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 had no idea what as book was about when I picked it up. I thought it would be a simple super hero story along the lines of "Ex-Heroes" or "Tales of a D List Super Hero". I was totally wrong. WHile, as the title suggests, the plot is very predictable and rife with plot holes, the message it delivers, is a very important one of self acceptance , self confidence, and love. The fact that the main character is a gay, while a major aspect of the main character, is not the main point. What the author does a great job of showing is just how hard it is to love yourself, let alone any body else and how we can't do one without the other.
I think this is a great book for teens of any sexual orientation. It does a terrific job of shining a light on an area of adolescence that is often overlooked. Though it is not a literary master work by any means, it is certainly worth checking out.
he was fine
not the character but part of the premiss
I didn't care for the graphic homosexual content.
This book has a great message, and starts well... Unfortunately, as it progresses, it becomes more and more predictable. While the writing has wonderful moments, the story lacks the creativity that could have made this book great..
I'm really glad that I took a chance on this book - I was dreading some gay-teen angst drivel, but I think the author did a fantastic job of acknowledging the difficulties gay teens face while preventing those difficulties from stopping this "hero" from living a good life and, of course, being a hero.
Stan Lee provided the intro with an unconditional thumbs-up, and now that I've read it, I completely agree with his assessment. I very much hope that Perry Moore continues sharing his ideas with the world.
I love this book. I've read it and listened to it several times. I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the, well, love story. There are so many crappy LGBT books out there and this is not one of them.
I was heartbroken when I heard that Perry Moore had died. I really wanted to read more about Thom and his friends. Unfortunately, that will never happen. However, this book stands as s a testament to a great author's imagination and passion.
I loved this book. I'm not particularly a fan of the superhero genre, but this book was exciting, accessible, charming, and amazingly well written. I especially loved the world that Perry Moore created, and it was only enhanced by gay teen superhero wannabe Thom. The characters were likeable and well-developed, and the plot had enough action to keep you reading/listening, but didn't overpower a strong plot, which is ultimately a touching story of a boy trying to accept himself -- his sexuality, his superpowers, etc. Add to that a simply phenomenal narration by Michael Urie. I wish he could narrate my life. He is an excellent reader, but also has great voices that add so much to the story. I especially loved Jack Nicholson-esque Golden Boy. And all of the stereotypical superhero voices. This book was funny, exciting, and full of heart. I can't recommend it enough.
Terrific story of a young man trying to find his place in society. Should he follow his abilities and become a Super-Hero against his father's wishes? Should he let the world know his most tightly-held secrets?
This story has it all, infatuation, conflict, super-heros, super-villains, betrayal, underdogs, and even a cranky old lady who can see the future.
Well worth the time!
Moving, inspiring, hilarious
The universe in which it takes place is similar enough to ours that you can relate to what everyone is going through.. I think the characters in this book are incredible, they truly are 3D, dealing with being extraordinary while having to live with the complications that every day life throws your way when least expect. From family, to love to death..
Well.. His voice! Really, I couldn't believe it was the same guy from UB.. He has such a funny voice, and gives every character (particularly the lead hero and his friend Ruth) such particular traits that make them unforgettable.
YES! Alas, I couldn't but I wanted to.. And I think I would've enjoyed it even more if I had had the chance to do so.
Get this book.. It's a great story, of you're looking for super hero fiction, gay related fiction, or simply a kick-ass funny and moving story.. You'll love it.. And then you'll crash like I did when you realize that even though this book could easily be the first in a series of equally amazing books, sadly it's not to be. The author passed away a few years ago. He was the producers of the Narnia movies! Don't hold that against him, though. Anyway, get the book. And join us in missing, ever after, the true hero of this story: Perry.. Talk abou breaking barriers and creating a legacy!
The Constant Knitter
Simply one of the best stories I've ever listened too. Worthy of another listen!
Ruth. Her sage smart-assed attitude makes you think of the grandmother you wished that you had had.
The basketball workouts
where was a book like this when I was a teen?
In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!
Thom Creed has problems just like any other teenager. School, empty pockets, dreams he knows his father would disapprove of, unrequited crushes...and superpowers, the knowledge that he could never live up to his superhero parents, and the fact that he's still in the closet.
This was my first superhero book and I was expecting it to be a bit campy -- and it was! -- but I was happily surprised to find clear writing and engaging characters with real backstories as well. There are plenty of comic book elements, but Thom's journey has a lot more depth than the "BASH BOOM BAM" of a Batman-style fist fight. Sure, there are swooping superheroes, sidekicks, and villians in spades, but there is also a very delicately handled father/son relationship with all the usual complications and more, and a young woman with too much on her plate. There's an old woman with secrets of her own, a new friend Thom can't seem to stop offending, and a league full of superheroes who aren't always as cohesive as Thom would have guessed. There was a lot of plot to this book!
The story comes to a full conclusion and is a stand-alone novel. I understand the author was planning a sequel before he passed away, but nothing is missing here.
If I had one complaint it would be that things got a little rushed and jumbled at the end. I've noticed that a few other people have leapt on the fact that there's a scene involving masturbation (it's not graphic). So yes, be warned that there is a delicately broached moment where masturbation is discussed, but it's age-appropriate.
The narration was spot on. Michael Urie sounds just right, and he pulls off the other character's voices well too.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. Good YA story with some interesting different angles and great narration. If that follow-up book had been written I would have happily picked up a copy!
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