Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#Herofail (Superheroes Anonymous #4), by Lexie Dunne

Harper Voyager Impulse, ISBN 9780062696236, November 2018

Once, Gail Godwin was Hostage Girl--not a superhero, but the girlfriend of a superhero, more or less continually being kidnapped and held hostage to influence her boyfriend, Blaze. Or, mundanely, Guy Bookman. But Blaze is now retired, Guy is working to become a chef, and due to events in previous books, Gail now has superpowers, and is Raptorlet--the apprentice Raptor, in training to take over when the current Raptor, Jessie, retires.

And of course, all heck is about to break loose.

Eddie Davenport, head of the Davenport Corporation for which all superheroes work, has decided it is time to promote his niece, Kiki, to a more prominent position with the goal of positioning her to be the next CEO when he retires. This is controversial for many reasons, but the big problem for Gail turns out to be that supervillain Tamara Diesel has planned a major attack on the gala where the announcement is formally made. In the course of this, Gail is forced to appear in the full Raptor armor to confront the attackers--and briefly winds up on her butt, arms and legs in the air. Someone snaps a picture, and it winds up trending on social media, #HeroFail.

Raptor is supposed to be the most discreet of superheroes. If there's any superhero who should never be trending on social media, it's Raptor, and certainly not as #HeroFail. Everyone is angry with her.

The next morning, there's a rebellion at Detmer Prison, the only prison able to contain captured supervillains. And this is barely even the beginning of Gail's problems, even when she is sent to Detmer to confront the most prominent supervillain of all, Rita Detmer.

Rita Detmer is Fearless, Raptor's greatest enemy, and also Eddie Davenport's mother, and Kiki's grandmother.

Not having read the previous books, I had a little bit of confusion in understanding the story, but it drew me in and became a lot of fun. There's a lot of action, and a lot of twists and turns. Gail was still learning the use and control of her superpowers at the beginning of the book. Along the way, she acquires more, and because of the need to learn how to use them, this isn't the obvious benefit it might seem at first glance. She can hurt herself and others, and damage valuable property, as her new abilities surprise her.

This is a light, fun, fast-paced story. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.