Brewner’s debut YA superhero adventure mixes high-octane antics with shadowy, sinister conspiracies.
Fifteen-year-old Michael lives in an African village with his brother, Alex. Each of the boys possesses superhuman abilities, setting him apart from fellow villagers. Everything changes, however, when the brothers’ idyllic life is shattered by the arrival of other superhumans—some planning to harm the boys, some to help. Auto, head elder of the Trifecta Council, convinces Michael that he can better protect his fellow villagers by coming with him to America to hone his abilities in Hero City. Michael is hesitant, though, since he views American society as brutal and corrupting, but he decides to make the journey anyway. In Hero City, Michael meets other heroes, friends and allies such as Blue Moon, a stunningly beautiful girl with the ability to control minds by gazing into her targets’ eyes. Unfortunately, Michael also discovers conspiracy and intrigue: Someone is killing heroes, and there may be a traitor within the Trifecta ranks. All in all, it makes for a rough first year for the trainee heroes at the Trifecta Academy—one made more difficult for Michael after he discovers that he bears the same birthmark on his chest as Mr. Infinity, “the greatest and most powerful hero in the world’s history.” Brewner makes full use of a wide variety of superhero tropes, from the frequent, over-the-top action sequences to the shadowy villain, secret master plan and Chosen One destined to save the world from evil. The occasional spate of clunky dialogue can be forgiven, although the book would have benefited from additional copy editing. Additionally, each chapter begins with a line that functions as a summary or teaser of the coming chapter, but formatting makes it difficult to separate that line from the chapter’s real first line. Yet that shouldn’t stop eager thrill-seekers from finding what they’re looking for.
A rollicking superhero adventure that, much like its protagonist, shows promise but lacks polish.