I thought that this book was much better than the first in this series. While there were still a handful of things I didn't care for, I found that there were a lot of things about this one that I enjoyed.
In this arc, Damien Locke is trying to adapt to being a half-villain living in a hero's world. He has been living with his father and his father's family for the past six months. Having been rejected by the school for villains, Damien has decided to enroll in the school for heroes. And he's trying to figure out a way to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend Kat who has recently enrolled in the villain school.
I don't want to spend too much time on what I disliked about this book, but I will give a brief list.
1) It is written in first person POV. Not my favorite style, but I can deal with it.
2) It is written in the present tense. Is the narrator describing the events as they are happening?
3) Damien's continued over exaggeration of his fear of heights. Silly to think that he is going to fall through the floor of the second story in his home.
4) Too much talk about sex. There aren't any sex scenes, but Damien talks or thinks so much about having sex with his girlfriend. Enough. We get it. He's a horny teenager. But He talks so much about it, it belittles all the other reasons why he is with his girlfriend.
What I really enjoyed about this story was Damien's growth as a character. He is still the sassy, smart alleck kid from the first book, but in this one it becomes more evident that his behavior is a defense mechanism. In this story, he finds himself surrounded on all sides by heroes, something that is very foreign to him after having lived the first 16 years of his life living with his villain mom. Damien acts obnoxiously so that he can protect himself from feeling hurt should he be faced with rejection, something that I feel he fears especially after he perceives being rejected by his mother when he begins to adopt views typical of heroes.
Damien is faced with many challenges in this arc. In school, he is struggling to accept some of the lessons being taught, especially when they are counterintuitive to what he knows of villain-kind. He is viewed as an outsider and feels pressure to prove to the faculty and student body that he can succeed at Heroesworth. At home, he is trying to fit in this his pure-hero siblings and their mother who doesn't approve of his having a villain girlfriend. (Kat happens to be the granddaughter of Damien's stepmother's arch rival.)
With Kat going to Vilmore and with Damien's stepmother not approving of her, he finds it very difficult to continue seeing her. This is only exacerbated by the fact that she is making new friends at her new school and that she has to hide the fact that she is dating a student of Heroesworth. And lastly, Damien is also trying to gain his father's approval. He doesn't have a bad relationship with his superhero dad, but they struggle to connect with each other. Damien wants to please his father, perhaps his way of showing his gratitude for being taken in when his mother kicked him out. Unfortunately, Damien's behavior often leaves his father feeling disappointed or uncertain. To make matters worse, Damien develops a villain power in addition to his existing hero power and he fears that if knowledge becomes known, he will be rejected by his school, his friends, and his family.
These challenges push Damien to really grow as a character and it is this growth that makes reading this story very enjoyable. Through his words and actions, he fights the stereotypes of both villains and heroes. That not all villains are 100% bad, nor are heroes 100% good.
On top of all these subplots, the main storyline is how Damien's friend and sidekick Sarah falls victim to one of her own devices. It causes her to have a personality shift that makes her an extreme vigilante, to the point that she herself takes on the characteristics of a villain, even though she believes that the things she is doing to combat crime are for the greater good. I thought that this story line was much more interesting than the main plot of the first book.
If you can get over the silly little plot devices and Damien's tendency to ramble and conjure up implausible scenarios, the story and minor plot lines are enjoyable and worth reading. I don't this this is a perfect book, but I still recommend it for how well the different challenges Damien faces were written and described. It is in this area where this story shined.