V is for Villain
By: Peter Moore
Available May 2014
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
We always see the superhero’s side. He’s just this guy with abilities and people expect things from him, or they think he’s a freak, or he’s traumatized by something and wants to hide, etc. In this one we see what happens when you have a school full of kids who are taught that they’re above everyone else because they all have abilities. We get see all of this through the eyes of someone who is considered without abilities since his incredible intelligence isn’t as flashy as flying, strength, or any number of other skills.
Something that I thought was awesome in this book is that it didn’t just say these are the good guys and these are the bad. It showed you all of them and let you see the good and bad in each of them. Brad was in the regular classes with the heroes and saw the way the heroes were taught to do whatever it took. Even at the expense of other students. When he meets Layla and is later sent to the other part of the school he starts to see he isn’t alone in thinking that the heroes take things too far. He gets to know Layla and gets involved with their group for the usual reason teenage boys get involved. For a girl. But the things he learns have him making choices he never thought he’d have to face. He is able to use his skills in ways he never imagined.
I liked the way that Brad isn’t perfect. Even for a book where the title tells you outright that he’s on a villain track you still almost expect the character to be perfect, to maybe not realize what he’s doing. Except Brad makes choices that he knows are wrong, even against the people who are on his side. He also spends a lot of time trying to understand. Where did these villains come from? Maybe the heroes come from someplace other than what the scientists originally thought. And maybe there’s a way to change things that no one has thought of before.
Brad will have to decide what he feels is right. Does he trust his family and all that they believe, or does he trust what he’s learned from his friends and snooping on his own?
I didn’t really love the end to this book though it’s hard to say why without giving things away. After reading this I can see how a decent guy might go bad or why a good guy might make a bad choice and come back stronger in his convictions. So I didn’t like it but at the same time, looking at it from the idea that this is the backstory to some other story’s set of characters it would totally make sense.
I really enjoyed this. I’m not usually a fan of the whole villain’s point of view or superheroes but this one was pretty good. If those things sound good to you I know you’ll like this one. And if it isn’t you should considering giving it a try anyway. You may find your opinion of everything isn’t what you expect.