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 have read this book at least 10 times since it came out, it never gets old. I decided to try it out as an audio book and was excited to see it was narrated by Michael Urie one of my favorite actors. His performance of the story was perfect! I'm so glad to be able to hear someone else give this story the reading it deserves.
Loved the book and I hope more follow it's example.
To me it represented the struggle of life's circumstances and the ability to defy being defined by them.
The most memorable moment was near the end, when the the reader gets to catch a glimpse of what made the father such a great character.
[Couldn't buy the eBook, so this was the next best way to honor the author] No review for the narrator to offer.
I liked it. I had been a super hero fan since youth. My favorite being Wonder Woman, but if I had read the latest than superman would do. So wanting something fun I picked this to listen to and it was as good as the dear heroes of yesteryear. I loved the young Dario coming into his powers. I liked the part about coming into ones own and accepting the truth. Bravo! They are still fighting the evils of our world. Loved it!
Just a guy that likes a good story.
So this is a great story about the struggles of being a gay boy in America. I see this all of the time in daily life and it make me very sad for the kids who have to deal with that kind of persecution. That being said, the novel summary plays like it is a super hero book. In reality it is a book about the trials and tribulations of a kid who doesn't align with societies preconceived placement who just happens to have super powers. It is a good novel with a good story but make no mistake, this is not a super hero novel, this is a novel that attempts to bring light to a challenging social problem through super hero fiction. This story gets 4 star instead of five not because of the afore mentioned summary issues, but instead because of the 'woe is me' feeling through the book. Instead of a feeling of empowerment, I just felt sad which made it a hard listen.
I chose this book just because it sounded different. It was a great listen. His hero is so honest human and broken. His struggles are the same as anyone his age , he, just, has the added extra of superpowers.
listening to such blatant bigotry and heterosexism in this day and age was painful at best. felt relief when the book ended. almost quit with an hour left.
I was hesitant to get this book because anti-prejudiced propaganda was repeatedly regurgitated on my school desk as I was growing up. (I did always wonder why it's only blacks and gays they care about rather than females, Latinos, and ugly people. Just kidding, I know why.)
But, I figured that if its good enough for Stan Lee, it's good enough for me. And it really was.
I thought that I wouldn't want to hear about all his little problems. But I did. I have not been so interested in what happens to a character since when I was ten years old and reading Harry Potter. This may have something to do with the fact that every time someone has innately understood the way I think, it has been a gay man, but even so, that's saying something.
Go ahead, spend the credit!
FYI it's not erotic.
If you're a comic book nerd, like me, you'll definitely enjoy this superhero story. It unapologetically steals several characters from the DC and Marvel Universes (each with enough subtle changes as to avoid being TOO cliche), but the story is still fun. The first few chapters contain a LOT of flashbacks that drew me pretty far out of the narrative, but I had a blast once I got past that point.
This book was completely unoriginal, I can't imagine any books from these authors would have any imagination.
There were no characters in this book, only thinly veiled references to already established super heroes.
Was this a FanFic turned novel? Every character was ripped from well known comic books with slight name changes.
Sci-Fi & Vampire Novel Freak
Yes beacause the main character reminds us that despite the consequences you should do the right thing, be true to yourself which are nice ideas that often need reinforcing.
Can think of another book I have read where the main character was not living up to their potential because of parental discrimination, but landed a traineeship based on their natural abilities and ended up in a team of unusual individuals who fit together professionaly, but who really needed each other out side of the job.
I liked the accent given to Warrior Woman, have no clue where it came from. Thom was the favourite for me.
No it didn't have that must finish it now element, I listened to it over a weekend.
Some Goodreads reviews sight sloppy writing but this must be more apparent in print because to book seemed smooth when narrated. A sequel might be interesting to see how blossoming relationships develop and where the League went after the final confrontation.
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