Summary from The Book Depository: The Avengers meets Louis Sachar in this hilarious and action-packed tween novel by John David Anderson, which Publishers Weekly called a "superhero story that any comics fan will enjoy" in a starred review.Andrew Bean might be a part of H.E.R.O., a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn't mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds. First, there's Drew's power: Possessed of super senses his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet he's literally the most sensitive kid in school. Then there's his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: Middle school is a drag even with superpowers.But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justicia, superheroes begin disappearing at an alarming rate, and Drew's two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It's what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?"
Source: Purchased from The Book Depository.
Links : The Book Depository, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
One of the things I really loved about this story was how 'down to Earth' it was within a fantasy tale about superheroes and their sidekicks. It is written in a fun comedic style that does not hide both the good and negatives sides of the existence of superheroes and villains. Drew's power is both a blessing and curse. Sure he can smell what would be the components of a bomb but he does not have superpowers to stop it mid explosion or beat up the potential villains who would be in his way. This is just an out of the box example I'm setting up but you get the gist. The novel follows Andrew Bean a.k.a. Drew who is a part of a secret organization which trains psychics. When a villain returns and wreaks havoc, the sidekicks end up having more responsibilities thrust upon them than expected. Through in real life drama, school crushes and parents who need to be kept in the dark. Childhood drama takes on a new and potentially deadly meaning as these villains are not afraid to hurt anyone adult or no to get to their goal.
The book is one that I think readers who are both love and hate superheroes can read. Why? Because it keeps the joy and woes of such a scenario and world while also bringing in the reality of the situation a lot of superhero stories gloss over for the sake of fantasy or 'that is fiction'. Drew has a crush, has to face potential death and betrayal, attacks close to home and all sorts of scenarios with long standing implications and consequences. It is not all solved within the book and in the end we get to see there are ripple effects to every decision made. Even Drew's wayward drunk mentor has a story and shows being a superhero is not all capes and victories. If you want a superhero story that is not just a superhero story then this book is for you. If you just want superheroes this book works that in as well. Either way I would recommend everyone give this a peek and see if you might enjoy it just as much as I did. MG/YA has books that dig deeper than the surface and this is one both adults and kids a like can read and see how dangerous life can be and also how great and adventurous.
Rating: 4 Stars