Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review: V is for Villain by Peter Moore

V is for Villain by Peter Moore
Series: Standalone
Genre: Sci-Fi/Superheroes
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Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it's good to be bad.

"I'll keep it in mind," I said. Yeah, that was a good place to keep it. In my mind, where all the voices were. Right in the middle of the crazy.

Oh, this book.

I have been looking for a good superhero novel - especially if it's told from the villains perspective. Especially books where the villains gets to stay a villain and not be 'redeemed.' Ugh. I've went through various books, with varying levels of enjoyment, in this desperate search.

And then I found this book. I'll be honest. I kind of love this book.

First, the best thing about the book: Brad. He's sixteen (I think) but he doesn't sound like most other teens in books. He's not angsty. He's not the 'bad boy.' He's nothing that I thought he'd be when I started this book. What he is, is smart. His 'power' is superior intellect.

Yeah. His brother has superstrength, can fly and bullets pretty much just bounce off of him. And Brad is smart. Sure, he's smarter than 'Regular's' but really? Being the little brother to one of the members of Justice Force and going to his alma matter leads to more comparisons than Brad likes.

Brad also has a kicking sense of humor and the book is filled with sarcastic, funny and snide asides. (Yes, snide. Brad can be quite cutting when he wants to be.)

The plotline is more a coming of age story than I'm used to, but blended with an absolutely brilliant examination of the difference between 'heroes' and 'villains.'

You see, in this world - like most others with superpowers - the people with powers are special.

"Rick Randall damn near kills a guy in PT class, the most blatant example of unnecessary roughness possible, and he gets rewarded with extra points and the top honor position?"

And because these super powered individuals are so special, they can do no wrong.

To hear Blake - America's Favorite Hero - say 'Oh, well" about a person whose death he caused - well, it totally rubbed me the wrong way.

Honestly, I love the look this book takes at what it means to be a hero and what it means to be a villain.

And the explanation for abilities and certain powers are exactly the kind I like to see.

One problem though. One of the characters has the power of telepathy. In this world, having telepathic abilities makes you immediately a criminal. Sure, most people start off as dormant telepaths, and have to train to get stronger. But no matter who you are, you're a criminal if you have telepathy.

Now see, I don't see that happening. Sure, humanity as a whole is frightened of what they don't understand - and what is more frightening that knowing someone can implant thoughts in your head and you'd never even know it. (Seriously, that comes up in here. Can you say creepy?)

But, society also likes weapons. What I would see happening is those gifted with telepathy being rounded up to work for the government - or some shadowy organization. I don't think the people in charge would be willing to let this weapon slip through their fingers.