The Last Thing In The World Thom Creed Wants Is To Add To His Father's Pain, So He Keeps Secrets Like That He Has Special Powers And That He's Been Asked To Join The Leaguethe Very Organization Of Superheroes That Spurned His Dad But The Most Painful Secret Of All Is One 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 Father's Past And Discover The Kind Of Hero He Really Wants To Be

10 thoughts on “Hero

  1. says:

    Almost every review I've read for this book applauds the subject matter (a gay teen superhero) but laments the sloppy writing. I'm going to add my voice to this choir.

    The writing reminded me of problems I've had with some other YA novels. Everything is just a little too melodramatic, a little too overwritten, and a little too loud. The pacing is inconsistent; months will go by without much mention and yet events will be mentioned as if they just happened yesterday. There are countless contradictions within the text - I'd started off trying to remember some to mention as examples and quickly gave up. The main character's super power is healing, and yet he doesn't heal people close to him when the plot requires that they have an injury or ailment. There's a minor mystery involving murdered superheroes that never seems to be resolved, and then there's a surprise final villain that suffers from a lack of any foreshadowing that would make it believable. And then there's a complete lack of exploring themes that lend itself to the story - how about some musing on the parallels between an in-the-closet teen and a superhero with a secret identity?

    2.5 stars is probably a more accurate rating, since I enjoyed it and it was a quick read, but the problems made me wince so many times and I was completely frustrated that a great opportunity had been squandered.

  2. says:

    In Hero, author Perry Moore demonstrates a superpower of his own: he can turn prose into lead.

    Since Moore's intentions are admirable, it's tempting to gloss over the book's poor execution by praising it using plenty of qualifiers. ("Hero is the best YA novel featuring a gay teen superhero I've read all month!") Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to use the words "Hero" and "best" in the same sentence. Well, in a pinch I could probably force myself to say, "I read Hero while staying at a Best Western," but even that would be a lie.

    Moore's writing fails on every level. It lacks any poetry or spark--there's no life to it. I've read screenplays where the stage directions were written with more flair. The characters are bitchy and unappealing. (Bitchy characters are fine as long as they are also appealing.) The dialogue is pedestrian. The structure of the story is flabby. Even the superhero names are awful: Dark Hero...Golden Boy...Right Wing...Velvet Vixen...Galaxy Guy. And no, I'm not making these up.

    Moore has chosen to set his story in the DC Comics Universe. (For any non-geeks out there, DC is the company that publishes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. If you don't know who those characters are, you're on your own.) It appears, however, that since Moore didn't own the rights to any of the DC characters, he avoided copyright infringement by making slight (extreeeemely slight) alterations to them. Presumably a lawyer advised him on precisely how much he needed to tweak each character in order to avoid getting sued. ("No, Perry, Sooperman is still too close to Superman. Ditto on Supermann. What's that? Uberman, you say? Eh, good enough. Do I get paid now?") I would have been fine with him satirizing established superhero characters, as the creators of Cerebus the Aardvark and The Tick did, but Moore isn't making any sort of commentary on the original characters. He is simply ripping them off.

    As I said earlier, Moore has admirable intentions. In mainstream comic books, on the rare occasions when gay characters have been depicted, well-meaning creators have unconsciously let their prejudices run wild. So, while it would never occur to them to show Spider-Man getting gang-raped, castrated, or impaled through the anus, give 'em a gay character and suddenly all of those storylines become strangely appealing. Moore published a list (click here to see it) detailing the grisly fates of various gay superheroes. He says he wrote Hero as a corrective to this shabby treatment, and in that limited arena he succeeds.

    If you're looking for a well-written YA novel about a gay teenager (albeit a non-superpowered one), I recommend Brent Hartinger's Geography Club.

  3. says:

    “There's someone out there who will one day find me and fall in love with me and prove that all this waiting actually meant something.”

    This was a nice and entertaining book. It was exciting and I loved the supernatural side of the story. I enjoyed it overall, but Perry Moore did not fully meet my expectations. First, because there was so much more potential for a real love story/relationship. Second, because the writing and plotting could have been better; at times the writing style seemed a tad chunky and inexperienced to me.
    Finally, I just want to say that there should be more novels like this. Novels who feature LGBT+ teenagers. In contemporary fiction, with superpowers, in high fantasy, as most evil villain ever. Whatever. I want the gay.

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  4. says:

    I'm re-reading, and it's even more enjoyable the second time than it was the first!

  5. says:

    Go fuck yourself, book >:(

    EDIT: I wrote that when I just finished the book and I was ranting :/ But it's not fair because this was a good, entertaining book and, most important, it's a book about a gay teenager... that, beware... does not only revolves around his sexuality! He has other problems, he has a life, he has superpowers... it just happens that he is gay too. That's the LGBT literature I want to see more of.

    I love the main character, and his father <3 The plot wasn't a masterpiece but like I said, it was entertaining. 3.5 stars for you, book. :)

  6. says:

    Young Adult. A gay teenager with superpowers and his disgraced hero-dad live together in the suburbs. They have their differences, but when Thom gets tapped to try out for the League (of superheroes) those differences threaten to tear them apart. Hee, sorry. It really is that dramatic.

    This book takes on a lot. It's got a solid story with a good array of characters. Kind of like a mix of The Incredibles and Sky High. A lot of the superheroes were just familiar DC characters with slightly different names, but there were some great original heroes like Typhoid Larry, who, as the underdog, was kind of my favorite. Superheroes are a given in this world, but gayness is not. And it's there I kept falling out of the story. The pervasive homophobia is so blatant and off-hand it's almost hard to believe. This is a world with superpowered aliens and queer is still bad? Even the ALIEN hates gays. I mean, come on. You can't ignore that superheroes are coded as queer -- they have secret identities and unexpected powers. It's a classic comics trope that if their true identities were ever to come out, it's their families that take the brunt of the attack. There's a ready made parallel for this in the book, but Moore doesn't take advantage of it, and that's my biggest problem. It's shortsighted to mix queer and superheroes and not connect them in some way; I was disappointed that Moore didn't even try.

    Two stars. It kept me reading and I finished it in two sittings, but it never pulled me in.

  7. says:

    This story had some good points that made me enjoy this book. The emotions that the characters had to cover up due to layers of deep secrets was greatly written. They felt very honest and exactly how I would feel. Also Thom couldn't have chosen a better group of friends or love interest than he did. I hope he has a great life because he deserves it.

    Still there were times where this book annoyed me. An instance that annoyed me was when it felt like the author gave us [the readers] 3 mysteries in the beginning that the main character knew the answers to. I kept wondering "why is the author trying to make us guess if they aren't really mysteries?" It just felt like unnecessary hindrances to the intro.

    Honestly this book felt like it could have been two parts (before and after Dad finding out about League and murders). I'm still not sure why it wasn't written that way as I think it would have been a great duology.

    This wasn't the best nor worst book I ever read but it is still a memorable book for me. The thing that bugs me is that this book could have been better. Still it is a debut novel so it gives me hope the author will listen to feedback to become an even better novelist. I would definitely read another book by this author or even a sequel to this story if one was written. This is what makes reading this book so difficult for me. It's a 3.75 rating for me but I'll round it up to 4 star rating. I’d recommend everyone interested in reading a book with LGBTQA+ and superheroes in a coming-of-age story then give it a shot.

    Rating: 3.75-4 stars

  8. says:

    (I read this a few years ago so forgive me if I don't remember all of it. Here are my thoughts on what I recall.)

    I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. What probably turned me off most about it was that it was too campy. I prefer my superheroes to be darker, more serious, more grounded in reality:

    Not goofy and punny:

    And that's what a lot of this book was. The only deeper parts were the waaaaaay overused trope of using the alternate identities of a superhero as a metaphor for being gay. Bryan Singer did it much better in the first X-Men movie, btw. Much. Better.

    I could have done without the romance element, which was again cliché since you have the hero-falling-for-the-villain-but-they-don't-know-who-the-other-is-beneath-their-masks bit. *Cough* Batman and Catwoman *cough*

    Apparently, the author was working on a sequel to this before he died but never finished it, so I guess we'll never find out the rest of the story and the few unanswered questions will always be left up in the air.

  9. says:

    Ok, here's why this book is good: There's some good layering going on here. The foundation is this high school kid, Thom, coming to terms with his sexuality. So that's interesting on it's own, but then Moore adds a world of superheroes. Superheroes in this world don't always have special powers and being a superhero is a career(complete with a salary). Then there's Thom's home life with his single dad. Thom's parents are former superheros and his mom abandoned them a few years back. I really like this twist, it's really common to have the father figure doing the abandoning, so it was good to have a change of pace. The history of Thom's parents' relationship is vague and he discovers things along the way...
    So really what's not to like? Gay Superhero. Family secrets. Fun action sequences. Secret identities. It doesn't really get much more fun than this.

  10. says:

    This novel was inspired by the "secret identity" theme in comic books, which sociologists have previously likened to the secret, "closeted" identity of many homosexuals. Thom a gay teen whose dad was once a super-hero and is now a blue-collar laborer. Thom is trying to cope with his own powers and his homosexuality while hiding them from his family and community.