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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Super Powereds: Year 1

Super Powereds: Year 1 is Drew Hayes' novel about a college program for super heroes. You could think of it as being "Harry Potter" for super heroes, though having read a couple of Harry Potter novels I'd venture to say that the material here is more interesting and less cliched than the Harry Potter novels.

The premise of the novel is that the world of super-humans is divided into Supers, who have full control over their powers, and Powereds, who have no control over their powers and hence are victims of their powers, rather than super heroes. The result is that even the super-humans are divided into tiers, with some powers obviously more valuable than others.

The shtick behind this novel is that there was an experimental process that turns Powereds into Supers, and then enroll them into a college meant for training Super Heroes. A world where Super Heroes exists have been thought out, and much like The Incredibles, the need for hero licensing has much to do with insurance. I'm glad the rationale wasn't waved away, but I wished Hayes had spent more time thinking and come up with more interesting answers.

The novel started as a serialized web-series, so each chapter is short, and the book is easy reading in a breezy fashion. Character development suffers as a result, but nevertheless, the length of the material ensures that some of what Hayes throws at you will stick, so you do learn to care about the characters.

All in all, the novel is a fun summer read that's not too involved and technical, and definitely was what I needed while cycle touring. Recommended. I've checked out Year 2 from the Kindle Lending Library.

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