because Larrinaga has you covered with this effortless spin on superhumans and good vs evil.

Tess has something called the Solstice Syndrome—which means that she’s dying—because there is no cure. What she doesn’t understand is the minute she walks out of that hospital of her own free will, she feels better. It may just be a trick of the mind, but after seeing the meteor shower and then fainting…and then waking up to a dozen onlookers, including a park ranger, she feels like she can take on the world. After a little while, she learns that she can shift into the objects that surround her, or rather she can absorb the elements and use them to her advantage. Now, that isn’t such a great thing if you turn into a giant pillow or can’t get out of the wall, but that’s when you start thinking outside of the box. What can you use these new “gifts” for? Especially when your sister has a deadbeat, abusive husband who has a secret to hide…and that secret may have something to do with all of the girls that are disappearing from the neighboorhood. Finding herself in all of these dilemmas, what can a tiny little woman like her do to help out?

Larrinaga has an appealing story, filled with creativity, originality and fascinating characters. This story has a slight twist to the superhero plot that readers will find enjoyable and the characters are likeable and well-developed as well. The story flows effortlessly with little to no spelling or grammatical errors and the narrator enlivens the story with snarky remarks and fun banter between characters. If you are a reader of fantasy and crime fiction, you may be interested in this first installment. Since this is the first installment in the Solstice Survivors Series, the reader is able to jump right on in.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to The Superhero Syndrome by Caryn Larrinaga.
Profile Image for Rochelle Jones.
92 reviews11 followers
December 12, 2017
I really enjoyed this book!

I loved that Tess is a comic book lover and that she just so happens to survive a terminal illness that results in the ability for her to become her own superhero. It’s ironically, poetic and kinda perfect.

For the most part I loved everything going on in this book. Larrinaga has great plot line development in this story, and her characters have an okay amount of depth to them. What I want to see more of, though, is the details of this world; I want to feel as though my mind gets so wrapped up in this world that I completely lose sight of the real world around me. This book is right on the cusp of that. There were plenty of moments I could have completely dove in and forgot where I was and what I was doing, but it just didn’t quite happen. With a bit more depth in the scenes and characters I definitely could have toppled over into that richer world and found myself rating this a full five stars. All that being said, the story is great as it is which is why I rated it so favorably.

Generally, I prefer to be surprised when there’s a good, surprise reveal in a story. I want to be blindsided by something I didn’t see coming, and I like to challenge myself to see if I can figure out what it is before it’s officially revealed in the story. Having said that, I was a little disappointed that I was able to ascertain a few reveals before they actually occurred in the book. That’s not to say I disliked the reveals, but only that if you are an intuitive reader like me, you may also be un-surprised by the events that occur in the story. It’s still a good story, it was just slightly predictable.

The real reason for my four star rating was the ending. To me, the ending “struggle” and downhill slide into its conclusion (or epilogue, if you will) seemed really fast. Which is a shame since there was definitely room for more story before reaching the “this-book-is-getting-too-long” moment. I’m hoping that the next in the series get the opportunity to exceed expectations for this one as well as itself.

Which I for one, am looking forward to!

Full Review: wanderinglectiophile.wordpress.com/20...
Profile Image for Marsha.
2,973 reviews51 followers
October 3, 2017
First and foremost let me say that I am not a big comic book fan; yet, the summary for "Superhero Syndrome" caught my attention and I found myself truly immersed into a truly creative story line with interesting characters world building.

Cartoonist and comic book lover, Tess McBray was dying. She like so many suffered from the Solstice Syndrome. So, what does she do? She checks herself out of the hospital against the medical staff's advice and drives over to a local park to stargaze as she dies. Fortunately for her that doesn't happen and she is delighted to learn that all of her symptoms have disappeared. She decides to go home to Weyland to visit her sister who she hasn't spoken to in four years. That's when she learns that she now has a superpower. Her hands assimilate whatever she touches. So, if she touches steel, her hands become that metal.

It seems Tess isn't the only one exhibiting strange powers. A man is going around masquerading as someone called the Fox. He is going through Weyland cleaning up crime and tying up the criminals in a neat little bow for the police. When Tess believes someone is out to attack her she meets a man who is going to change her life in many ways. Hopefully for the better because her sister's abusive, alcoholic husband has set their lives on a crash course with hell.

This read is total out of my norm; yet, I found it captivating. I love it when a book surprises me and this one certainly did. My only concern is that I am not sure if there is really enough here to truly make it into an interesting series. However, only time will answer that question. I will definitely go on to read the next installment and hopefully I will find myself surprised again!
31 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which I received from the author in exchange for an honest review. It had a strong, independent female character. She was interested in romance, but not consumed by it. She thought for herself, took care of herself, and lived on her own terms. I find that kind of female character lacking in so many books these days, so it was refreshing to meet Tess, the main character of this book/series.

I enjoyed the relationship between Tess and her sister. It was realistic in that there are things you don’t always agree on with your sisters (or other females in your life), but you cherish the relationship and care for them just the same. Tess wanted the best for her sister even if her sister couldn’t see what was best for her on her own. That caring, despite the differences (and somewhat because of those differences), helped you truly believe Tess was interested in helping her sister, Bethany, in the situation she landed in.

I also appreciated the relationship with Angie, Tess’s friend and coworker. There were just good, positive female relationships in this story, and you don’t see much of that these days.

It is a very action-oriented, superhero story, which I liked immensely and I’m not actually a superhero kind of reader. The story was interesting and fast paced. I wanted to know what would happen next not only in the budding romance but in the search for answers, as well.

Overall, I simply think this is a well-written and entertaining story. I read almost of this book in one sitting. I stopped once and started again, but once I picked it up the second time, I finished it off in one night. I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Becky Baldridge.
3,325 reviews102 followers
August 24, 2019
Superhero Syndrome offers something a bit different than the norm in the Urban Fantasy genre. Superheroes certainly aren't new, and they are everywhere lately, but Carryn Larrinaga has managed to make them feel fresh and new with some interesting powers and witty characters. Of course, we can't have superheroes without some villains to pull them into the light, and these are definitely villainous. Between the bad guy characteristics and Ruby Hankey's voice to breathe life into them, I found myself picturing the villains of old, black cape and all. The story starts and continues a little slow for about the first third or so of the book, but I got caught up in Tess and her sickness despite the pacing. It does pick up considerably once Tess gets back to her hometown and starts to discover her unique power. Tess is strong-willed and I like that she stands on her own two feet, learning from her mistakes and moving forward and changing with the ever-changing world she's been thrust into. She does have some help by way of The Fox. I would've liked a little more development of The Fox's character as well as the sparks of romance between the pair, but it's more subtle hints of something more than friendship as this duo searches for missing women, including someone close to Tess. Nevertheless, I did like The Fox, and I hope to see his character grow with the series. The biggest drawback for me lay with the conclusion. It is the beginning of a series, but we still get a sufficient conclusion, but it felt like there was a rush to get to the end. I just felt like the conclusion deserved more after all the buildup. That said, I did enjoy the read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys superheroes and/or urban fantasy.
Author 18 books10 followers
February 17, 2018
Given I love this sort of genre, it's hard not to compare it immediately to some of the other previous work I've read, to see how it stands when put up against some of its peers amongst superhero fiction. And the good news is, this measures up well. Before you can measure how she stands up against other protagonists, you need to look at Tess herself. Very believable character with a lot of relatable problems, winds up in a bad situation where she's ready to die and ultimately comes out of it stronger. Think her powers are interesting as well because it's not really a traditional superpower and that's quite unusual, but all the better for it.

Some of the relationships she has are very natural and believable as well, from her sister, to her best friend, to her brother-in-law, to her old crush and even to the other main hero in the story, the Fox. Although I did work out his identity early on, the story didn't suffer from it. The dynamic between them worked quite well, very much a master and apprentice feel, although some elements of it felt on a par with early Spider-man comics where he's learning how to use his powers.

In a world where villains are usually larger than life, a people trafficking ring made the problems seem down to earth but all the better for it. In a world where people with powers are only just emerging, someone trying to steal the sun or something like that would have felt out of place. The danger felt real, two fairly inexperienced heroes against an insidious plot although whether there was ever any sort of doubt that they'd get out of it remained open.

Highly recommended. Read it. 5/5
Profile Image for Elena Alvarez Dosil.
734 reviews11 followers
August 26, 2019
Tess is terribly ill. Like many other people, she has caught what the press began to call the solstice syndrome. Many are dying, and Tess is almost terminal, but on a night during a meteor shower, not only she gets cured but she also gains superpowers. After learning to master her new skills, she joins forces with the Fox, in an attempt to end a human trafficking network that has kidnapped her sister.

This was an excellent YA superhero novel! Written in first person, I quickly connected with Tess, and although her situation was something new to me, and I did not understand all her actions, it was easy enough to relate to her. I embarked on this adventure without any preconception or prejudice, and I have to to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are several twists and surprises along the way, and I just wanted to fight with the cool kids: Tess and the Fox.

Tess is the most developed of all the characters, but as this is the first book in a row series, I believe we will get the backstories of secondary characters soon enough.

Ruby Hankey did an excellent job voicing Tess and the rest of the characters. Her interpretation skills and compelling tone kept my attention at all times. There were subtle differences in voices and styles, which made following dialogs a breeze. Her male voices were subtle and credible.

It was an easy listen, very entertaining and addictive. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Carryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. If
19 reviews
August 10, 2019
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free audiobook by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Superhero Syndrome tells the story of Tess McBray, who has been hospitalised by the mysterious Solstice Syndrome disease. After escaping the hospital to end her life in peace she witnesses a meteor shower, and is suddenly cured. But she’s not quite the same woman she used to be...

Tess as she returns to her hometown of Wayland to rebuild her relationship with her sister. As she discovers her own superpowers she must work with anther survivor with powers, known only as “The Fox”, to save the people she loves from a criminal gang.

The premise of the story is intriguing. Not much is said about how Tess came by her powers, instead the story is about how she understands, develops and uses the power (which at first seems a bit pointless) for good.

For me the story spent a little too long on unnecessary romance when Tess came back to Wayland, but once she starts getting involved in the mystery the pace picks up and the story comes to life. It is told with humour and snappy dialogue, and well narrated by Ruby Hankey. I’d like to have known more about other Solstice survivors around the world (only one other is mentioned) – but perhaps that is to come in a future book.

I suspect I am not quite the target audience of this book and it would be great for a YA audience, nonetheless I enjoyed the story and will read the next one.
Profile Image for Meg.
43 reviews
December 3, 2017
This book was well written, interesting and fun! Who wouldn’t love to wake up to superpowers?! The real question is would you use those gifts for good or evil?

In the beginning of this novel, Tess is a twenty-one year old on her deathbed with a virus called Solstice Syndrome that came out of no where and has no known cure. She has accepted her fate until a never before seen meteor shower sweeps across the Earth and she is miraculously cured! In fact, everyone with the virus is cured. Tess then, moves back to her home town and out of the big city of Chicago.

Her smaller town is making big news though with the many young girls that are disappearing and the vigilante called “The Fox” fighting crimes like a modern day superhero. In fact, he seems to actually have super powers, which Tess finds impossible until one night she discovers a new gift of her own!

When women close to Tess go missing she must decide if she is going to use her new powers to get them back or leave the crime fighting to “The Fox”.

I enjoyed this novel. The plot was intriguing and the story well written. The main characters were likable and the antagonists reprehensible. It was a little slow in the beginning but picked up about one thirds way through. Overall a very good read! I would recommend it to fellow readers.
165 reviews5 followers
December 31, 2017
To summarize this novel in a few words: a romanticized Kick-Ass with an actual superpowered origin story.

Tess finds herself with a new lease on life when her debilitating and mysterious illness is cured. She gets involved with the vigilante subculture of her hometown. Costumed vigilante, at that. Oh—costumed vigilante with superpowers.

This was a novel that captured the origin story formula perfectly. The sequence of events leading to the birth of her superpowers, the reveal of the bad guy—it was all purposefully and meticulously placed. Great pains were taken to remain loyal to the classic way.

It was really the interactions of the characters that gave me the Kickass vibe. There’s definitely other overtones involved, but that’s the one that stands out. As such, character interactions were well-done and their relationships meaningful.

One thing I did have a problem with was how easy things felt for Tess. In a few ways, she felt more like a Mary-Sue. The speed at which she gains control over her powers, the ease at which she accomplishes her goals—nothing really felt like a challenge for her to overcome and so some of the intense scenes felt a little flat.

Regardless, the entire thing is well-written. I wouldn’t mind seeing a proper comic adaptation. It definitely pays tribute to the genre, and does it well.
9 reviews
March 19, 2018
Superhero syndrome is the first book of Solstice survivor series by Caryn Larrinaga. I’ve just finished reading this turn-page novel and I’ve loved it.
The story is about Tess a dying girl who will miraculously recover from an incurable illness known as the solstice syndrome. She will develop superpowers in the process and begin a series of adventures. Although the the author has announced several facts and events in the book description, the story remains suspenseful. In fact her writing style following logical patterns strewn with surprises and twists, kept you on the lookout for what is coming next.
The book is written in the first person so you’ll follow the story through Tess’ eyes which adds to the mystery.
Besides, the characters are lovely. I’ve liked the geeky side of Tess the protagonist, the sexy Angie and the mysterious Reed. The plot is great too even though some events are predictable. I won’t detail further otherwise I would ruin the suspense. Yet, I’ve to say that the story is flavored with a bit of romance.
I’ve enjoyed reading this novel and I look forward to read the other books of the series.
So if you’re a fan of suspenseful superhero stories I recommend this book highly to you.
Profile Image for Maria Vickers.
Author 63 books376 followers
September 27, 2017
I don't even know where to begin with this review. This book was amazing and worth all 5 stars. The plot was interesting, intriguing, and different from other books like this. On top of a great story, were the characters that fueled it. I couldn't put it down and I highly recommend you one click this book today.

Tess was ready to die. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure and hers was progressing at an alarming rate, but something happened, she didn't die. In fact, she wound up having special powers. Now she has to save her town, her sister, and find out all she can about her new powers and the vigilante The Fox. I don't want to say too much and give anything away. But this is a must read!!
Profile Image for Cary Morton.
879 reviews41 followers
November 25, 2020
I received a copy of this book directly from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Superhero Syndrome by Caryn Larrinaga was an absolutely stunning read. I found the characters to be personable, the writing style to be clear and easy to follow. The world-building and description were familiar and elegant. I loved the romance between The Butterfly and The Fox. I could really go on about it for ages.

I absolutely loved the book and would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes superhero stories. I'm usually not much of a superhero fan (I don't even like the avengers), but this book was so well crafted that I couldn't help but be sucked into it.
Profile Image for Becky.
263 reviews4 followers
September 14, 2017
Mysterious illness followed by superhero powers? What's not to like!

21 year old Tess is about to die. But then she wasn't. The only remnants of her mysterious illness was her strange ability to absorb material into her hands, becoming that material. She moves back home to be near her sister and begins a strange fascination with a vigilante named Fox.

Before long, Tess is caught up in a mystery of missing girls and crime. Can she figure out her new powers in time to help?

This book skillfully weaves a tale that keeps you interested from the very start. A great read!
1,129 reviews8 followers
November 30, 2017
Tess McBray was dying of Solstice Syndrome when a meteor strike not only cures her but gives her Superhero Syndrome (paper from Twisted Tree Press) . In her case it’s the ability to turn flesh into something she touches (like metal). Caryn Larrinaga tells a fun tale of a young millennial returning to her home town Weyland. Someone is abducting young women, including her pregnant sister and other friends and only she and another affected potential super-hero, The Fox, can stop them. This is a giggle.Review printed by Philadelphia Free Press
Profile Image for Fee (Ebook Addicts).
1,413 reviews43 followers
August 26, 2019
The story:

Tess McBray is dying, suffering from solstice syndrome for which there is no cure, she decided to check herself out of hospital to watch the meteor shower and die on her own terms. Only something happens during the shower and she doesn't die. She appears to have been miraculous healed - and with the second chance at life she decided to head home and start her live over.

Only she wasn't banking on becoming a superhero! This is Tess's origin story if you like, we see her grow from a sickly woman into her powers. The story was a slow build up, with her learning of her abilities and also that there are others like her - she becomes obsessed with the Fox, a crime fighting vigilante with insane speed who she later ends up helping.

I loved this story, the build up, the characters and the crime fighting all in one. If you love superhero movies/books you will (i hope) love this! I can't wait to read the next book.

The narration:

Ruby Hankey was perfect for the audio for this book, she immersed herself into the characters and switched between characters flawlessly. The prostitution was smooth and clear with no static or background noise.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.