Knowledge is power. That would be the motto of Lander University, had it not been snatched up and used to death by others long before the school was founded. For while Lander offers a full range of courses to nearly all students, it also offers a small number of specialty classes to a very select few. Lander is home to the Hero Certification Program, a curriculum designed to develop students with superhuman capabilities, commonly known as Supers, into official Heroes. Five of this year's freshmen are extra special. They have a secret aside from their abilities - one that they must guard from even their classmates.
For every one person in the world with abilities they can control, there are three who lack such skill. These lesser super beings - Powereds, as they are called - have always been treated as burdens and second-class citizens. Though there has been ample research in the area, no one has ever succeeded in turning a Powered into a regular human, let alone a Super.
That is, until now....
©2012 Andrew Hayes (P)2016 Tantor
The story was engaging and worth the 'read'. The narration was a little off-putting. Too many instances of 'he said' 'she said'. Not sure if that is a problem with the book of if other narrators skip saying these because the listener knows who is talking based on the voice acting. The voice acting was good so we knew who was saying what, most of the time, without the constant 'he replied' or 'she reiterated'. It got very annoying, like a constant background noise, once you notice it it's hard to not hear it. And the strong American accent was a bit grating too.
"Excellent story, characters; adjust for narrator"
I was reluctant to purchase this book at first because of the narrator, whose voice I didn't care for, but playing the book at 1.25x speed solved that nicely. Loved the characters and story. Can't wait for the next installment to be available.
"only negative is "x said"."
I love comic books but they're just too short to enjoy. a novel about super hero's in training is just perfect though. if not for the repetitive "x said" the audio book would be great. in written form that's easy to ignore in an audio book its rather painful but it was worth it.
"Awesome and different"
Fun unique story and amazing narrator. I could not stop listening! On par of being as fun to listen to as Ready Player One but not needing nostalgia to keep it going.
I loved this story.
This story centers around 5 super powered kids, who until an experimental surgery, haven't had control of their powers.
The narrorator does an excellent job with changing his voice for each character and pulls you into the story.
To me, the story is more like a season of a TV series, unlike most books which strive to be a movie.
Love the all the details, and the way it was written. And as an added bonus, I now know which super power I wish I had...
"Wish I could read the second chapter."
Yes I would, characters are fun, and the narrator is pretty good.
Make an audio of year two and three already! I know the books exists already, where are they??
""[NAME] SAID" almost ruined it"
This was a pretty good book to let play in the background, entertaining but you don't miss much if you space on it for a while.
- Strong characters I thought - well conceived with complex-ish back stories.
- Good heroes journey. Author takes you along with their development where as other (shorter though) books do the literary version of a training montage.
- Super powers were acknowledged to have some science and not absolutely ridiculous. So often now there isn't a set of "rules" for super powers and they end up controlling monsters from other dimensions and breaking the laws of physics. It wasn't organized like Mistborn or anything, but there was some order, a nod to that they are still understanding them, and nothing was absolutely over the top or unbeatable Superman type.
- No story really. This book just kinda of wanders through like its a season of Real World following super powered college kids. Which is fine but I like story arcs and the feeling that if I'm reading something I know it is driving the plot/story forward. Stuff happened and there was a climax, but it wasn't together feeling.
- The plot was moved forward often by the author telling you something was happening but offering absolutely no details about, like two characters discussing what is coming but with saying one specific about it. Which is fine in small doses but it was the main mechanism used and just isn't very nuanced.
- The narrator. I thought the voices were good but almost quit listening several times because of the "[name] said" or "[name] replied" were so frequent and off putting. At first I thought the author abused the use of it (too frequent) but the more I listened the more is was the way the narrator delivered it: flat, loud, and hard... even if was the character whispering. It honestly sounds like they recorded him saying every characters name and every speaking verb, and just spliced them in during post production where needed. It was really incongruous and off-putting.
I realize my negatives are longer than my positives but short of the 5000 times i heard the dead pan "VINCE SAID" it was an enjoyable listen.
"Buy this book, I promise you won't regret it!"
I have come back to write an actual review for the first book after finishing the third. This book series is SO good. The writing is first rate, the voice actor does a great job, and the story is gripping and fun to read! I never want the series to end! This is a character story. You fall in love with each character, and watch them grow into stronger people (and stronger heroes!)
"For everyone who grew wishing they were super"
The book plays out like a TV series, but in a good way. Short fast chapters keep the pacing quick and make the book fly by. Very entertaining.
Seriously, for those who wanted to live in a comic book when you were a kid this book is for you.
"Best Series In Recent Memory"
Each primary, and many secondary, characters are fully fleshed out. They mature over the course of the novel, as well as the series. The training is well thought out and the faculty have individual personalities and backstories.
In an oversimplification, you might think of this series as Hogwarts for Supers, but MUCH better in every way.
I enjoyed them all. The individualization of voices is very well done, which is no easy task with such a large cast of characters.
It's hard to pick a single moment above all others, but perhaps when the core team finds itself challenged by harsh environmental conditions (no spoilers here).
I seldom bother to take the time to write a review, so the fact that I am for this book (and the series), is high praise indeed. It may seem that I am gushing in this review, which is unusual enough for an old man ("GET OFF MY LAWN!"), but I can't imagine any reader/listener that wouldn't enjoy this entire series. My wife and I enjoyed listening together and are eagerly awaiting the fourth installment, but with the same mixed feelings that you get as you approach the end of any great novel, never wanting it to end.
In conclusion, BUY this book immediately. After listening to this series, I bought every Audible audio book available of Drew Hayes' writings, though we haven't listened to them yet.
"Stick with it"
It starts out slow and this is one of the first books I almost did not finish
I originally picked up this book when going through a phase of loving stories about super heroes. Many others I picked up and discarded, but this story stuck with me. Drew has created a wholly new and unique way of looking at Heroes, how they might get to the standard they achieve, how they would impact the world around them by simply being.
If you're looking for something different from the usual teen friendly bog standard Super hero literature, I beg you to give this one ago. It doesn't disappoint.
As for the audiobook version, I really liked the voice actor who read the book. Many times I'll buy hear an audiobook if something I've read and find that the voice I hear doesn't match in my head, but Drew's style of writing is so individualised that they way it's read almost completely matches how I've read it in the past.
A great read or listen I can't recommend strongly enough!
"Immersing story, lots of cliffhangers"
Story was very very good, lots of cliff hangers and the end has left me with more questions than many books I've read in the past, definitely getting the next to find out what happens. Narrative is very immersing though when the narrator says "vince said" or other character said during dialogue this can become a little tedious (I realise though that he is reading word for word) the narrator does amazing voices for each character and I can always tell who is speaking a line before it is announced which character said it. Overall a wonderful story line made even better by the excellent narration which really brought the story to life.
"A powered story"
I like the layout of the book yes it took abit of getting used to the narrator but all in all a very good story
"The reader ruins it"
it's a good story, it really is. The only thing that ruined it for me is the guy who reads it. Once you hear the way he says "Nick said" "Vince asked" etc you will not be able to unhear it. it's bothersome. Good book though!
"Good Story, clunky writing"
The concept and protagonist gallery is very, very good. It is a bit like a unholy crossbreed of Harry Potter and X-men and is a excellent example of crossbreeding being successful. The tropes are there but neither taken overly seriously nor too flippant.
However one thing that become obvious with listening to the audio book is the authors horrible tick of ending each characters line with : ... Alice said, ... Vince said, ... said Alice, ... said Vince. Usually an author either let sentence build, choice of wording or just plain logic mark who said what. Or at least choose something like "... said Alice while something, something" when the need to be clear is nessecary. But not this guy, it is page up, and page down with said, said, said, said. Of course it becomes more obvious with such a good narrator ... but for heaven sake!
(It do get better in book two, perhaps a literate editor was used for that one)
Addendum: This book really grows on you, I'm not really into the supers scene, but like the X-men movies. I have continued to pursue the authors work in this world and enjoying it more and more. I don't like all worldbuilding choices he makes, but they are understandable and quasi-logical, and the characters are way better written than anything else I have seen in the genre.
So slog through this, it isn't bad, and find plenty of compensating joy in the books that follows!
"Slow start but great ending."
I really liked the summary of this book, so thought I would give it a go. But for the first couple of hours I was unsure but decided to keep going and I am so glad I did as the book really hotted up and became a great storey. So much so that I purchased book 2 even before finishing the first book. The narrator took a little while to get used to but is very easy to listen to. If you are thinking of giving this ago then bye it you will enjoy the listen.
"Nice plot shame about the style"
A good listen but what a shame about the style of writing, I have never been a fan of having a large amounts of very short chapters and this book has a lot of them! It breaks up the flow of the story to much as does the proliferation of Nick says, Alice replied etc etc sorry but it's just not needed however overall a nice plot and storyline and I will persevere and read book 2.
"Harry Potter meets Xmen."
I really enjoyed it.
I wasn't sure I would and the narration took a little to get used (some of the characters voices where similar ( e.g. Thomas/Roy)) to but otherwise it was great!
"Best read this year"
So good I couldn't put it down I read it in three days i'm about to start your two
"cool characters twists and turns great plot"
keeps us guessing at times surprises and always invested in characters and their lives in don't do a lot of reviews this was worth one
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