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Legacy Hardcover – October 13, 2009
From School Library Journal
Grade 8–10—Lucas is 18 years old and going nowhere fast. Having dropped out of high school, he's decided on life as a mechanic and small-town anonymity—until his mysterious billionaire father swoops in from Seraph City to tell him that he is, in fact, destined to become a superhero. Lucas's father is dying and needs someone to take over his work as the Raptor, a crime fighter who has spent his life trying to take back Seraph City from the thugs, petty criminals, and evil forces that have plagued it since Lucas left town as an infant. A surprise attack on the trailer park where Lucas and his mother live convinces him to take the gig, if for no other reason than to exact revenge on his now-dead mother's murderers. After rigorous training, Lucas eventually takes over as the city's resident billionaire philanthropist and hero. Action-packed and filled with gadgetry of all sorts, Legacy will serve well as an introduction to the superhero genre. Those already schooled in the lore of caped crime fighters may not be as impressed, as elements of the story are derivative of many classics. Some references to heavy drinking push this toward a slightly higher age group, but it is likely that middle-grade students will devour it as well.—Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tom Sniegoski has worked in the comic book field for several years. He is the author of the Fallen books, recently made into a TV movie for the ABC Family Channel, and of the Sleeper series. He is also the author of the Owlboy series for Yearling. He lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts
Top customer reviews
He instantly creates a closeness with the hero and characters, creating a believable scenario, city, bad guys and love. Easy reading by a
One should first note that the title "Legacy" is a reference to an element of comic fiction; "Legacy Heroes". Legacy Heroes are heroes that have taken their name and overall statis from a predicessor who either dies or retires. Notable examples include the Blue Beetle, Robin, The Flash and many others. It should be stipulated that just because characters share names with a preexisting character, they aren't nessisarily legacy heroes. For instance, Hal Jordan isn't a legacy hero, despite taking the Green Lantern identity following Alan Scott. The difference is intent. A Legacy Hero must not just share a name with his predicessor. He must become his predicessor and truely replace him. And this, fair readers, is the core premise of this book.
The following summary may contain Plotpoints not covered by the books cover which may qualify as spoilers. Read at your discretion.
Lucas Moore is a Highschoool dropout living in a trailer park in Texas with his mother. He knows nothing of his father, save for the fact that he contributed to his mother leaving Seraph City, this world's equivolent to Gotham City. However, one day, a man comes to the Autoshop where Lucas works, claiming to be the boy's father. The man, Clayton Hartwell, also reveals that he is The Raptor, the Batman-esque superhero of Seraph City. He wants Lucas to replace him as Raptor because he is dying. Lucas refuses, not wanting to risk his life for a man he never knew.
However, things quickly shift to the worst when a group of supervillains attack Lucas' home and kill his neighbors and his mother. Driven by a want for justice, Lucas joins his father and begins his training. However, things quickly begin to fade from a clear black and white to a grey area when Lucas sees just what lengths his father goes to to fight crime. Coupled with a rather unnerving encounter with his father's former sidekick and a series of mysterious deaths, and our protagonist is suddenly unsure of who to trust.
As an analysis of the Legacy hero concept, "Legacy" performs above average in terms of its story. The ideas about what makes a Legacy Hero, coupled with a rather troubling look into the psyche of a superhero pushed over the edge by life, makes this a very introspective read for superhero fans. If I have one complaint, it's the details, or rather, the lack thereof. Seriously, you have to wait until he actually reveals his identity to Lucas before you learn the Raptor's symbol is a bird's claw. You also never learn what Talon's (previously mentioned sidekick) costume looks like in any significant detail. I can understand how a comic writer can fail to note such things, since details like design are usually left for the artist to interpret. Still, in a novel, especially a superhero novel where the images have to be formed in the reader's mind, details delivered timely and en-masse are preferred.
In all, I totally recommend this to fans of superheroes. It's a worthwhile little read that will definity make you ready to tackle an army of gang members in Zombie Makeup.
(Personal note: Who the *&@$ designed the hardcover? I mean, I'll admit the paperback is kinda dated with the 90's style rubber-suited superhero, but at least it makes sense. The Hardcover is so random, I can't possibly guess what the book is about. Good call Bluefire for picking a more traditional cover. WTTW though; the book says Raptor wears a cowl, not a domino mask. And, again, actual design details would have eleviated our author's mistake in the book by making Raptor's appearance clear on the cover.)
Tom Sniegoski always does a great job with reluctant heroes, especially those who are teenaged. There's a lot of shaky ground you have to navigate when you're stuck in that limbo period when you're not a kid any more but you don't feel like an adult yet. In Legacy, Sniegoski uses that to his advantage, contrasting Lucas' admittedly dead-end but comfortable life and lack of motivation with that of his father, an ailing billionaire who is secretly acting as a vigilante superhero known as the Raptor. If you enjoyed Sniegoski's previous books, especially The Fallen books, you should definitely check out Legacy.
But the plot does move quickly, which is essential in a short novel like LEGACY. Lucas encounters a former protege of Raptor and begins to realize that his dying father is concealing dark secrets. Sniegoski develops an entertaining origin for Lucas, and I like his helpers - a teenaged girl and a crippled old man. I'd be enthusiastically recommending it to comic book fans if it weren't for that pesky use of a hated trope.