Date started: 3/3/17
Date finished: 3/4/17
For #20 of BookRiot’s Read Harder Challenge: Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel
In total, Hero has many engaging elements at work. I believe it’s a trailblazer in the concept of mixing superheroes with discovering one’s own sexual orientation. Yet, the sweeping problem is how some of the scenes were written and included in the book. For the most part, the book is easy and understandable, but there are a few scenes that I had to reread a few times to understand the gist of what was exactly going on. In some of the development of the characters, it seems to me Moore was trying to hard to make his characters well-rounded to the point they borderline unrealistic. I understand fully Moore was trying to produce a more gritty and realistic piece of fiction instead of the “ponies, rainbows, and everyone’s so goddarn happy all the time” that appears in some fiction. Using the gritty approach for Moore appears like he was trying too hard at it. With all of it’s flaws, I did enjoy reading Hero overall, and it was an engaging piece of YA.
There are a lot of different elements I want to discuss and I’m afraid everything will get all jumbled up together. I prefer nice, neat categories (it’s my maternal grandmother in me).
Spoiler Alert Ahead!!! Some of the categories will contain spoilers for the novel.
The romantic plot of the story does not follow the classic romance novel formula. Moore even makes some nod to the classic romance novels by giving one of the heroes the name of “Dark Hero.” Dark Hero is physically imposing, and a dark figure lurking around, sounds like a lot of the gentleman from the romance novels I’ve read, except maybee the lurking. I am pretty sure it’s a romance novel trope. Don’t quote me on this though.
Father and Son relationship
As a parent, it might be difficult to accept who you’re child actually is as an individual and not who they wanted you to grow up to be especially when it comes to any hint of them having a different view points. Hal and Thom at the beginning of the story have a strained relationship to the point where Thom decides to runaway. After a major revelation of Thom’s homosexuality, Hal shows a father’s love at its finest. I don’t want to spoil the novel, but I will write they reconcile and save the world father and son style. It’s a superhero book, you didn’t expect them to save the world.
The older superheroes are jerks. The newer ones are kind of jerks too, but less jerky and missing the sense of entitlement that the older ones have. Meh.
Ok. Before I commence with my favorite scene, I will repeat this is a major spoiler alert. So be warned. At one point in the novel, Thom down in the dumps and feeling like he can’t do anything right searches for a gentleman to “hook up” with. Or I assume that’s what he’s doing because this scene is written in a bit of a confusing manner (that I mentioned earlier). Like a classic Hollywood movie, it starts to rain. Thom, who is walking, feels he has reached one of his lowest points. Then, as if by magic, a hot stranger pulls up to the side of him and offers him a ride. Because apparently this happens in the real world.
If this does, why hasn’t a hot random stranger picked me up, yet? Wait, that sounds dangerous! Scratch that.
Long story short, Thom and this mysterious gentleman make out with each other. It is later revealed that this mysterious stranger was the villain Ssnake. Moore writes: “Okay, so the guy I happened to have my first kiss with turned out to be the worst villain in the universe. Big deal” (271-272). Totally something, I would do make out with a villain by accident. And you know what it I guess it isn’t a big deal *shrugs shoulders* happens all the time. Yeah, I’m sure Batman makes out with the Joker on a daily basis.