Whether they have superpowers or not, there’s almost something magical about heroes. Marvin belongs in a small group of friends, two young adults and himself, together since childhood, now living together, supporting each other emotionally, all ‘dirties’. In this fantastical society children are tested when they display any power ability. Dirties are either sent away or receive ‘treatment’ to remove their abilities. Those who come ‘clean’ are allowed to use their powers and some will become a member of The Core, a group akin to the justice league.
The story makes an intriguing world. Being a superhero fan, I found it cool to read about people with powers. It was even cooler to find flaws, corruption, deceit and not knowing who to trust. All that glitters is not gold. All heroes are not heroes.
Even if the beginning chapters hadn’t delved into the heart of the action yet, they were my favorite since they held a genuine humor that made me laugh out loud more than once.
“He's so close that I can reach out and touch him. I actually consider doing this, but let's face it, that would be creepy."
Unfortunately the humor climbed down and disappeared as the plot progressed. There was definitely darkness later, but the ending shakes on a lighter coating again. Nothing wrong with this as I like the corruption angle and finding out what happened intensified the story and what was at stake, but it felt a bit inconsistent with the writing style.
Marvin is one reason the book soars; he’s amusing, intelligent, compassionate, a normal and tempted male teenager. His friends quirky antics and strange gifts were fun accompanists. I didn’t invest much in the core but they are backdrops anyway. The main villain is a yucky one it’s easy to dislike, and the superheroes who were corrupt beyond measure were intriguing to read about, even if we only get glimpses of them and not deep insight.
The ending is a powerful rush of bravery which leaves the closing of the book with a peaceful finish. Overall good action, creative storyline, an intriguing world, super powers, and deluded societal traits make a good story. It’s true I think the first part of the book is the strongest, but all is worth a read. Memorable.
“It takes sour to make the good all that much sweeter.”
“I think there are two types of people - those who view life's uncertainty with dread and fear, and those who recognize that life's unpredictability is what makes life worth living.”