Monday, July 23, 2012
By Mike Lupica, read by Dan Bittner
Published 2012 by Penguin Audio
It starts just after his father, an American hero, dies - Zach Harriman begins to notice some strange changes. Like he's a lot stronger than he should be. And he can see and hear better. And a lot of people he's never met before suddenly seem very interested in him. When Zach finally learns the truth about his father, the changes begin to make sense...
I've been trying (here and there and with no real dedication thus far - too many books!) to read the Bluebonnet nominees (state book award here in Texas). When I saw the audiobook version of this title was available, I snatched it up (good thing because as soon as summer hit, all our Bluebonnets flew off the shelves). I've never read a Lupica book before - he usually writes sports fiction and, while I enjoy sports, I don't generally read fiction about them. The premise of this book sounded interesting to me, so I was happy to pick it up on my Bluebonnet mission (which I might never finish because some of them DO NOT interest me at all). I really wanted to like this book but, at most, I feel pretty ambivalent. In fact, it's been maybe two weeks since I finished listening to the book and I'm having a hard time remembering too much about it. Parts of the story are good - Zach's struggle to understand his new identity as well as integrate the new information about his father with what he remembers of him is interesting. And the action scenes are exciting and keep you on your toes - I never knew when the next one might pop up and how Zach would use his new abilities to get out of trouble. But, overall, this is not a book that's going to stick with me (obviously). It felt a bit uneven and not fully drawn out. Additionally, while I like heroes and villains who are not so clear-cut, the characters here almost felt a little too ambiguous to be meaningful in any way. I like superheroes; I just hoped for more from this book.