No one on earth has anything negative to say about this book, so the challenging part of reviewing Perry Moore's first novel is how to reign in the geyser of good vibes. Hero is the first in a series of young adult fantasy novels that centers on the life of a gay teen superhero, Thom Creed. Moore is ridiculously qualified to write such a book. Openly gay and with a long career in the film industry where he is perhaps best known as the executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia series, it is unsurprising that this novel was an uncontested favorite to win the Lambda Literary Award in the Young Adult category.
It's not only the young adult crowd and the GLBT crowd that are hopping on board this love train, but also the superhero-loving crowd of comic book geeks. Leading the bandwagon of support for this exciting new series is none other than Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee, who is developing a television show based on Moore's novels. The audiobook actually opens with a jolly introduction from Stan Lee, whose enthusiastic recommendation alone should be enough reason to listen to this book.
But there is still more goodness, in that the novel itself is narrated by Michael Urie, the openly gay stage and screen actor best known for his recurring role as Marc St. James on the hit television series Ugly Betty. Urie is gifted with a knack for character voices, and delivers a dozen uniquely hilarious and heartwarming voices for the various superheros and wannabes in this novel. There's the League, featuring an alien calm for Justice, a publicity-ready sparkle for dreamy blond Uberman, and a slinky rasp for speedy Golden Boy, the sidekick of Silver Bullet who has been demoted to trainer of the League's next crop of heroes. Thom Creed, in the universally appealing tones of an outsider's tenderly introspective coming-of-age, is among this crop. He is joined by the voices of perpetually grouchy Scarlett, drippy nosed Typhoid Larry, and sarcastic chain-smoking psychic Ruth, all hiding secrets of their own.
Perry Moore has written a book that does exactly the right thing at the right time, bringing together a remarkably broad audience in a way that can only be described as a game changer for the several genres it bridges. Whatever reason you might have for wanting to give it a listen, Michael Urie's action-packed rendering of familiar feelings and unpredictable situations ensures that you will not even consider pressing that pause button the future of the world is on the line, in more ways than one. Megan Volpert
In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the Leaguethe very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then theres the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay.
But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.
To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his fathers past, and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.
Timely and inspiring,Hero tackles love, friendship, and the struggle to come to terms with who we really are in a sincere and suspenseful way.
This audiobook includes an exclusive introduction written and read by Stan Lee himself.
©2007 Perry Moore (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Moore's casting of a gay teen hero in a high-concept fantasy marks an significant expansion of GLBTQ literature into genres that reflect teens' diverse reading interests; given the mainstream popularity of comics-inspired tales, the average, ordinary, gay teen superhero who comes out and saves the world will raise cheers from within the GLBTQ community and beyond." (Booklist)
I must say first that I can relate to this book very much, except for the super powers of course. I loved the whole story so much that it makes me sad that I've already finished it. There are really cool characters and really weird ones too. The story kept it slightly dark but dynamic and enjoyable too. It really kept the book interesting and me glued to the point that I didn't want to do anything but listen to the book. Hopefully the writer will make a sequel to this book. This is most definitely a good read or listen.
I could not stop I had to finish this all the way thru I sat in my vechical for a over a half hour just to finish the book. I made me laugh and cry. I hope there is another addition to this book I would love to get it.
Under the guise of a fun filled comic book adventure, lies the story of a young boy struggling with his sexuality. In a country, that we must remember was first settled by Puritans,and 400 years later still cannot rid itself of the disdain it continues to show towards sex in general. Add to that the idea, that sex in question may not be what we consider "normal", and most people still tend to react extremely poorly.
Let me get off my soapbox here, and just say this is a thoroughly engaging hero, that while enjoying all his adventures, we might even learn something on a deeper level. Don't be afraid to read this book. With all due respect to other readers who have a right to have their opinion, do not be afraid to confront masturbation. This is after all a book for teens. I personally found the way Mr. Moore presented the scene rather "innocent".
Read this book, have your kids read it, have your grandkids read it and then "talk about it". I intend to buy a bunch of written copies and hand them out.
This is an incredible book. Enjoy!
The Audible reviewer Megan Volpert starts her review with "No one on earth has anything negative to say about this book", but I find that hard to believe. For one thing, the author should have invented more of his own superheros instead of re-hashing old favorites. He renamed them, but it's apparent that Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, etc. are all there. The plot is pretty predictable and offers no real surprises.
Thom encounters a LOT of SUPER-negative reaction to his gayness which I suppose if you lived in deepest, darkest Biblebelt or else in the heart of Red-neck-land (often the same thing) you would probably still encounter. It's a little hard for me to go with it in this day and age, but then I live in a socially advanced city so maybe I'm not the best judge on that.
The premise is great, I love the idea of a gay superhero kid. I like his superhero talent, and that he has a great relationship with his Dad, and the story of his disappeared Mom. It's apparent that this is Moore's first novel, but for a first novel the writing is overall good enough. I hope that in future novels he develops his own line of superheros and makes them become classics rather than reusing other people's creations.
Moore writes romance very badly, and the story would have been a lot more interesting without it, gay or straight. It doesn't matter who is involved in a romance, if it's badly written it really grates and romance is well known for being one of the hardest things to write well. Our hero Thom thinks like the heroine in a cheesy romance novel whenever he starts contemplating his own gayness or love life. He jumps to silly conclusions that are obviously wrong, and reacts with equal silliness. Could have been done a lot better, or better yet left out. I dinged this story down to 2 stars instead of 3 for this.
Moore also leaves the open question, if Thom can heal everyone, why doesn't he heal everyone? There are sick people all around him, but he doesn't always fix them. I guess I agree with "David" who also reviewed this book saying: "Yay" for the message, "Meh" for the story".
The narrator did a great job. There are a handful of narrators who are my very favorite and I wouldn't say he falls into that category, but if I wanted another book and it was narrated by him it I'd consider that to be just fine. I didn't mind his voices or inflections at all, and I'm pretty picky about narration.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the book but after hearing the audio excerpt I decided to give it a try in the audio version and was surprised! It was pretty good, definately made me laugh out loud in some places! I loved "KickAss" and this was a good combination of it and other super hero characters.
A great book. I wish all young gay male teens to read this. We all need someone to look up to. Well written and very humorous. Michael Urie did an amazing job reading. Very enjoyable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I like science fiction, fantasy and mystery novels, especially the cosy mysteries and loved comic books as a kid. I found Thom's romantic relationships very easy to relate to and enjoyed seeing which heros were inspired by which comic character from my childhood. The only reason I took a star off is b/c I didn't really understand the transformation of Thom's powers. Perhaps I wasn't listening carefully enough but how the transmutation of the energy from healing into other abilities occurred was confusing. It's probably just being overly analytical on my side but it did bother me. I was quite sad to find that Perry Moore has recently passed away and that one of his projects had been a sequel to this novel. The first thing I did after finishing it was to look for the next book as I really wanted to find out what was next for these characters. RIP, Mr. Moore and I'm glad you gave us this book before your untimely passing.
I often found myself asking if this title was written just for me. Being a gay superhero has been difficult and it was nice to hear of someone else who has been through the same experiences as I have. I have repeatedly recommended this book to others so they can better understand what I went through as a young super-hero and in many ways am still going through as an adult. If you are looking for a fun read, this is it. If you are looking for a coming-of-age story like you have never heard, this is it. I highly recommend this title and anxiously await the next book in the series!!
This is an absolutely fabulous book. This author is fearless. It is truly amazing the number of issues he decided to pack into this book. Not just gay teen issues (angst and very light romance), racial injustice, bigotry, heroes not acting heroic, alien invasions and a murder mystery for good measure. If you were a child of comic heroes as I was (I am a Marvel girl, but never missed an episode of Justice League), you will enjoy this universe, however dark it might be. This is not a light comic romp, there are some truly dark stuff. The “big battle” is truly epic and has a twist ending. I think the author does a great job of creating the universe and delivering a exciting and compelling story; even though some of it drags a little. The narrator in the audio version is also fabulous. He has a great diversity of voices, his pacing is spot on and he injects a lot of emotion into the characters. I’ve seen some reviewer compare it to The Watchman meets the Justice League. I agree with that but would add, The Watchman meets the Justice League meets Something Like Summer. For fans of the young gay romance genre, you know what I mean.
I grew up in a household full of books. I love reading, and I love having someone read to me.
I really just picked this up on a whim. I liked the concept of a gay superhero who is just starting on his journey.
This book exceeded any expectations I could have had for it. It had moment of humor that would make me laugh out loud, as well as brilliantly written scenes that caused me to cry. The characters had flaws that made them real and relatable, and even some of the secondary two dimensional characters you can envision seeing around school or the workplace.
I also want to say that Michael Urie's reading of this was brilliant! I don't think they could have found a better narrator. His reading of each character was well done, and allowed me to sink into the story without getting distracted by confusion of which character was supposed to be talking.
I could go on and on about how much I love this book, but I think I should end this review by stating I love Ruth. She is my favorite character, and if I had nothing else to say about this book it would be that I'm glad I read it, just because I got to meet her.
I will indeed be reccomending this book in any format to people.
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