Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Review: V is for Villain

Premise: Brad's famous brother, Blake, is a superhero, but Brad doesn't have any awesome powers like strength or flight. Brad's only power is that he's really smart. Someday, he'd like those awesome powers to appear - then he can destroy villains like his father and brother. But Brad's newest friends have different ideas about who the real heroes are. And Brad might not be as under-powered as he thinks.

Title: V is for Villain
Author: Peter Moore
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone (as of now)
Content appropriate for: Grades 8-12
Format: Digital ARC provided by Disney-Hyperion via Netgalley

Three adjectives that describe this book: action-packed, easy-to-read, gritty

V is for Villain is a fast-paced superhero novel. It has many tropes of the genre, so that makes it fairly predictable, especially in the beginning when Brad is feeling terrible about himself and his lack of appropriate powers. I enjoyed how V is for Villain delved into how these superheroes came to be. Much like the X-Men, there's quite a lot of talk about genetics, DNA, and computer programs.

However, one thing sets this book apart from others like it: The protagonist is actually a bit of an anti-hero.

Peter Moore does a terrific job of transitioning the reader toward a stance that almost takes pity on the villains, and sees arrogance in the heroes. As Brad begins to ally himself with "the enemy," we're not so sure that's the wrong decision. Moore really embraces fuzzy morals, and that makes V is for Villain quite intriguing.

The thing that brings this book down for me, other than some of the cliche teen elements, is that the world of the book was pretty underdeveloped. Since it was told from inside the elite world of superheroes, a lot of explanation was missing. For instance, it wasn't really clear how the Heroes interact with "Regulars."
3.5 stars

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