May 30, 2009

Review: Dull Boy

Book Cover

By Sarah Cross
You can also visit her el jay.

Sarah Cross is a Taurus born in the year of the Monkey. She is four inches taller than Wolverine, but does not have adamantium claws ... yet. Fierce but cute Pallas' cats are her favorite animals--and if you don't think that is relevant, then you really don't know her. She grew up in Ohio and now lives in New York. DULL BOY is her first novel.



Sometimes I wish I didn't care what would happen if anyone knew the truth about me. But I do care. I have to keep this - super strength, flying - a secret. No one can know - not my parents, not my friend . . . It's just that it's getting harder to hide it.

Superpowers are awesome - unless you actually have them, like Avery does. There's only so much he can pass off as "adrenaline" before people start to get suspicious. Probably it's best to lie low, so guys in white lab coats don't come to carry him away, to find out what makes his freakish body tick. Who wants to be vivisected? But flying under the radar becomes a whole lot harder when you can actually fly. It's dangerous to be different, so for now he'll pretend to be normal, unremarkable Avery - a dull boy - anything to keep his secret safe.

What he doesn't expect is the horrifying truth about where his powers came from, who else might have them, and the madness of one villain's plan to turn this superpowered dull boy into something even more powerful and amazing.


This book was waiting for me when I moved back home from the dorms, and I picked it up and devoured it that night. (And I went to sleep early, since I needed to wake up the next day to drive.) Boy, did it hit most of my <3 buttons. (It does star a group of superheroes. That's number one.)

I liked Avery, who doesn't really think of using his superstrength and flight for anything other than protecting those who need it. Of course, he has some control issues that end up making him look like a delinquent. (Not to mention he keeps breaking things at home.) Of course, his power incontinence is nothing compared to Nicholas's.

I think I loved Darla most. (Well, aside from Catherine, but that's a given. She's sarcastic, hard-working, and has way cool powers.) Her power is her intelligence - and it didn't come with social skills, though she seems to think so. She's the uber-geek, ready to form them into a team on par with the X-men. Of course, some of the others doubt there is practical application for their powers. It's fun to watch them all go out together and find lost girls or stop a mugger. All of them want a place to belong, like any teenager, with or without superpowers.

And that's exactly what Cherchette is offering. But she gives off a bad vibe that has nothing to do with her ice powers. Should they trust that she can help them with their powers, or should they continue to stumble along on their own? And if one of them does accept her offer, what about Sarah, whose power wasn't considered valuable enough?

I really enjoyed this origins tale. (I also really hope the ending was a set-up for the next adventure.) It's pretty light, but Nicholas's power might be disturbing to some readers. I know I found some of the implications creepy. Sarah Cross does paint a believable dark side to waking up with superpowers. Along with the ending, I hope that there's a sequel because I believe there's still more of these characters to explore. We know some about their home lives and dreams, but there's more to be plumbed. (And more romance to develop too!)

And can I mention that I loved the use of comic book font? It was a nice touch of design.

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  1. It looks like a fun read! I've been wanting to pick it up for awhile. x)

  2. I keep hearing good things about this one. Now I have to get it!


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