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 read and listen to a lot of books and this one could very well be the worst book I've purchased on Audible. I got it on a sale because of other reviews and Stan Lee doing a forward for it but an hour into it I couldn't take it anymore and if I could return it I would. The Narrator is great it's the story that I didn't like at all.
The focus on homosexuality.
The readers performance was fine it is the story that is lacking
The main character.
look, this is a novel about a gay teenager and his former, crippled superhero dad. okay, i get that, its young adult too, so not many difficult words, fine, whatever, still looks like it has potential. but i loathe it when the author doesn't have the story telling grace to not go with the miracle ending. i'm trying not to spoil it, in case you like that kind of thing, but i actually liked the book until the last 5 pages, where this crud was pulled out and killed the story.
young adult has its own issues of simplification through vocabulary and dealing with teen angst, but i thought it was well done, even if the main character is a bit emo.
but i cannot overlook poor storytelling. a better ending would have been death than a miracle save in my opinion.
he does do a interesting parallel between the alien superhero and the main character that was thought provoking about who has responsibility for your outlook on whatever situation you are dealt with.
Just finished the book! A definite must-have! Moore does a beautiful job telling the story of Thom Creed as he discovers who he is and what choices he must make in this unforgettable tale of self-acceptance, secrecy, and rebirth.
The narrator also does a great job giving each character his or her own distinct voice.
I read this book really wanting to love it. The idea of a teen gay superhero was wonderful. I could see the angst and heartbreak.
However, when reading the book, it fell so short of the mark for me. I didnt feel like it focused on the superhero part enough. He seemed to have more focus on the gay, and people's reactions to him being gay. It wasn't a superhero who happens to be gay... But a gay boy who happens to be a superhero. I hope that makes sense to those of you ready this review. Whilst his inner drama of dealing with his feelings about being accepted in his life and loved for who he was had merit, I just felt flat over the entire thing.
I thought the blatant use of descriptions of Superman and Wonder Woman were a sign of lazy on the part of the writer.
The plot too was a bit lazy and predictable. I knew who the villan was immediately.
I love that gay people are represented in this book, but how about them truly having some personal power and acceptance for themselves. How about a mentor that helps him accept himself in a more positive way rather than him being ashamed for the entire book, then a little P.s. Happy ending where it's all ok.
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.
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