Monday, October 4, 2010

Boy Book Review - The Hero

HeroHero by Perry Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thom Creed lives in a world where super-powered heroes are real and protect humanity from super-powered villains. He hides two secrets from his father, the former hero known as Major Might but now considered a pariah after his failure left thousands dead. Thom is fast developing a superpower of his own, the ability to heal illness and injury. And the League, the organization of superheroes that abandoned his father years earlier, wants him to join them.

Thom’s other secret – he’s gay.

He fears revealing either part of himself will hurt his father. While Thom forces down his growing feelings for Goran, his rival on the basketball court, he can’t deny his desire to be accepted by the League. That means he has to learn to handle his new powers while continuing to hide his inner feelings. This includes his concern that revealing his secrets would destroy his relationship with his father, fear that he will never find true love, and pain when he realizes he’s fallen for someone who already has a girlfriend. And then there’s that Dark Hero guy who seems to be stalking Thom. Dark Hero refuses to be part of the League and no one knows his true identity. But somehow he’s always around, apparently determined to ferret out every one of Thom’s secrets.

Thom wants to make a difference in the world. He wants to find a place for himself. Most of all, he wants his father’s acceptance. Although The Hero was written several years ago, the news headlines of today documenting bullying and teen suicides like the recent deaths of Tyler Clementi and Raymond Chase, make Thom’s promise to himself that he won’t even consider suicide all the more poignant. Thom faces a moment of truth, when the only way to protect an innocent man means revealing himself to a world that considers his sexual orientation more than just a violation of the morality clause in the League contract.

Naturally, the fate of the entire world ends up resting, literally, on Thom’s shoulders. And that’s when he learns the true caliber of his father, and the real strength of their relationship

The author, Perry Moore, renders Thom's emotions and journey in a believable fashion. Yes, the book has flaws. I kept wondering why Thom didn’t at least try to heal Miss Scarlet, another League newbie, when he discovered her illness. The League heroes are such obvious caricatures of the comic book heroes I read as a child it became a game to note who was, and who was not, included. And Dark Hero’s secret was easily guessed. Yet it all worked. And when Thom and his father face each other for the last time, my heart jumped. The Hero is a major coming-of-age, finding-yourself novel, with a strong and sympathetic, a good father and strong cast of friends, and I look forward to a sequel.

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Liz Kreger said...

Sounds like a good book, Barb. Thanx for the review and insight.

Clarissa Southwick said...

You always find the most interesting books to review. Thanks for posting this. :)