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Wearing the Cape

Wearing the Cape Series, Book 1
Narrated by: K.F. Lim
Series: Wearing the Cape, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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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

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not my cup tea

Well written and narrated. I am not much in to the valley girl talk and teen drama. I would recommend it.

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Pretty good superhero story

This book reminds me of a PG-13 version of the Watchmen for some reason. Like what if super heroes were real and what would real world consequences look like. I did like the book though. Although I’m still going to say the Reckoners series is still my favorite superhero genre series. This is a good book worth checking out though. If you are a fan of superhero genre books like the Reckoners then this one is worth a listen. It had a pretty decent story line too.

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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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful