From School Library Journal
Gr 5-7–Sixth-grader Kyle is smart, popular, and the planner of high-quality pranks. Then an encounter with a mysterious “space plasma” leaves him with cosmic intellect, super-strength, and the ability to fly. Kyle loves his new skills, but decides it's safest to keep them under wraps. However, the plasma has brought something else as well–a strange boy whom Kyle strongly suspects is an alien. Mighty Mike has superpowers too–but he isn't shy about exercising them in public. Mike quickly becomes a sensation with adults as well as kids, even though his good deeds don't always go smoothly. Kyle resents Mike taking over his top-dog status and suspects that the newcomer may have more sinister schemes in mind. He plans a super prank to expose him, but things get disastrously out of hand. There is a subtle underlying message about perception vs. reality. Kyle is not a particularly admirable character. He is self-centered and frequently uses his newfound powers to manipulate people. Much of his vaunted popularity seems to rest on his ability to humiliate others, especially in setting up grudge pranks on request. His crowd is quick to switch allegiance when a new sensation comes along. The author takes some sly digs at popular culture as well. The question of Mike's true identity is left unresolved. Is he an earnest, if somewhat naïve superhero or are Kyle's rather cynical suspicions on track? Who is the good guy and who is really the archvillain? Tune in next time....Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
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When Kyle Camden comes to after something fishy happens during a night plasma storm, he feels stronger, faster, smarter. As he already considers himself quite the supergenius (devoted to showing folks how dumb they are), he now feels even better about how great he is. That’s until Mighty Mike, a kid who mysteriously appeared right around the same time as that plasma storm, shows up and annoyingly starts flying around, saving every day of the week. Kyle’s convinced Mike is an alien, and he sets out to defrock the caped imposter by donning a costume of his own and embarrassing him in public. Motivated almost entirely by jealousy and petty spite, Kyle is a far cry from a sympathetic character—in fact, many kids will see nothing more of his swelled head than a most swirly-worthy target. But he plays the antihero part with comic aplomb, and Lyga displays a nice grasp of superhero tropes (especially the gadgetry, with radiation-dampening antennas and the ilk) that middle-grade boys will flock to. Grades 4-7. --Ian Chipman