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We Could Be Heroes: a novel av Mike Chen

We Could Be Heroes: a novel (utgåvan 2021)

av Mike Chen (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
817256,525 (3.68)Ingen/inga
Titel:We Could Be Heroes: a novel
Författare:Mike Chen (Författare)
Info:MIRA (2021), Edition: Original, 336 pages
Samlingar:Läser just nu


We Could Be Heroes av Mike Chen


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Having both amnesia and super powers is a recipe for disaster, and that’s where Jamie and Zoe find themselves. Can they use the sparse clues to find out what is going on? First, they need to learn how to work as a team with the super powers they have. Jamie, who is a telepath, uses his powers to rob banks. Zoe, who has super strength and can fly, is the local superhero. Secondly, they need to overcome their opposite personalities. Jamie is uptight and needs to plan things out; Zoe likes to wing it and just jump in feet first. The question is: will they overcome their personal obstacles to find out what the heck is going on?

I enjoyed how the story unpeels the layers of who Jamie and Zoe were before they lost their memories. And, also, who hasn’t wished for superpowers and daydreamed about what could be done with them? One thing about the story I felt could be stronger: the antagonist doesn’t do enough to hold back Jamie and Zoe from figuring out what is going on. I figured the person/people behind their situation just didn’t have the resources and they were focused on their ultimate goal which is revealed as the story progresses. That’s not to say J and Z don’t have plenty of obstacles to overcome. There is still plenty of conflict and suspense in We Could Be Heroes.

If you like the X-men or other stories with people possessing special powers, I recommend this book. Full of action and humor, We Could Be Heroes is a great read for fans of speculative fiction. ( )
  mazeface | Feb 19, 2021 |
Chen, Mike. We Could Be Heroes. Mira, 2021.
Mike Chen is best known for his excellent, quirky, character-driven science fiction short stories. In We Could Be Heroes, he shows he can also handle larger structures. This time he has written an excellent, quirky, character-driven superhero tale. One of his heroes, Jamie, is a bank robber with, as they say of the Shadow, “the power to cloud men’s minds.” Another, Zoe, has super speed and strength and the ability to fly. She fights crime. They discover each other at a memory loss and dementia support group meeting, where they find out that neither can remember who they were before they woke up one day alone in a low-rent room and discovered they had superpowers. Naturally, they become frenemies, and later friends, as they work to discover their original identities. The plot is straight out of a comic book universe, but the characters are fully fleshed-out people with real problems and believable personalities. In an afterword, Chen says the story came from a conversation in which he kicked around the idea of two superheroes at an AA meeting. He also says he borrowed the name of Jamie’s cat Normal from his own cat of the same name and similar behavior. I am not a big reader of superhero fiction, but Chen makes it all work. Recommended. ( )
  Tom-e | Feb 5, 2021 |
We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen is the story of a bank robber and a vigilante, a race to save the world, and an unlikely friendship between two extraordinary people. The book idea lives up to the originality of Mike Chen's other books. Overall, the story is quickly read and entertaining, but the development of the idea leaves me looking for more depth in the characters, the emotions, the backstories, and the eventual resolution.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2021/02/we-could-be-heroes.html

Reviewed for NetGalley and a publisher's blog tour. ( )
  njmom3 | Feb 2, 2021 |
Warning: Strong Language

“‘You’re selling yourself short.’ Zoe spoke with brightness in her tone, like a life coach more than someone trying to coax a partner into highly illegal but morally justified crimes.”

We Could Be Heroes wasn’t as superhero-ish as I hoped it would be. For starts, we have our two main characters; Zoe a.k.a The Throwing Star, and Jamie a.k.a The Mind Robber.

Zoe’s character is an overpowered, “Superman” style superhuman. Speed? Check. Super strength? Check. Fly? Yup. Super hearing? Yes again. I don’t usually like overpowered heroes, but Zoe has enough bumps and miscalculations along the way that takes down the ‘perfect hero’ syndrome, and the story gives a good enough explanation on why she’s overpowered. Zoe herself has an impulsive, no plans, live-in-the-moment personality. She really wasn’t my cup of tea, but she wasn’t a completely annoying character.

Jamie can flip through people’s memories, erase them, and send out a little push to ‘brain stun’ his victim. The really disappointing fact is that we don’t really see any growth in Jamie’s abilities. Where Zoe is concerned, we see her gain new powers and quickly learn to use them. Jamie’s powers just seemed stunted and stale by the end. It would have been really rewarding to the character to see him push himself and discover something new. Jamie’s personality was just about the exact opposite of Zoe. He’s a bit OCD; keeping his apartment clean, making lists, and sticking to his schedule. You see a lot more growth in his character after he meets Zoe’s impulsiveness and gets swept away in the story.

Two characters that really stole the show for me but didn’t get nearly enough stage time were Normal, Jamie’s cat, and Chesterton, the cop. I wish Chen played around a bit more with Normal. This story was just wacky enough to have Normal the cat be not-so-normal and end up with a watered down version of Krypto the super dog. Chesterton also ended up being a fave of mine, and it would have been nice to see him working more with our main characters.

The plot is where the book fell short. Somehow it managed to be very vague and bogged down at the same time. There’s a bit of a cop-out on what exactly went on- Jamie and Zoe don’t understand all the technical details so neither will you. It’s like the author gave a mental shrug and said ‘Ah, well. Good enough.’ It also had a few “Oopsie” mistakes, such as Zoe remembering things she wasn’t supposed to be able to remember at certain points.

There’s also major language use. For a story I see for maybe mid-grade and up, there’s too much unnecessary language.

Overall, it’s an okay little story and a quick read, good for an afternoon or weekend. It was entertaining, but if you’re like me and get a bit twitchy when technical details are just shoved to the side, it might be one to skip over. ( )
  ReadingBifrost | Jan 30, 2021 |
Two people with extraordinary powers are on opposite sides of the law. Jamie - the Mind Robber - can stun people or see and steal their memories. He uses this power to rob banks, since they’re insured, to fund a retirement in the Caribbean with his cat, Normal. Zoe, the Throwing Star, fights crime with her super strength when she’s not delivering restaurant food orders. She’s determined to catch the Mind Robber.

But when they meet at a group for those with memory issues, they discover they have the same origin story: waking up in a paid-for apartment with no memory of their past and extraordinary powers. They agree to work together to find out what happened to them, but mysterious people start following them. They need to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

The characters are delightfully quirky. I love how the Robber is the one who’s always thinking of others and trying to do the right thing. Zoe’s enthusiasm and confidence is the perfect match for his cautious approach. I loved watching their friendship build.

My favorite line from this book: “They keep setting us against each other. And we keep deciding we’re better off as friends.”

I don’t want to say too much about this so I don’t spoil anything, but I liked the villain’s backstory.

This was a delightfully different take on superheroes with two middle-aged protagonists.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Asingrey | Jan 26, 2021 |
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