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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (January 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073873909X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738739090
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—In a future filled with superheroes, there are two classes: the elite members of the Core, whose powers are "clean," and the likes of Marvin and his friends, whose powers are "dirty" and therefore do not warrant official recognition by the Core. Marvin's power feeds on fear; he taps into the emotion of those around him and gains super strength. He's able to save a family being held at knifepoint by a gang of teens, but has to disappear afterward so that he is not recognized. The teen soon meets Eliza, a Core member whose alter ego is a superhero named Roisin. Marvin is starstruck and flattered that the great Roisin takes an interest in him. She even encourages him to try out for Core membership. This is a debut YA novel for Long, who writes for Marvel, DC, and Image comics. The writing is better suited to comics than traditional stories: the characters and situations feel a bit one-dimensional, situations often lack explanation and fleshing out, and the plot lags in a few spots. The main characters are not likable: Marvin is a worrier and Eliza is nasty. In one particularly disturbing scene, Eliza physically forces herself upon Marvin, coercing him into non-consensual sex. The protagonist moves on with little reaction and Eliza's motivation is not explored. Kids who get to the last 50 pages of the book will be rewarded when the pace picks up; Marvin comes into his own, and the plotlines start to make sense and build to a relatively satisfying conclusion.—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, San Leandro, CA

From Booklist

For his entire life, 17-year-old Marvin Maywood has idolized the Core, the squad of superheroes that protects his city from crime. Because his own powers are “dirty,” he knows he can never join their ranks; however, after committing a daring rescue, Marvin finds himself chosen as a potential recruit. It doesn’t take long for him to see that the Core is not the upstanding, heroic outfit he had always believed it to be. Faced with truths that put his convictions to the test, Marvin must decide what it really means to be clean or dirty, and what it means to be a hero. Long’s experience writing for Marvel and DC Comics lends this superpowered novel added depth and believability. Loaded with action and moral ambiguity, this is a classic superhero story with noir sensibilities. Sex, alcohol, and corruption feature in the narrative but never gratuitously so. At its heart, this is the story of a teenager trying to navigate relationships and find his place in the world—only supersized. Grades 7-10. --Julia Smith

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
HERO WORSHIP was an incredibly fast read for me.
Liviania
The author treats his teenage subjects with respect and makes you really care about them.
James Long
The world building and characters were well done and compelling.
Karen Doran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Regina Griffith on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With its creative characters and their superhero powers to the bittersweet realization that no one is perfect, Hero Worship is attention-grabbing and keeps you engaged through the whole book! The twist on superpowers is a fresh outlook from the cliché ones we've come to expect. How the powers are used and how the characters have to re-energize to get them to keep going was a brilliant way to introduce the Core and the threesome of dirties or up-and-comings as I do expect a book 2!!! The story felt relevant in this day and age with all of our moviestar worship where we continually find out that the stars are only human. I like how the teenagers are finding themselves and how they could look up on each other for support and inspiration. Sprinkled with color, tenderness, fear, violence and truth, Hero Worship has something for every age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on January 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have a weakness for superhero books. Thus I was super excited to sit down and read HERO WORSHIP, the young adult debut from Christopher E. Long. He does have a background in comics, so I had pretty high expectations.

HERO WORSHIP was an incredibly fast read for me. I didn't expect to finish it in a single day! (It's hard to read a full book on a work day, after all.) I really liked Marvin Maywood, the protagonist. He's the Superman or Captain America type of hero -- the guy who does the right thing because it is the right thing. Unfortunately for Marvin, it's illegal for him to use his powers.

In the world of HERO WORSHIP, people with powers are tested when they manifest. "Clean" powers are a fast track to celebrity and possibly membership in superhero team The Core. "Dirty" powers are illegal, and most pay to have therapy to get rid of them. Marvin and his two best friends are homeless and scraping by as a result, since they refuse to get rid of their powers. Then Marvin saves a family and finds himself being courted by Eliza, a clean superhero.

It's an interesting world starring some characters I love (Marvin and his friends), but I thought the plot was a little weak. Marvin fails to notice obviously bad things staring him in the face. Once he clues in, he still walks into an obviously bad situation. If you can't tell from the previous paragraph, Marvin's world is pretty obviously corrupt. Yet I never quite believed that the cover up works, given how many people have to be involved. And there was an incredibly off-putting scene of sexual violence that hangs there like a bad taste. It doesn't affect the plot and there's no scene of emotional reaction (which I would expect) and . . .
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By Karen Doran on April 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given this book by Netgalley and Flux for my honest review.

I was instantly draw into this book. The world building and characters were well done and compelling. This book was fast paced and easy to read. Marvin is a wonderful character. He propels the whole story with his humor, intelligent, and compassion. The supporting character are good and help the story progress nicely. Marvin is so star struck by The Core he is pulled in two directions . His friends seem to abandon him but come to his aid when really needed. Marvin eyes are opened to the dark world of power and how it corrupts. Great story, can be part of a series but it is a stand alone . I will be looking for more by this author . Really liked his writing style and pace.
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Format: Kindle Edition
We all love a good book about super heroes and what they're capable of but Mr. Long takes a unique approach to the dark side of responsibility. The main character Marvin discovers what's really going on behind the scenes and realizes not everything is black and white. Love it...easy read, refreshing perspective and I didn't want to put it down. Love to see this expand into a series.
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