Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Me on Powerless

Title: Powerless
Authors: Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (Sourcebooks imprint)

Kenna is tired of being "normal." The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating  when you're constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna's smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it's hard not to feel inferior. So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She's not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary, too. But in the heat of the battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, hereoes and villains, is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless.

Powerless is quirky, snarky, punchy, and all kinds of intense. It's all teen angst and arguing, all plots and plans and superpowers. All truths and secrets, all good vs evil and the shades of grey we never see until we open our eyes.

Kenna is smart and passionate, she's ready and willing to do the right thing. To help people. To support the superheroes who do battle against the villains. Even if she doesn't have any powers, she can still help. But she learns quickly that the world isn't that black and white, isn't actually that simple in terms of hero=good and villain=evil. It's a smack in the face for her, a massive wake-up call, and it changes everything she thought she knew.

As smart as Kenna is, as thoughtful and compassionate, she's upset that some people around her discount her because of her lack of powers. That leads her to feeling inadequate about her own abilities. She needs a confidence boost, a self-esteem boost. It's not always about extraordinary powers.

As it often happens with books featuring heroes and villains, a lot of this book, of Kenna's thoughts, focus on good and evil. How do we define who is good and who is evil? Is it a mark on their skin, the ability they have? The look in their eye? Who decides? Who defines certain actions as done in the name of good while similar actions are said to have been done in the name of evil? With all the differences between the two, the more it comes to light how similar they are and how twisted the definitions have become.

This book is exciting and fast-paced. Kenna and her friends, old and new, are constantly moving, constantly plotting and planning. There are times when it feels repetitive, times where it seems like Kenna is worrying too much about being around villains, worrying too much about how the heroes are always the good guys. There's a lot revealed in the last half of the book, and considering how it ends, I'm hoping the next book will be just as explosive.

(I received an e-galley of this title from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.)

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