Saturday, June 06, 2015

Review: Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
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.

This is one of those books that once you finish the last page, you immediately regret ever having started it. Not because of anything wrong with it, but because you realize the book just came out a few days ago and now you have the long, arduous wait for the second book to put you out of your misery. Powerless was a surprise, even though I was eager for this book, my expectations weren't too high for it. Which is insane, since I willingly admit that I am a big fan of Tera Lynn Childs. She has coerced me past several different hang ups I have had towards books/genres/multiple POVs, just to get more of her writing. Needless to say, when Powerless showed up on my radar, I knew  I would be reading it. And as with all of her other works, this one doesn't disappoint! 

The Good
The story is very fast-paced, doesn't waste much time getting ramped up and going. I loved reading from Kenna's perspective. Where a lot of YA makes the heroine into a Mary Sue or a damsel in distress, Kenna was neither of these things. She was strong and willing to take the lead. She didn't sit around waiting for someone else to come up with the plan or to save the day. But in the same respect, she also knew when to take the back seat and let someone else's plan shine as well. This book also offered up some interesting commentary on labels and the way people are viewed because of them. What matters more, the labels we give ourselves, or the labels society give us? Does being branded powerless really mean you have no power within yourself? Does being labeled bad mean you have no good in yourself, or that the good ones have no darkness? This book does a decent job of exploring those ideas in a way that makes you question the shades of grey as well. 

The Bad
The structure of the world is really poorly set up. There is almost zero world building in the novel at all. I have almost no picture of what Kenna's world really looks like, as the book mostly focuses on the action. Which does keep the book moving at a fast clip, it also leaves you scratching your head at some of the things that happen in the book. It is briefly mentioned towards the end of the book that ordinaries have no idea that super heroes exist. How does that work? It's not like they are quiet about their power. And the government seems to be separate/have an idea about superheroes. How many superhero/villains are there? For that matter, how many ordinaries are there? There are a lot of questions about the world being set up here that are left unanswered. My only other complaint about this book would be just how irascible the villains were. Every five seconds, someone was blowing up about something that someone said. Is that a villain thing? Are they just more prone to being sensitive to what others say? It felt a little like toddlers with temper tantrums running around with super powers sometimes. 

Overall, this book was just excellent. A lot of fun, with a dash of romance and a healthy dose of action. Even if you aren't a huge fan of superhero novels, of which I am not, this book is fun enough that I think it's worth a shot! My only hesitation in recommending it right now is that it does have a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting so much more! And with no scheduled release date (at least not one that I could find), it might be a long wait for that satisfaction. 

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