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)
Supporting Characters. The theft of existing tropes. Unrealistic treatment of main character. Treatment of gay characters.
Most of his character origins are completely ripped from very recognizable and established popular superhero characters. Thom's choices infuriated me as both a gay man and a comic book enthusiast. The homophobic overtones of the story are both unrelenting, unbelievable and completely infuriating--as are the choice of the main character. Thank goodness there will never ever be a sequel.
Every character sounds like a slightly different flavor of an overwrought drag queen. Truly a difficult listen.
Thom's powers are interesting, but underdeveloped.
It's a wonderful take on super heroes & also a great coming of age/coming out story.
I liked all the characters, but Ruth was the best!
On the whole I liked his performance. However in several instances Thom seemed to be channeling Bette Davis.
Eclectic reader, from YA to adult. Favorites include romance & mystery, but I'll give anything with interesting words a try. Love diversity.
I had already read Hero as a paper book before getting this audiobook. It was already a wonderful story, one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. In audiobook form, I would say that people are missing out if they don't get to experience Michael Urie's fabulous narration.
There is a lot to this story. Sometimes it felt, like if this were some other book, that things would be tidying up and ending, but in Hero, surprise, there's more. That's because it has a lot of layers and depth. There are so many different aspects being dealt with in this book, of family, of friendships, of self, and then there's the great action and adventure of it being a book about heroes. It satisfies on all those levels.
I don't think I can say enough about Michael Urie's narration. He has all that you'd want - great emotion, proper pacing, and distinct voices - but he's done it to the highest degree possible. Each character - male, female, young, old - is crafted and delivered perfectly. After this, I'm going to be judging narrators off the high bar he's set for me.
Everyone knew that Tom was gay, yet he struggled with people knowing. Come out, be done with it, and develop and explore the powers that we barely learn about until the end of the book.
Good narrator, but a story that is not usually my style. I kept waiting for the inspirational part of the story... but it never arrived.
A simple coming of age/ hero story with a few twists. The end was a little more predictable than fun, but well worth a read. Or listen
Report Inappropriate Content