Book Review: Becoming Hero by Jen Finelli

*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*

!! I might have to spoil parts of this book to review it, because it’s difficult to talk about at all if I have to leave out certain parts, so read on at your own risk !!
Plot in short: Boy meets favourite superhero in the real world (by this I mean actual, human world), chaos ensues as they try to figure out why he’s there, and how to get him back.

Longer version: Jace is saved by the stranger Caleb as he’s being beaten up, and Caleb ends up becoming Jace’s roommate, living with him and his dad. They quickly become friends, and share a love for maths – life goes on.

But Caleb clearly has a few secrets, and some innner demons that he’s battling, and Jace desperately wants to help. Eventually, we learn that Caleb is Skye, Jace’s favourite superhero, and he’s been transferred to the real world somehow, from his own comic book world, and together they have to figure out how to get him back.

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Review: I really, really liked this book. The concept was very unique (at least to me), because as the plot moves on, we get these interluding chapters set in Skye’s comic book world, complete with drawn panels and everything. Eventually we learn who Caleb really is, (though it was quite obvious for a while), he’s Skye, the superhero – and I was thinking the next issue would be how to get it home. But there’s so much more mystery in how Skye really got to the real world, who’s responsible, and what they have to do bring him back. On top of this, Jace’s dad, who’s a police officer, is trying to solve a strange string of murders.

The comic book chapters are a mix of panels and pages of text, and I was very impressed with how deep and dark the comic book. However, I felt that maybe the artistic style didn’t quite match the content of the story – not saying it’s bad or anything – but it’s drawn quite soft and… I want to say “childish” but that sounds demeaning, but it’s very… pretty and cute. The story however, reads like something that could be taken out of Batman’s darkest and most depressing ‘I-hate-the-world-and-my-parents-are-dead-and-I’m-doomed-to-fight-crime-forever’-plotline.

Also –  the comic book chapters were confusing as hell. It took me a while to realize that they weren’t linked together, it wasn’t a continuing story following on from every comic-chapter (or if it was I was really confused). But yeah, they were really fragmented, and by the end of the book I kind of felt like not all of them were relevant to how the book played out. Or maybe they were, and I don’t see how. It’s not that I mind being confused, like I’ve said before, I often like it in books, because I like the idea of piecing it all together and then finally catching on. But… still a bit weird.

And another thing that annoyed me was that Caleb and Jace has this weird back and forth, on several occasions, where Caleb wants to tell Jace everything, and Jace wants to know what’s up with Caleb. But they never manage to settle down with it, so whenever Caleb says ‘we need to talk about all my issues man’, Jace always goes ‘I don’t want to hear it!’, but when Jace says ‘talk to me man, tell me what’s wrong’, Caleb goes ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Found that a bit strange. And annoying.

I also felt like there were some people I really didn’t understand where came from. Maybe I just missed when they were introduced, but there was a villian, another side-protagonist, and a few old people, that were suddenly very very relevant, yet it seemed like they appeared out of thin air. But that could just be me, being crazy.

Anyways – I felt like I’ve written a lot of negative stuff about this book now, and that was not my intention. I really liked it – and if you’re a person who enjoys comic books, I’m sure you will too. I can only hope that the sequel is better, and if I have any say, I’d like it to be darker and drearier too.

Check out Jen Finelli and her book here!

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