Quick Note: This is another one of those books from the amazing Indie Superhero Superbundle happening on over at Storybundle right now (hurry up, only 9 days left to get your bundle!). But don’t worry, I don’t let such things as trying to sell more books cloud my reviewing integrity. I promise!
Pretty quickly into Strike: The Hero from the Sky, even if you knew nothing about the book outside of reading the story itself, you can tell it’s a young adult novel, possibly even middle grade. It starts off with the standards. Kid in school, has troubles (although this one seems to have more going for him than against), suddenly whisked off to magical world to find out that he’s part of an elite crew who needs to save the world. (To be fair, I took this roadmap when I wrote The Legend of Buddy Hero, which is NOT a young adult novel).
Yet, although this book is written for a younger audience, it’s easy to feel the emotion and creativity that Wood has put into his tale of superheroics. Not only do we get great characters like the sidekick dog-person, or the shapeshifting robot, but we also get an entirely new world where superheroes actually like, a world separate from earth, but with people who have the ability to travel to and from our own planet.
And this is where the story truly begins to shine, because, this world, this other world, that Wood has crafted, it’s got history. You can tell it’s got history through the descriptions alone, but also through how Wood relays the information to Tobin (the protagonist). We only get bits and pieces and things move forward. AND as things move forward, we quickly realize that not everything Tobin learns is accurate.
The story in this novel isn’t spectacular, it isn’t something that will cause you to drop the book at the end and consider to yourself how amazing everything was pieced together. In fact, the climactic scene of the novel, you know, the moment in which the bad guy is finally thwarted, doesn’t exactly exist…it does, but, well, yeah…
But what does really work here is how the world is set up to continue the trilogy. Assuming all that has been alluded to goes somewhere in the rest of the trilogy, we, as the readers, should be in a treat as Tobin gets to explore his homeworld and learn more about the history of his father.
Where this book does really shine is in its creativity. Wood has some fantastical ideas that he puts to the page here, ones that make me think that he’s got plenty to offer as his tale continues.
Or, for the next 9 days, get the SuperBundle at StoryBundle, which includes this book as well as books from Jack Wallen, Mur Lafferty, and yours truly!