The first book in a series about superheroes.

Publication year: 2011
Size: 566 KB
Format: Kindle ebook
Publisher: CreateSpace

The city of Claremont was once a home to many superheroes and villains. But then came the Battle where many of the super powered people died along with a lot of innocent people, and the city hasn’t been the same. However, some of the heroes didn’t die. They were wounded and decided to retire anonymously.

One of those people is Jack King who used to be Teen Protector call Sparks. Ten years after the Battle, he works in a book store and has a gorgeous lawyer as a girlfriend. Then, a man from his past walks back into his life: Bruce Webster who was like a brother to Jack and a member of the Teen Protectors as Osprey. Today, Bruce is an Agent for the Federal Agency and he’s worried about something. He’d like Jack to protect his back, but Jack doesn’t want to get back into heroics and refuses. However, the next day Jack hears that Bruce has been brutally murdered and of course Jack has to find out who murdered his former best friend.

Jack is the main character but the book has a lot of POV character. Agent Manning is Bruce’s long-time friend and has his own powers. He too wants to investigate Bruce’s murder but is prevented by his superior. Karen is Bruce’s gorgeous wife who is on the run with a mysterious package. Sword-wielding knights and a shape shifter chase her around. Bruce has also contacted a homeless teenager Jonathan who also has powers. Jonathan becomes involved in the case by accident.

The book starts with a scene shortly before the Battle until it jumps to ten years later. There are several such short scenes about the Battle in the book. Also, Jack has some flashbacks which are written in the present tense. That was a bit jarring at first but I got used to them quickly.

Most of the POV characters are heroes but they are flawed with distinct personalities, and powers. However, they are all brave and loyal to their friends, and they all have great fighting skills. Jack controls fire. He carries some heavy baggage from the Battle and is afraid of using the full extent of his powers. He’s also quick to anger and resorts easily to violence. Manning is professionally suspicious of everyone. He can see through everything and everyone, and uses his power in his work. Jonathan is also suspicious of others because he’s seen a lot of predators on the streets but he’s pretty secure of himself. He’s very accurate with thrown weapons. Karen is frantic because she doesn’t know where her husband is or who are the people chasing her. She can change herself into a data stream and teleport herself that way. Jack, Jonathan and a couple of other characters are readers and Rose mentions a lot of SF books by name.

There’s a lot of fighting in the book. The obvious difference to the mainstream superhero comic books is that both villains and heroes use deadly weapons, such as guns and swords, and kill people. Very few are just knocked unconscious. In fact, Jack uses his fire powers to brutally cook people alive and the scenes are pretty gory. All of the heroes we meet here carry weapons in addition to having powers.

The book is fast-paced. In fact, the first few chapters, after the scene set during the Battle, are the slowest ones in the book because they describe Jack’s pretty ordinary life.

The book has some romance. Jack has a girlfriend Rachel and he hasn’t told her about his superhero past. Manning is married and there’s romance brewing between two younger characters.

Unlike some of other reviewers, I noticed only a few spelling errors. Maybe they’ve been fixed. However, I did notice some other errors such as when a man is sincerely crying because his best friend is dead, this is called crocodile tears. Also, since the book is written in a tight third POV, there isn’t an obvious narrator, but a couple of times Rose used “we” in the narration, for example, “heroes who protect us” and that was jarring.

Kindle has a short preview of the next book, Black Mirror. While the story reaches a satisfying conclusion, there are some threads left open.

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