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STRONGER by Michael Carroll Kirkus Star


A Super Human Crash

From the Super Human series, volume 3

by Michael Carroll

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-25761-2
Publisher: Philomel

The third in the Super Human series continues to deliver a high-octane blend of concept and action.

Gethin Rao never expected a Sunday choir performance to drastically alter his life. In a brilliant flash, he changes into a 12-year-old bright-blue giant whose skin is nearly bulletproof and who can crush cars and helicopters with his bare hands. Gethin becomes Brawn and collaborates with others who have been given extraordinary abilities, but he grows to distrust their leader. When faced with a pivotal choice, Brawn follows his conscience, betraying the superheroes and branding himself an outlaw. Examining the lifespan of a single superhuman and tracing his passage from idealist to relativist, Carroll creates an utterly compelling narrative that ends all too soon. Experiencing an authentic emotional journey over years spent running and suffering, Brawn touches all the chords. Carroll introduces flaws at the right moments, making his giant blue man feel more real than many other protagonists in teen novels today. The moral absolutism of the first in the series (Super Human, 2010) makes a momentary reappearance, but in the most fitting of ways.

Readers beguiled with the Super Human trilogy can plunge immediately into the Quantum Prophecy trilogy, to which this has been a prequel. They will be glad they don't have to wait. (Science fiction. 12 & up)