The SPSFC started with 300 books and narrowed it down to 30 semi-finalists. I’ll be reviewing every semi-finalist, as well as several books from other group’s slush piles that looked interesting to me.
Ever the Hero by Darby Harn
Kit finds an alien artifact as she’s scavenging through the ruins of her city for something to sell. When she goes to swap it, she gets caught up in the tragic story of Valene, a super-powered woman who can hear everything, everywhere, all the time. Her suffering from this power is great, and Kit finds herself trying to manipulate the artifact to help the ailing super.
In Ever the Hero, Harn tells a superhero tale that has several twists on genre tropes. Most of these twists can be found elsewhere (like existing non-powered in a super-powered society; having superheroes be… less than heroic, etc.), but the combination Harn weaves is enough to make it all feel fresh and new.
I was especially taken by the relationship between Kit and Valene, which has enough wrinkles in it to be raw and exciting by turns. Are they going to survive? Do they love each other? Can they? And, of course, what of the aliens and the mysterious artifacts they’ve left behind that seem to grant super powers to some individuals and not others? There are many questions of this type raised throughout the novel, and while some answers are given, others are left for later in the series.
Ever the Hero tells fantastic superhero story. It has enough twists to keep even this comic book fan interested in seeing what’s going to happen next. I highly recommend it.
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