Author: Mike Chen
Publisher: Mira Books
Released: January 26th, 2021
I received a copy of We Could Be Heroes in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Superheroes novels are fairly common these days, so it takes effort to stand out. Enter Mike Chen’s novel, We Could Be Heroes. It is one of the most unexpected superhero novels to come out this year.
What would do, if you woke up one day with powers? Even if those powers came at great cost (say, all of your memories), you’d still find a use for them, right? That’s what Jamie did, when he woke up sans memories, but full of the ability to read minds (and wipe them).
Then there’s Zoe. She has superhuman levels of strength and speed, which she’ll sometimes use to beat people up. But only sometimes. She’s about to come across Jamie’s path in an unexpected way, and the end result is going to be a series of memorable interactions.
“The Mind Robber has spared you…this time.”
So, I’m going to be up front with you here: We Could Be Heroes was almost nothing like what I expected it to be. That’s not a bad thing, to be clear. I actually quite like that it surprised me. Though it did make it harder to fit my mood to reading it.
I’ve read a lot of superhero and villain stories in my time. A lot. So when I say that We Could Be Heroes is completely different from the rest, I want that to fully sink in. This book was nothing like the other. Ironic, since as I said, it also wasn’t what I expected.
There are things to love about this novel. I adore the whole misfits with power concept (seriously, who doesn’t?). Likewise, the representation found in this novel was so refreshing (once again, why can’t we see more super-powered LGBT characters? Pretty please?).
Also, I sincerely believe that I will never get sick of the idea of two characters meeting while in a unique support group. There’s something so human yet highly charming about the whole concept of it all.
The pacing was a bit up and down at times, admittedly. The first half seemed to fly by for me, while the second half seemed to contain slower bits here and there. It didn’t come to a dead stop or anything like that. More like the rhythm changed.
Ultimately, We Could Be Heroes left me torn. I’m leaning towards somewhere between three and four stars. If forced to choose (something other than three and a half), I would round up to four and feel comfortable in that, I believe.