Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hero Worship by Christopher E. Long

This review was written by: B
Received: Library
Publication Date of Book: January 2014
Pages: 233
Stars: (4/5)

It's easy to root for a winner, but it takes integrity to root for someone who's outgunned yet stays in the game to the bitter end.
-Marvin's Father

Marvin Maywood lives in a corrupted world where only the Core, a group of the greatest super heroes, is a shining light through the darkness.  It's Marvin's deepest desire to join the Core, but this is impossible. After Marvin discovers that he is an IWP (Individual With Powers), he goes to get tested, a government requested action that must be exercised if a one begins to manifest powers.  His results come back with a devastating end result telling him that he's a "dirty."  It turns out that his powers are fueled by others' fears.  This means that, like all other dirties, he may not use his powers to gain a profit.  This privilege is only an option for the "clean," those who are allowed to use their powers for monetary purposes.  If they are caught illegally using their powers, the authorities are allowed to take them into custody.  For this reason, Marvin refuses to usitlize his gifts.

Years after this horrible news, Marvin's a runaway who lives with two other dirties, Yvonne and Kent.  Still refraining to use his abilities, he takes up a normal occupation that includes working at the Midtown Cafe under a strange yet comforting man named Gus. Yvonne and Kent have no problem using their dirty powers for money and exercise them daily so that they can live without picking up an honest job.  Marvin still longs to be a member of the Core and dreams of joining them in their never ending battle of good against evil.

One night, Marvin finds a family in trouble on his stroll home from work.  While the attackers are armed and vicious, Marvin is determined to help these innocent people.  No matter what others say, no one should stand by, clean or dirty, while helpless people are being wronged.  Powering up from the surrounding fear, he saves the parents and their little boy.  Soon after, his story is all over the news, an unfortunate kickback after his heroic endeavors.  It's then that someone by the name of Eliza comes by the cafe soon after.  She claims to be one of the Core's very own super heroes, Roisin.  She promises that she is going to give Marvin the opportunity to try out for the Core.  This unexpected happenstance leaves Marvin reeling.  He finally has the opportunity and means to fulfill his utmost desire, but can this be real?  He has been labeled "dirty" after all.  Deciding to take Eliza up on her offer, Marvin starts to do all that she tells him, losing and distancing himself from the rest of his world, including his friends, job, and sense of right and wrong.  After finding out more about the inner workings of the Core, Marvin believes that they might not be the heroes he loved to worship.  Something dark and sinister is going on within it.  Will the secrets suffocate him, locking him up inside the insane web of deception, or will Marvin rise above it all and be the true hero that he always thought he could be?

Marvin Maywood is such an interesting character.  He's driven by his past mistakes and regrets, a trait that various people can easily connect with.  He's also the type of guy who has a strong sense of justice and a need to practice what he preaches.  It's not hard to observe that Marvin has a strong connection with this friends, even to the extent in which he challenges and changes their own habits and ideals.  It's evident that his desire for good rubs off on both Yvonne and Kent in such a remarkable way.  Maywood's inner struggle to figure out the correct paths to take when Roisin shows up and yanks him by the collar is a true and honest battle that is described like a true war that we humans encounter countless times over and over again.  Sure, Marvin sometimes fell short of himself and staggered towards becoming a different person entirely, but he was a real fighter, a true hero.  He knew who he was, who he is, and who he wanted to be.  Nothing could get in the way of that.  This is definitely a plus on Long's writing style and character building.

In some cases, writing a book with super heroes is difficult.  Do they live in a world like ours or is it different?  What's the extent of which someone's powers can reach?  Are there rules to their powers?  I can only imagine the extensive building it takes to create something like that, and really, this applies to all books.  I think that Mr. Long did a great job doing that in his book.  The action scenes were well placed and not to mention perfectly written.  I have come across some books that just come up dry when action or battles hit the story.  Whether it's the improper execution or confusing descriptions,  they're sometimes just not easy to follow or read.  This was not he case with Hero Worship.  Long's conflicts were nicely done.

At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with this book.  There was action, a little bit of romance, and tons of super heroes!  These types of books or just stories about people with any power(s) in general make me happy.  I guess that these characters hold something that we all want, even if it's just a little. That is, we want to make a difference in more than simply a small way. Hero Worship was a decent super hero book.  It was even funny at points.  It just wasn't one of my all time favorite crime fighting books which is why I gave it four out of five stars.  Nonetheless, if you love this type of thing or are a huge comic book lover, absolutely give this one a try.  You can definitely see this book play out just like a comic book, a unique quality for a chapter book

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