Book Review: Shero by Jack Wallen

8638774Quick Note:  This book is part of the Indie Superbundle sale currently going on at Storybundle.com.  A great opportunity to get some of today’s greatest Indie Superhero Novels.  Also…only available for the next 2.5 days (you know…so, act now and all that!)

Shero, at it’s most simplest of looks, might just appear to be a single high concept ideal based on selling books to an underrepresented part of the reading population.  I mean, even I had my reservations about how well put together a book about the world’s only transgendered superhero could really delve into the deep concepts behind what it’s like to be transgender.

And, I’ll admit that at the start of the book even, those reservations weren’t immediately lost.

Shero likes to dress up in women’s clothing, meaning that he likes to kick butt in a dress.  And at first, we see Shero focusing a lot on the clothes, which, to be fair, if you like to dress up in the finest of female attire (whether male or female), it’s probably something that does consume a fair amount of your brainpower (as a male who dresses poorly, I can’t say anything for certain).  But at first, I was nervous as it seemed almost to come across as the dialogue was written for some outmoded female stereotype where the person was more concerned about chipped nails than about their fellow man.

Luckily I read on, because it does quickly become apparent that there’s much more to Shero than jokes about Wang dresses.  In fact, it’s even much more about finding acceptance as someone who is different than others (as we see most people have come to expect Shero to wear his reinforced heels and are disappointed when he comes in anything less than the most impressive fabrics).  In the end, this is a story about doing what’s right, even if it goes completely against what you’ve been told is right all your life.  It’s a story about being true to you, and getting down what really matters.

In other words, Shero actually has a rather amazing subtle message hiding among the humor (as this is a comedy title).  It comes at the idea of being transgender (or different in any way) from an entirely different angle, and one that you might not notice if you weren’t paying attention.  It does it by questioning the norm, but being introduced to new ideas and finding that the ones you were told before were lies…but none of this actually relates at all directly to Shero’s choice in clothing.

I could actually go on for quite some time about the devices Wallen uses to get his ideas across, but I won’t do that here.

Instead, I’d rather focus on the fact that this well-crafted tale is something special.  It’s funny.  Just the fact that Shero’s superpower is that he can shoot his fingernails (covered in a variety of nail polishes which can induce a number of different status effects) is enough to make one smile.  The narrator has this sense of irreverence that one can’t help but think even he finds the whole event rather humorous.

It’s a fun story, hiding a deeper meaning, that is a great quick read which will leave you begging for more.

Luckily, there’s a second book out (and I believe a third on the way) to allow readers to get to know more about the man in the Prada (sorry…my knowledge of fashion is pretty limited here).  I know it’s on my to-read list.

If you want to read this one as well as some of the best indie superhero literature you can find, get it right now (like, you know, in the next 60 hours or so) at storybundle.com/heroes.

Otherwise, it’s always available here.

 

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