Sunday 10 September 2017

Book Review: Masked (Superheroes UnderCover #1) by J.D. Wright

Title: Masked (Superheroes UnderCover #1)
Author: J.D. Wright
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publication Date: 15 August 2017
Pages: 220
Format: eBook-EPUB

Genre: NA/YA Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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Vada’s To-Do List:
- Turn 18 (check!)
- Register super name
- Order supersuit
- Attend superhero indoctrination
- Graduate high school
- Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves. Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck? Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy… (Goodreads Synopsis)

I struggled a little to rate Masked. I really loved the premise--the idea that kids with superhero parents grow up training to do the same job, and the clashes that causes with 'real life'--however I never came to truly care about the characters. I wanted to like them, but I couldn't fully connect.

Vada is our heroine and has the predominant POV. Nevertheless, this is written in third person omniscient, so we move in and out of other characters' POVs too. That doesn't worry me when it's done well, but here I wish the author had stuck to the principal characters. There are a couple of scenes when we randomly drop into a secondary character's POV for one paragraph, only to never go into their POV again, suggesting it wasn't necessary to be in their head at all.

The plot idea is typical superhero fare and had plenty of action. That kept me turning the pages despite not caring much about Vada. Overall, the book was reasonably well edited, save for those unnecessary POV hops and a few awkward wording choices, and it set things up for a sequel.

The violence, sex, and questionable morals didn't worry me personally. However, it may not suit everyone and this is definitely a book for older teens; I don't think it suitable for the under 16 market.

In conclusion, I enjoyed it in some ways but had a few reservations. If I had the opportunity to read the next in the series, I would do so, but I wouldn't actively seek it out. A good read--just not one about which I'd rave. 3.5 stars.

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