Sequel to POWERLESS
By Matthew Cody
Available now from Knopf (Random House)
I love superhero stories, and POWERLESS stood out from the pack to me because of it's brutal first chapter. Michael's whole life is flying, until he wakes up without his powers or memories, never to fly again. That's been the fate of the children of Noble's Green for centuries. Many of them have a superpower, but they lose it and all memory of it on their thirteenth birthday. Then Daniel Corrigan came to town and helped the Supers find and defeat the culprit.
But something has happened, and the Supers are again losing their powers. Temporarily, but who knows when they'll be gone forever? Meanwhile, Daniel is showing evidence of developing powers and the grandnephew of their nemesis the Shroud has come to town. He's obviously the number one suspect, but Daniel's worried things aren't so simple.
In addition to having a fast and fun storyline, the morality of SUPER is not black and white. Who deserves power? Who can decide whether or not someone deserves power? Daniel may want to help his friends, but some of the super-powered kids aren't as nice or altruistic. If the local bully didn't have super strength, that would be a good thing. But would it just stop there?
I liked that there isn't much romance, since the main characters are younger teens. (They're maybe fourteen during SUPER.) There are hints of crushes and a quick kiss, but nothing more. There are a lot of friendships that cross gender lines, which is nice to see. Molly, a flyer, is one of the toughest characters and always ready to defend her friends. And Daniel is a good protagonist for the series, since he has no powers - just the ability to think things through and use his head.
I do recommend starting with POWERLESS, since SUPER deals with the fallout from the first book. Both tell complete stories, however. Each book has a definite end and can stand on its own if need be. I'd be happy to read another Noble's Green novel, but SUPER does not require a sequel. This series is a good choice for kids who love superheroes and are looking for a good read that isn't a graphic novel.