Book Review: Super Powereds

Super Powereds by Drew Hayes

My Rating: Year 1 ★★★★, Year 2 ★★★★, Year 3 ★★★, and Year 4 ★★★

Kevin's Rating: Year 1 ★★★★★, Year 2 ★★★★, Year 3 ★★★★★, and Year 4 ★★★

I started to listen to this series on Audible with Kevin one afternoon when we were playing a video game and wanted something else to listen to. We had already listened to an few books by Drew Hayes and figured we'd see how this series played out.

Each book is one year of secondary education. With the beginning of years 2, 3, and 4 starting with a note about the summer and book 4 ends with an epilogue that fitted. The story follows five students for the most part, though there are other characters whose dialogues come up, however it it never felt complicated keeping track of all the characters. There are plenty of strong female characters and they aren't side-lined either, many are front runners. They have full story-lines, are developed as individuals, pull their own weight, and succeed in their areas of expertise. Mary is definitely my favorite character throughout the whole series, though Alice and Nick are high up on the list, and Dean Blane comes fourth. I like that there is a massive range of ages within the series, you have the students starting at 18 and the teachers or adults who are much older. It is nice to have adults present, that is always something lacking in books around schools and not only are they present but they treat the students appropriately. 

What I like most about Drew Hayes' writing, is the matter of fact way he writes and follows logic. I would be listening along and think to myself if only this character would ask this next logical question, and the character would. It is refreshing to have characters follow logic, ask questions, and make actual choices people would do. It was also nice to have consequences for actions and consistency to the rules or logic for when they were broken. You would think that this would make the book predictable and there were definitely a lot of things I did predict but overall it added to the story instead of taking from it. Out of the thing I did predict only one actually bothered me and felt super cliché.  

We started listening in June and over a rather large amount of time covered all four books, so it's hard to remember each one separately. I think my favorite scene is from year 1, when Mary holds up Roy and makes him agree to her terms. Year's 1 and 2 were both my top books out of this series, though I don't remember anything specific standing out from year 2. Year 3 is where I started to get annoyed with the series. While Drew Hayes does follow logical patterns, he also tends to have characters inner dialogue far too often. This causes for a lot of repeating of the same information. It's good to hear once or twice, but after the 8th time in the span of a few chapters it gets to be a little frustrating and by the time we were hitting book 4 I just wanted the story to be over. I think a whole lot of editing could have been done to the last two books and it would have drastically improved the story and my rating. 

For a four book series, I was surprised by the lack of cliffhanger endings. These books are very long though, especially the last one. Year 1 - 26.11 minutes, Year 2 - 32.11 minutes, Year 3 - 41.1 minutes, Year 4 - 60.37 minutes. The series wrapped up well, though it did feel a bit rushed and incomplete. Again a better editor could have cut off a good amount of the inner dialogue and cleaned up a bit of the story, but it still worked, just not as strong as it could have. If you like superheroes and want a unique story, especially when you compare to what we typically get in terms of superheroes (Marvel and DC), I would recommend giving this a read. It's definitely unique and is almost a realistic way of how, if ever, superpowers would be in the real world.  

Which leaves me with the question of, if you had a superpower what would you want it to be?

Other books read this week:

1. Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (library) ★★★★ - I enjoyed this twist of a tale. Makes me wonder if I could ever have a D&D party so entertaining… maybe one day, for now I’ll just wait for book two of the Pell Series to be released.

2. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (library) ★★★★ - I feel like I was missing some pertinent detail while reading this and yet that felt okay. After reflection I almost feel that, that the detail missing was the fact that I’ve experienced life as a white women and couldn’t relate to most of the things happening. This is a very good story, well written, well paced, and I loved the ending.

Books attempted but unfinished:

1. Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar - I made it 28 pages in before a line stopped me cold. The overall tone at that point had been man is superior but I was willing to slightly overlook that part until feeble seekers are under the power of women… like what is that even suppose to mean? Anyone can be under anyones power. So I started to flip through the rest and it just never seemed to be kind. Which is odd because that’s what I would have expected, it more felt like rules and obligations. Maybe I’m to early in my practice to get it or maybe feminism just isn’t present in this man’s work. Either way, I managed to finish part one and just skimmed the rest heavily, stopping on images that caught my attention.