Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes
Series: Cassidy Jones Adventures #1
Genre: Sci-Fi/Superhero (YA)
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One Girl. One Accident. One Incredible Superhero.

Cassidy Jones is your typical fourteen-year-old— that is, until a seemingly harmless accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist turns her world upside down. 

Discovering incredible strength, speed, and enhanced physical senses that defy logic, Cassidy embarks on an action-packed adventure that has her fighting for answers…and for her very life. (from goodreads)

Her therapy may give a blind person sight or a paralyzed persona the ability to walk. What's so cutting-edge about Professor Phillips's research is that she's using animal DNA to create a gene treatment for humans. If her treatment proves out, she will change the world as we know it.

Yeah, because that will end well.

I love coming across these type of stories. I'll admit, the plot is a bit generic - and could, in truth, be the origin story for just about any superhero. But still, you give me a good 'scientist meddling where they shouldn't be' and I will probably love the story. Regardless as to whether that scientist is trying to be one of the good guys, or one of the evil villains.

This was certainly more a case of the scientist trying to do something good, but it's amazing how none of these people ever see how truly awful injecting humans with animal DNA could be. The explanation that was finally given as to how Cassidy wound up with so many special abilities was...hard to swallow - even for a superhero story.

I understand how scared you are. I promise you, though, everything will be all right. You will be all right.

Emery is the antithesis of everything a teenaged boy usually is. He's super calm, self-possessed and has an amazing poker-face. He's very smart - having, at age fifteen, already graduated not only high school but college too. This is the kind of 'mission control' character/friend that all superheroes need to have their back. But, he's also perfectly competent in more action-y situations, such as: breaking and entering and random street fights. This is an amazing young man and, combine his character with the plot for me, I was all set to adore everything about this book.



I figured I might as well learn about comic book characters, since I now closely resembled one.

It's a sad situation when the weak-link for you is the main character, but that's exactly what happened with me and Cassidy. I was willing to give her time to find her footing. After all, she's just been given a half-dozen superpowers and doesn't know what to do or who to trust. But she was simply too weak for me.

She was the type of character that absolutely hates her new abilities. She doesn't see all the good it can do and how much more exciting her life could be. No, this is something she doesn't want anything to do with and, if she could, she'd go back to normal. Also Cassidy has a very poor opinion of herself. I understand not being a cocky braggart, (although I usually love those characters) but she thinks way too lowly of herself. When it comes right down to it, Cassidy likes throwing pity-parties for herself, and girls like that and I never get along. Adding to that is the fact that Cassidy is a bit of an emotional wreck. She's in tears several times throughout the book and, thanks to her new abilities, has moments of crazed rage where she literally cannot control herself. Now, I'm not saying I don't understand it; I'm saying I don't like it. All these problems are perfectly understandable, but I don't like the choices that were made as I read for escapist fun primarily, with a side order of lovable characters. Cassidy was neither for me.

The Jones family is an awesome bunch: loving, supportive parents, a twin brother that loves to get under his sister's skin and a superhero loving little brother. The supporting cast, such as Cassidy's school friends and her dad's co-worker, were all great too. I loved seeing a decent, close knit family.

All said, I have very mixed feelings about this book and am unsure how interested I am in reading the next in the series.