Title: Junior Hero Blues
Author: J.K. Pendragon
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 7, 2016
"I, Javier Medina--or Blue Spark, as I'm known to the citizens of Liberty City--am one-hundred-percent dork, through and through. The mask only makes it worse." -J.K. Pendragon, Junior Hero Blues
I received this book for review from NetGalley, and just let me say, I was so excited when this was approved. It breaks the mold from the traditional superhero story, and gives readers a different type of hero to look up to, which is especially fantastic for its targeted audience. The voice is remarkable, and the action was paced well throughout this book, making this a highly entertaining read.
Javier Medina is a Junior Hero in Liberty City, and he's still trying to figure out how to navigate from being an awkward gay high schooler to a newly buff and attractive superhero, hiding his identity from his school mates and his parents, all the while trying to learn how to navigate the dating world when his boyfriend keeps mysteriously disappearing. Javier gives an unflinching account of the sacrifices needed to become a superhero--something that didn't quite fit his original expectations.
Let me begin by saying the voice in this book was absolutely fantastic. Javier is so real and honest, and downright hilarious at times. It honestly reminded me a little of the Spider-man comics, and the sassiness and snarkiness of Peter Parker, thought maybe not quite as quick witted. Pendragon also created very real characters throughout, incorporating a lot of diversity that is slowly making it's way into the superhero world in the ways of sexuality. It's refreshing to read a book with a gay male superhero that isn't afraid to hide his sexuality.
The only critique I have of this novel is the formatting at the beginning. Though I liked that it jumped right into the action, it took me a while to realize exactly how far back in time Javier jumps. Add in a little more transition there, and think this book will be golden. Absolutely golden. And I would love to read more stories from Javier, because I think he has lots more to tell!