• Wearing the Cape

  • Wearing the Cape Series, Book 1
  • By: Marion G. Harmon
  • Narrated by: K.F. Lim
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (278 ratings)

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Wearing the Cape  By  cover art

Wearing the Cape

By: Marion G. Harmon
Narrated by: K.F. Lim
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Publisher's summary

Who wants to be a superhero?

Hope did, but she grew out of it. Which made her superhuman breakthrough in the Ashland Bombing, just before starting her freshman year at the University of Chicago, more than a little ironic. And now she has some decisions to make.

Given the code-name "Astra" and invited to join the Sentinels, Chicago's premier super-team, will she take up the cape and mask and become a career superhero? Or will she get a handle on her new powers (superstrength has some serious drawbacks) and then get on with her life plan?

In a world where superheroes join unions and have agents, and the strongest and most photogenic ones become literal supercelebrities, the temptation to become a cape is strong. But the price can be high - especially if you're "outed" and lose the shield of your secret identity.

Becoming a sidekick puts the decision off for awhile, but Hope's life is further complicated when The Teatime Anarchist, the supervillain responsible for the Ashland Bombing, takes an interest in her. Apparently as Astra, Hope is supposed to save the world. Or at least a significant part of it.

©2011 Marion G. Harmon (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Wearing the Cape

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

God and Supers don't mix!

Too much religion, not enough story. Mary Sue meets the Rosaries. This story had so many mentions of God, Religion and angels, and so little about the actual weight of the situation, it bothered me. First chapter our heroine sees a child get crushed by concrete, and literally minutes later, "Wow, I am talking to Atlas!" Yeah, nothing like a scarring event to make someone suddenly switch gears. Oh and the best friend who tried to become super and dies, while the Parrisgmh tries to decide if its a suicide, just bullshit religious crap. Don't waste your money on this.

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Up, Up, and Away!

The first time I read this novel I had gotten a free copy of what turned out to be only the first few chapters of the book. I read a lot of free novels and unfortunately most of them do not leave me wanting to go out and find another of the author’s works. Wearing the Cape was different. The minute I finished it I got online and bought the full novel and then I just kept reading Harmon’s series until I finished all of them.

I like super hero stories. I’ve been reading them since my mother gave me my first comic books the summer before I entered fourth grade. Before that I’d watched the original Spiderman cartoon and the Super Friends on television. Many thousands of comics, a whole bunch of movies and television shows, and maybe two-to-three hundred super hero novels later I feel like I’m an expert on the genre. So it isn’t lightly that I say that Harmon’s Wearing the Cape is easily one of the three or four best superhero series out there.

It’s a series for people who take their supers seriously. Like all the other superhero novels out there, Wearing the Cape still demands a certain level of suspended disbelief, but there is a gritty realism in the way this world is envisioned that goes well beyond standard super hero fare—especially that coming out of the genre leaders at Marvel and DC comics. Yet all of that gritty realism doesn’t get in the way of genuine super heroics and the fun that comes from reading about them.

Hope Corrigan is an eighteen year old woman about to start her first year in college when a terrorist bomber drops an overpass on her and a bunch of other people driving on the highway. By a fluke of luck, she’s not immediately killed by the falling concrete, but she’s worried about all the other people around her and her need to help them generates a superhero breakthrough in her that launches her into her career as a superhero called Astra.

Chicago, where the series is based, is home to America’s premier superhero team, The Sentinels, and to Atlas, the world’s first superhero. They have a lot of experience training new supers and the Sentinels, like all super teams, has a legal status working with the local authorities to A) help them control supervillains and B) work as emergency response personnel during natural and man-made disasters. (You know, like a terrorist dropping an overpass onto the highway below.)

Astra’s training gives us the opportunity to painlessly discover how the superheroes function in society. No, that’s not fair, it’s not just painless it’s downright exciting. Superheroes are celebrities with fans, magazines, and clubs devoted to them. There are also movies, television shows and merchandising. They need insurance to cover the civil suits that happen when they’re called in to take down supervillains. There are government agencies that work with them and keep an eye on them. And all of this truly critical world building seamlessly flows from the text while Hope/Astra deals with the completely believable stresses of an incredibly difficult job. And that’s just the day to day problems of a superhero—the equivalent of Spiderman stopping a bank robbery on his way to the Daily Bugle. The actual mega-villain activity is worthy of the best story arcs Marvel and DC have ever put on paper.

To close I’d like to say a few words about the audio version of this novel which I just had the pleasure of listening to. I’ve read the kindle version two or three times, but the audio brings a whole new level of enjoyment to the story. You see, even though you know Hope’s just eighteen, you can forget that at times while reading, but not with a capable narrator like K. F. Lim. She gets the young Hope’s voice perfectly and the giggles and tongue-tied stutters and a dozen other little narrative effects really drive home that this is a teenager we’re reading about. It brings Harmon’s story to life even more effectively than he did.

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9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Bad story 0/10

This book is boring, and when it's not boring it's cringy. Probably skip this one.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

K.F.Lim does a superheroic job

I am not the best critic, so let me get the obvious items out of the way.

Narrated by: K.F. Lim. I don’t recall anything else narrated by Lim, but I frankly hope she becomes the voice of Astra in the series. At the same time, I hope a different person, with a lower voice, does Artemis/Bite Me. Just because. A test of a narrator is can they capture the emotions of the story in the voice(s) used. Lim couldn't have done a better job in some of the most intense scenes

Mechanically, I noted (only) two instances where lines got repeated. Perfectly tolerable. Intolerable would have been dropped text or paragraphs. I joked about wishing I didn’t have the text nearly memorized? I’d have noticed gaps. No gaps.

Overall experience. Not everyone can listen to audio books. I can. I love them. Someday, I’ll get a car radio that lets me plug in thumb drives of books. This as a welcome addition to my collections.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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yikes

Valley girl narrator. That'll teach me to not listen to the sample audio before purchase.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This one is great

This book is well done entertaining has a decent balance between the fantastic and real world physics the story is pretty good. if you treat this series has a trilogy it its pretty good.

Warning: unfortunately the further down the series it goes the more radical left it goes the cast become a diversity checklist more muh representation and less interesting story etc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The review I wish I had read before buying this...

....with only minimal spoilers.

I absolutely love the super-hero genre and feel strongly that it has a disproportionately small representation in literature. It's doubly hard to find one that isn't from the point of view of a super-villain, so I was happy to discover this book.

Things I liked:
To start with the world building was good. In fact, the tidbits of lore at the start of each chapter were all that kept me listening when I otherwise may have returned it after about an hour or so. I ended up persevering and am quite happy with my purchase.

While it had the bright and colorful heroes mixed with a dash of realism that all of my favorite adaptations of the genre have, it was missing just that little sprinkle of self-aware camp that wins my heart over every time.

Things I didn't like:
In the strangest case of telling and not showing I've ever read, the author tends to hand-wave off just about every other conversation in the entire book and just tell you that it happened. Or even worse, it would cut out halfway through and just assume you know how it ended. Often times these were important conversations and not even ones reserved for plot revelations. She did the same thing with many scenes that would have been quite interesting to actully see. I found this incredibly irritating and it prevented me from forming any real connection with the protagonist for a very long time.

The narrator also almost made me quit. Her voice was soo high pitched she sounded way younger than 18. I couldn't find a good speed that made it easier to listen to. In the end, I just became inured to it. Also, her ability to voice male characters was limited and overtaxed but she did try and give the main characters distinctive accents.

Also, if it wasn't tween-girl-crushing and squeeing, we never got a single thought or feeling from her, just a bland recitation of actions and facts in the broadest sweeps. This almost entirely killed any benefit of using the first person narrative. Just for point of reference: I love the superhero genre as well as YA and highschool settings, so it wasn't the subject material I had a problem with. Which leads me to the two most common complaints of other reviewers:

One, the romance: There was nothing wrong with a 9 year age gap, that wouldn’t' even constitute a sping/fall romance. The Ick factor comes in because she's only 18, and it's with her teacher figure. And there IS definite ick factor that isn't helped by the fact that it didn't proceed naturally. She basically goes from indifferent directly to love-forever-want-to-marry, do not pass go, do not build the relationship. And later, right in the middle of a national crisis, the two HEROEs decide to pick up and run away to have a romantic cabin weekend…

Two, the Christian angle. It's present but not overly prevalent or preachy. It's just a part of her character and she remains admirably true to it. You'll only find it offensive if you find any mention of religion or those who have them offensive.

On a couple closing notes:
the synopsis for this book is misleading, it states that the book is about her struggles to decide what to do with her powers/life and trying to balance superheroing and realworlding. The protagonist decides this in a signle sentence and never once had a real Peter Parker moment of having to choose between lives or deal with consequences thereof.
Last, The authors diction and prose were somewhat spotty. Some parts where well written and others could have used another edit or two; seeing as how this is the first book, I'm confidant she'll become a better writer as the series continues, I definitely see the potential and have every intention of picking up the next one.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent addition to the genre

This audio book was suggested to me based on some of my previous searches. I am so glad that I found it. Normally, I listen for a few minutes here or there, but I just couldn't put this one down. I finished the entire book in a single day and had to get more from the series!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A superhero story for girls

Chicago girl transforms into a superhero, and is embraced by the other superhero's on the planet to become one of them. There's intrigue, romance (very G rated stuff, they never do more than snuggle cause she's a good catholic girl), suspense, some trippy multiple timelines because of a guy who pops around in time stuff, generally a good read. Read it for a book club (zoom because of pandemic) and then forgot to attend till they were wrapping up so can't tell you what the group consensus was. The performer did voices fairly well and was an enjoyable listen

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s Ok

I liked the background story of the protagonist. There were a variety of capes with different power sets that I found interesting. I did not relate to the religious overtones in the story. The sexual content / powers really doesn’t make it a better story. I wish it was left out so I could listen to this with my kids around. No cliff hanger or unexplained event to lead me into buying the next book.

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