“Four thousand years ago, the world’s first superhuman walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attack, and the ability to read minds, this immortal being used his power to conquer and enslave nations. Now plans are in motion that will transport this superhuman to the present, where he’ll usher in a new age of tyranny unlike anything the world has ever seen.
Determined to stand against their enemies, using powers they’ve only just begun to master, is a ragtag group of young heroes. For them this first test may be their greatest. . .or their last.”
A couple of weeks ago, I spent an afternoon inside a bookstore. With the mindset of not having any more books to read (I had around four unread books left in my bookcase), I decided to hunt for new things to read. So I went to my favorite part of the bookstore: the young adult section. There’s something so unapologetically escapist about reading books where witches and wizards exists, where there are magical beasts good and bad, and where superhumans can change the course of history–like what happens in Michael Carroll’s Super Human.
In Super Human, we have a growing number of protagonists. By the time the novel ended, I think we have five. But I liked anchoring myself the most with Lance McKendrick, a wise-cracking fourteen year old who doesn’t have any superhuman abilities. In a novel full of superhumans, it’s refreshing to have one who is normal–also, it’s easier to see the fictional world through his eyes.
The above-mentioned blurb doesn’t tell the whole story, by the way. Obviously. But what I mean is that there’s a reason why young heroes are the ones coming to arms in the story, and not the adults. It’s not mentioned in the blurb, but it plays an integral part in the whole of the story. It’s also a spoiler, which is why it’s not mentioned. Kudos to the publishers for thinking this through. And going back to the original point of me bringing this up: I loved how there’s an actual (and plausible) reason for why the young heroes are coming to arms.
I’ve gotten tired of young protagonists who seem to be able to do things better than adults without any reason. Which is why I’m not very fond of the Young James Bond novels, of which I’ve read a grand total of two. This is the reason why I liked Artemis Fowl (him being a kid is what allowed him, initially, to make contact with faeries) and Alex Rider (him being a kid is what makes him an unlikely spy). And this is also the reason why I enjoyed Super Human immensely. Because there is a reason. And because everything that happens in the book is well-plotted–and well-planted.
At the beginning of Super Human, we get a slight mention of why Lance (the protagonist I like to think of as the main one) is out and about, instead of being in school. This is brought up again a few chapters later, when our protagonists are given a new facet as to why Lance was able to galivant. And then there’s the frequent paranoia of Roz Dalton about her older brother. It’s written off as something silly at first, but as you delve deeper into the novel, you get this foreboding feeling that maybe Roz isn’t just being paranoid. There are more examples, but I might end up spoiling the book if I ramble on.
But enough of talking up the book. I’ve learned my lessons on expectations, and I don’t want anyone thinking that this book is the best thing ever.
Still, if you’re looking for something to read, and superheroes are something you’re interested in: give Super Human a try.