Series: The Hero Agenda #1
Source: eARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.
She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit, I wanted this book really badly and was really excited when I was approved to get an ARC of this one, but I was a tad disappointed because there was not as much world building as I would have liked. However, it was still a very good story and I was on the edge of my seat while reading it!
Firstly, there was the potential for this plot to be so interesting and innovative, but I found it fell flat on it's face. I think some of that had to do with the mediocre world building. At first it seemed as though everyone knew about the heroes and the villains in the world because Kenna was saying how it was so odd that she got to go to a "hero school" but near the end she mentioned that the "ordinaries" (as non-superpowered people are called) had no idea about the heroes or the villains. This left me fairly confused because it doesn't make sense that these two factions would be on the brink of war and the ordinaries would have no clue. No matter how much you pay people off, someone would have seen or heard something.
Also, there was no explanation of how one becomes a hero or a villain, except that apparently there are tattoos that you receive once you get your powers? Did I explain that right? Because it was briefly mentioned in the book but since the whole book was about heroes vs. villains, I would have liked to know exactly how one became one over the other. I thought at first it was a choice, not a tattoo that branded you? And how do those tattoos manifest?
There was so much unexplained in this novel but the problem was that the questions I had were so important to me understanding the story. There were obviously questions I had that I will find out in the next one surrounding Kenna (which all of the questions that were answered in the book were clearly laid out and some of the questions Kenna has do have obvious answers), but the world building questions aren't really ones that should have been skimmed over. They made the story have less depth than I would have liked.
I wasn't actually a fan of Kenna, she was kind of whiny and self-involved. The insta-love was a tad much and considering this whole book took place over the course of maybe five days, it was a little ridiculous. Her and Draven didn't really have a healthy relationship or an ideal start to their relationship and it definitely should have been spread out more for their romance to blossom. Kenna isn't very interesting though because she tries too hard to be interesting.
Rebel was so great though. I mean, her story line was obvious because of her name, but she was still such a good character. She has so much personality and her abilities are ones I would love to have (telekinesis). I am excited to see where the rest of her story arc goes and how she is able to get back to being the girl that we (and Dante) fell in love with.
The villains as a pack weren't that interesting, but my favourite is Nitro. He is quick tempered and full of heat, but his heart is in the right place. He seems to listen to his gut instincts and not just go with the flow of what Dante and Draven want because he trusts himself and his instincts. Which means he is able to trust the turned heroes more easily than the other two.
The action scenes were great and together as a team, I have no doubt that they will be able to accomplish their goals of freeing Kenna's mom and stopping the heroes and their agenda (see what I did there). I did like Jeremy and I think it was kind of fitting that he and Kenna were able to mesh so well, but I also feel like it will not turn into a love triangle because he is Kenna's ex. I really really really do not want a love triangle -- the romance was bad enough to begin with and the addition of a love triangle would ruin this series for me.
Most of the plot twists had a lot of direct hints ahead of time so I wasn't too shocked by anything in it, but it was still a good story overall. I definitely enjoyed it and would have enjoyed it more with some more world building. But I do suggest picking this one up when it comes out on June 2!
Overall: 3.5/5 because it was an interesting take on superpowers, but there was not enough world building for me to understand some things that seemed pertinent to the story.