Saturday, June 6, 2015

YA book review: Powerless (The Hero Agenda #1) by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs @SourcebooksFire

Powerless (The Hero Agenda #1)
by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
YA contemporary fantasy
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published January 2nd 2015)

Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

Rating: 4 of 5
Cover comment: Interesting
Book source: Netgalley

Powerless is a new series and fans of superheroes and comic books will want to check this one out. The authors, Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs have created an intriguing contemporary world with an existing'superhero' and 'villain' secret world. Kenna knows about this other world because her mother is a brilliant scientist and works at the 'heroes' lab. Her father was a great hero but he was murdered by villains in front of her. This trauma has helped shaped Kenna and now she not only assists her mom in the lab, she's also a fledgling teen scientist too, if only her mom would only have faith in the experiments she's doing. The story is fast-paced, reads like one continuous roller coaster ride, and is a lot of fun.

The beginning was extremely cool, grabbing me with Kenna's sheer determination which evolved into a spunky young woman complete with attitude and fighting skills when her beloved lab is attacked by villainous terrorists. Kenna holds her own and we learn she is not a simple human, her mom has been injecting her weekly with a special 'secret' serum she made to make her immune to any super power.

I really liked the premise of this story  and how Kenna was raised to believe all heroes are good and all villains are bad. The real world isn't so singularly color oriented which she soon finds out when her mom is kidnapped. Sneaking around the different levels of the lab opens her eyes to the truth and has her doubting everything she was raised to believe in. Labeling the good guys 'heroes' and the bad guys 'villains' just didn't do it for me. After awhile these simplistic labels annoyed me. I also wondered if the world had any inkling about the existence of these people, especially some type of online conspiracy theorists or something similar. Kenna was certainly a likable character and I got a kick out of her spirited attitude. Her describing herself as 'powerless' became grating the more she mentioned it. As for Draven, her love interest, he was swoonworthy if not a bit predictable, especially with his bad boy look and air. Kenna certainly took to him immediately, despite her internal arguments to do the opposite. Their constant arguing provided plenty of laughs and I chuckled at Kenna's snark. I liked her group of friends, especially her ex-boyfriend and computer nerd/genius Jeremy, her best friend Rebel, and the so-called villains Dante and Nitro. As a group they had a nice chemistry.

Powerless was an addicting read. Once I dove in there was no stopping. Kenna starts out as a staunch loyalist of the good guys only to discover all is not what it seems to be. Not at all. Readers know there is more to come. Despite a few minor hiccups, I really enjoyed this first book and anticipate plenty more action, excitement, drama and laughs in book two. 

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