Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Strike: The Hero From the Sky-An awesomely adventurous read

How I received this book: The book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Read: From April 22-24th
My Rating: A solid 4 stars
I would describe this novel in a few words as: Electrifyingly adventurous.

Goodreads Synopsis:  

Tobin Lloyd's life is perfect: he's a senior at Bridgton High, he's one of the funniest kids in school, and his only worry is whether or not his latest prank is going to result in yet another detention.

But when he wakes up in the world of Capricious, a place where superheroes are real and attacks by super-villains are just another hassle of living in the city, all of that changes. Suddenly, Tobin's last year of high school is not going as he expected.

Far from home and pretty sure he's gone insane, Tobin must join a strange group of companions (including a beer-drinking dog and a genius, three-foot-tall robot) as he desperately tries to find a way back to Earth. However, that may be even harder than Tobin knows: a mysterious super-villain named Vincent Harris has big plans for the planet Earth...and Tobin is the only person standing in his way.

A carefree, C-student class clown is the world's last hope? Yikes.

Full of action and adventure, STRIKE: THE HERO FROM THE SKY is the perfect novel for anyone who loves a good adventure.(less)

Melissa's Musings:

This book is an awesome adventure. You're pulled in from the very first line. The opening is somewhat mysterious, and grabs you, making you want to find out more. 

After the initial pull, the story gives slight background of Tobin's life, that of a typical teenager with a bad case of senioritis. Tobin doesn't seem to know exactly what he wants to do in life, but a phone call demanding that he come help a distressed woman changes all of that. Tobin is thrust into a confusing world of strange creatures and superheroes. The real question is, will he be able to handle it all?

One of the aspects that I was most pleased with in this story is that the character dialogue in this story is very realistic and flows smoothly. In some of my latest reviews this has been a sticking point, so I was very happy to read "real characters" The language isn't forced or stiff. The kids use abbreviations, and slang. 

The plot flows together nicely. Events happen at a quick pace, like you would expect from an adventure, but not so fast as it doesn't seem real. And in a story about superheroes, you've got to keep it real enough for it not to be campy. I originally thought it might end up being cheesy, but it's not. The fact that Tobin is real makes you feel for him, connect with him. It's the fact that he is a kid with doubts and hesitations. A kid who doesn't just jump into the role of a superhero like it's the normal thing to do, because of the cool super powers.All these things are what keeps the story grounded.

 While I was reading, I kept thinking to myself that this was somehow like a live action comic book without all the cool pictures of course. But, through Wood's descriptive imagery, I could see the pictures that might accompany it in my head, which is awesome. I love being carried so far into a story that I can imagine it for myself.
One of the elements that really helps draw the reader in  is the authors use of color. I'm a real stickler for details like this to help bring me into the story. When Tobin first arrives in Capricious, he wakes up to find himself lying on blue grass, under a yellow sky, with pink clouds in it. And he's being chased by a blood-red dinosaur. In one of the action sequences, they're surrounded by purple fire. I think it's the fact that Wood uses unusual colors for these objects that helps the events resonate. Clouds, grass, sky these are all normal things, but the colors help carry you away into this alternate world.

While there was great action, and realistic dialogue, not everything was perfect. I was slightly disappointed by the character development. Orion and Tobin, two of the main characters were really well developed. I felt that the rest of the supporting characters weren't developed enough. Interestingly, the characters with the more unique names I found myself wondering about their role in the story, and if they were truly key players. I'm hoping that this will be addressed in the next books in the series.  

Overall, this was an excellent read. If you're looking for a great adventure with a superhero twist, this is it. I'm excited to read the next books from this author.

What would you do if you were being chased by a blood-red dinosaur and later found out you were the  world's next superhero? What would your superhero power be? 

Mine would be lightning speed. 

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