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Powerless (The Hero Agenda) Paperback – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Even though she doesn't have a superpower herself, Kenna has grown up immersed in superhero culture. After a group of villains break into her mother's lab, Kenna's outlook on the superhero world starts to unravel as she realizes that the do-gooders she has always admired are engaging in malicious deeds. Now she must work with the most unlikely of characters (villians!) in order to set things right. There is no shortage of action as this band of teenagers tries to sneak into several well-guarded facilities, but unfortunately other aspects of the novel don't hold together as well. Characters such as Kenna's rebellious best friend "Rebel" and her "dark-and-scowly" love interest are not very original or well developed. While teens in these situations may spend a lot of time arguing about what next step to take, too much of the novel is spent on the characters' bickering. The major theme explored here is the thin line between good and evil, and while there is an interesting parallel that can be drawn to the current actions of U.S. government organizations, most of Kenna's narrative is lacking in subtlety. With a cliff-hanger ending and plenty of dangling threads, there is ample opportunity for a sequel. Marie Lu's The Young Elites (Putnam, 2014) offers a more nuanced portrait of young superheroes and Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor, 2008) presents a better glimpse into corrupt government behavior. VERDICT Fans of fast-paced action and superhero books may enjoy this, but readers looking for more complexity should search elsewhere.—Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning and bestselling author of teen fiction about a mythological high school, mermaid princesses, monster-hunting triplet descendants of Medusa, and dark fae princes.
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Her mother is an amazing scientist who tries her best to keep Kenna safe. I liked all the characters in this story. Kenna's transformation is amazing as the story goes along. The author did a great job with making the book so engrossing that you don't ever want to put it down. There is action from the beginning to the ending (cliff-hanger).
It was a 4/5 for me. I really liked the characters (so much so that I bought the second book already).
Kenna is a normal human girl. Her parents were superheroes, her father died when she was young and her mother is more of the super genius type of hero. Kenna though has her own unique talent thanks to her mom, she is immune to hero and villain's superpowers. She takes an injection every so often that gives her this immunity and it's come in handy a few times, but it's a secret she must keep or else there would be trouble for her and her mom. And in part, it's what gets her into trouble one night while she works in her mom's lab. She's her mom's "ranscriptionist", basically copying her mom's sloppy notes into legible format. One night, villains break into the lab and all hell breaks loose.
It's not long before Kenna learns that there is more going on to the villains breaking in. They were looking for someone they believe the heroes are keeping prisoner, but Kenna isn't quick to believe it all. Until her best friend, Rebel fills in her on a thing or two. It's not really until Kenna's mom gets kidnapped or otherwise goes missing that she's willing to get on board with a rescue mission.
Now Kenna puts aside long held prejudices against the villains and works with them. The heroes have been keeping secrets for too long. Plus, she needs to find her mom so she can get another dose of her shot to keep up her immunity, for the medicine is already beginning to wear off.
This was just such an action packed read! I loved every minute of it! If I hadn't had prior obligations to take care of yesterday, I could easily see myself finishing this then! It was incredible!! I loved this cast of characters, we have our heroine Kenna, who has a few things to learn about herself. Internally, emotionally, and all that jazz! But the villains, oh my! I love those guys! They are incredible! Draven is Kenna's potential love interest. I love how these two interacted. She stands up to him, especially when she's against him. And he even tries to be heroic, almost, in the little things that he does around her. Otherwise, these two are pretty much in each other's faces shouting a lot and arguing, but you can definitely tell that these two have a chemistry together long before they realize it!
And then there's Dante, Draven's cousin. It's his brother who is missing and he just so happens to be Rebel's secret boyfriend. We learn a lot about hero and villain differences in this one. It's definitely something you could see with some prejudices that still exist in our society today, and here these teenagers are able to shove those aside and work together, even get as close to friendship then you wouldn't think possible!
There's also Nitro, another villain who cracks me up! He's a bit hotheaded, but man does that boy have power! Then bring in Kenna's ex-boyrfriend, hero Jeremy, who's basically a techno-whiz and wow! The dynamics between these guys is hilarious! Not to mention a little bit of jealousy on Draven's side!
Not only was this an action packed read, it was quite suspenseful! It sort of had a conspiracy theory going, but we have yet to learn the whys of it all. There's still a lot left unsaid and even more added mysteries and questions get brought up by the end! And let me tell you, I about had a heart attack at about the 96% point! And just as I can almost, almost breathe a sigh of relief, the tension mounts up again and so does my heartrate! The wait for the next book will be excruciating!! It will be painful and unbearable!! And OMG I SOOOO need there to be second book asap!!! The journey has only just begun for Kenna as she learns the true difference between hero and villain!
If you're looking for a different kind of read, you can't get more different than a superhero and super-villain kind of read! Action packed, tension driven, filled with suspense, comedic relief, stunning revelations and of course, a budding romance, this book has it all! Powerless was quite the powerful read!! ;) And I so cannot wait for more!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
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