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 really enjoyed the characters. I like how the main character was a young man who made a lot of mistakes, jumped to a lot of incorrect conclusions, and had to learn a lot of life lessons. I like the portrayal of the League as a somewhat flawed organization.
My biggest problem was that I predicted every single one of the reveals significantly before it was unveiled. Although that detracted from the story somewhat, I'd still like to see more stories in this world.
He gave a distinct voice to each character, and I could always tell them apart.
Boy meets boy, with superpowers
Indie filmmaker who loves listening to books on audio
I felt as though the story was engaging and the characters was interesting. The voice over talent was top notch. What I didn't like was the way the story came together at the end, it all felt rushed and obvious.
It was sooo close to being great, that's what was frustrating.
Top 3, definitely. Not only was the narrator good enough that you didn't notice them after awhile, but the story was way better than I had anticipated. Hero turned traditional super-hero-dom on its head, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes super heroes or super powers.
All of it. I don't want to ruin anything!
Well the main character was pretty enthralling.
YES. And I will definitely be returning to it at some point!
I was pleasantly surprised with this book and really enjoyed the performance and characters. A much more interesting tale that the average superhero yarn, the characters were three dimensional and 'real' despite superpowers, powers that are sometimes more pain and strife than useful.
This is a good find fun to listen to and a good platform for understanding. I was a little reluctant to get this book but if you keep an out mind it not so bad. True it was awkward in the male on male romantic areas but after a while your wishing you could slap the kid behind the head and tell him to
This was a good read with honest, meaningful themes and realistic characters. I enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it, from the plot to the dialogue to the characters themselves. If you're into superheroes, you'll love this. Even though they got Stan Lee to write/read an introduction, most of the references and nods to the superhero genre are to DC, not Marvel. Moore does a great job of being realistic without making things too realistic for superheroes.
You absolutely should read this book; just heads up: the main character's major flaw is that he's a typical teenager who's certain the most looming personal problem in his life will utterly destroy him/the universe, of which he is the center. I remember being 17 and acting the same way, but it's so annoying. That said, the story itself acknowledges that he's blowing his fears out of proportion and a small part of the plot hinges on the fact that he's an oblivious, self-absorbed teenager. So, read this book, and just power through the whiny teenager problems, because it's totally worth it.
I really enjoyed the characters. They were interesting and facts about them were revealed in stages so you wanted to keep listening to find out more.
I enjoyed the narration. He did a good job bringing life to the characters and action.
It started off a bit slow at first, but it quickly got interesting. Toward the end, I didn't want to put it down.
I would have loved to see a sequel to this book. It'd be nice to know what happens to the characters next.
Stan Lee says it in his prologue ... a good story manages to speak to us the reader or listener on some recognizable and shared level.
Between Mr. Moore's writing and Mr. Urie's myriad of voices I was walking along with Thom and simultaneously remembering my own world with B-52 bombers flying low altitude-below-radar exercises against a backdrop of lava rock out-cropping sporadically dotting an in-land seas of wheat fields and where county-wide rivalries in basketball are tradition.
I found myself remembering wind-sprints, running the lines, climbing the peg board, posting up and playing one on one when our zone wasn't good enough; learning that I liked being on a team and hoped to god that I didn't come off as being queer or gay....
On the flip side to that...
Our town, with its sole single caution light was a singular testament to the size of the town and just how far into rural wheat and ranching country one could get....
That rugged and rural space is what houses the memories of riding hell bent for leather on our bikes to get to the tracks as a freight rolled through, and when we got older daring each other to sit under the bridge support beams when a freight came through...
and to Thom, way to go buddy...
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
First off, I am not really a very big sci-fi/super hero reader. I listened to this book because a friend recommended it. BUT I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. At times the story line was a little hard to follow and it was a bit hard to figure out which character was talking but overall it was very enjoyable. It is one of those books where you are sad when it ends, because you want to hear more.
I would definitely consider the audio edition better than the print. Michael Urie is a fantastic actor who gives three dimensions to each of the characters he voices in this book. While there are times it is hard to tell if there is a paragraph or section break, they hardly hinder the quality of the experience.
It's a unique take on a classic story. The characters are clearly derivative of comic book heroes across multiple genres, but Moore turns them on their heads. We get a behind the scenes look at what goes on for super heroes after they take their masks off. Our protagonist, Tom Creed, is unlike any comic book character, but Moore doesn't make the entire book about how he's different. We see his problems, triumphs, joys, and sorrows and identify with him on all of them.
I have not, but I definitely will now.
I listened to this on a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Half way on the ride up and half way on the ride down. I didn't listen while I was in the city because I didn't want it to end before I reached my destinations!
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