School for Sidekicks
By: Kelly McCullough
Available August 2015
Being a hero isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be in this funny and genuine novel from adult fantasy author Kelly McCullough.
Evan Quick is a GIANT superhero geek who dreams of one day becoming a superhero himself. Every morning he checks to see if he’s developed his powers overnight, and every day there’s nothing. No flying, no super strength, no invulnerability—that always hurts to check—no telepathy, no magic. Not even the ability to turn off the alarm clock without smacking the switch.
But then Evan somehow manages to survive a supervillian’s death ray, and is sent to the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Unfortunately, his new school is not what he expected, and instead of fighting bad guys, Evan finds himself blacklisted, and on the wrong side of the school’s director. If Evan ever wants to realize his dream, he must convince his “mentor” Foxman, a semi-retired has-been, to become a real hero once again.
This Blonde’s Review:
Evan has always dreamed of being a superhero, going so far as to keep a video diary to track and potential changes. Every day he wakes up and takes stock and every day is the same, no powers. Until his birthday when something strange happens, but everything believes it was a machine malfunction. When nothing else happens he assumes maybe they were right. When he’s involved in a supervillian’s attack and manages to survive and save the day he finds himself at a new school away from his family and everything he’s ever known.
Evan learns the hard way that there is more to life as a metahuman than he ever knew, and as a superhero geek he thought he knew it all. The things he learns aren’t all good and soon he is on a path to find out everything that is being hidden from them. Luckily Evan has made friends and manages to assemble his own team to determine what is happening.
I kind of loved that the things that they found out weren’t things that had an easy answer on what to do with the information. Was the school’s director right or wrong? And now that they know the things that they do, what do they do with that information? Until they are distracted from that unanswered question by some activity by the same supervillian that hit Evan with a death ray before.
I enjoyed this one, even if there were similarities to other sidekick books because there were enough things that were different. I like the idea of books that show that sometimes the big names are imperfect and the little guys can be the ones to step up and have a big impact. I also really enjoyed the way this one had some very hard situations regarding whether certain actions by people in positions of power were justified or not. It was very interesting.
If you like superhero stories that aren’t about the big names and instead are about the regular guy learning how to be the hero then you’ll enjoy Evan’s story.