From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Like many kids, Alex isn't sure he wants to continue in the family business and is struggling to find his own path. Complicating matters: the family business is super-villainy. His great-grandfather was a founding member of the Cloak Society, a team of radiation-enhanced bad guys whose powers range from controlling electricity to super strength and, in Alex's case, telekinesis. His mother, nicknamed Shade, is telepathic, which presents the ultimate kid nightmare: his mother really can read his mind. On his 12th birthday, Alex stumbles in his first field test-a bank robbery-when his powers cannot open the vault and he impulsively saves Kirbie, a shape-shifting member of The Rangers of Justice and Cloak's superhero counterparts. Alex's suspicions of Cloak's true motives, coupled with his clandestine friendship with Kirbie, make him further question his future. Does he want to use his powers as a destructive force, or can he be more than just a weapon? Alex defies his parents and Cloak, fighting with the Rangers of Justice in a climactic final battle that will leave readers eagerly waiting for what comes next. Kraatz persuasively chronicles Alex's change of heart, from the opening chapter's funny and inventive pro-villain manifesto to his growing unease and courageous decision to leave the only life he's ever known. Readers who enjoy comic-book action will appreciate the original fantasy world with a detailed backstory and myriad intriguing characters. This debut novel is a strong start to a series that will likely find the same wide appeal as Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" books (Hyperion).-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A supervillain-in-training with the Cloak Society, Alex shares his ancestors’ determination to revenge a historical loss and conquer Sterling City, Texas, but when he unexpectedly and inexplicably saves the life of a do-gooder Junior Ranger, he faces choosing between his birthright and the unfamiliar feelings conjured up by a girl he hardly knew. Twelve-year-old Alex struggles with this Romeo-like angst as he continues his evil education while secretly meeting with—and considering joining—the good guys. His peers on both sides are superhero characters with varying abilities and secrets, from metal skin to the ability to become plantlike, and his own developing telekinesis is both a handy skill and a good metaphor for puberty. The debut author’s third-person narration isn’t quite as exciting or interesting as the entertaining (if hackneyed) premise needs, but comic-book lovers in the mood for some prose will appreciate the theme of being true to oneself and will also enjoy the book’s final battle, which leaves things ripe for a sequel. Grades 4-6. --Andrew Medlar