2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.

Book Review: We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

I loved Here and Now and Then (my first Mike Chen). It was one of my favorite books of that year, and Mike Chen was brilliant with it. It was a marvelous blend of character-driven and plot-driven storytelling, wholly original, and it grabbed my attention from the beginning and never let go. Since then I feel like I have been chasing his books trying to recapture that connection and magic and yet time and again I just can’t get there…

I started A Beginning at the End (his previous title) captivated by the premise and sure I was going to find that same connection. No dice. I tried this one, again convinced I was going to find it – and again, not so much.

I felt like I had read or seen this story before. The disaffected regular guy turned superhero who discovers that super powers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be feels like it’s become a trope or genre of its own. I’ve seen a couple of other reviews that mention that this would make for a good movie or TV show – I can agree there, because the visuals could help balance out what I felt was a lack of drama and an over-reliance on our societal relationship with the concept of angst. As a book, it just never grabbed me…

I never felt any connection to the characters – although to be fair disaffected 20-somethings and I, a very affected 40-something, don’t tend to have a lot in common. I don’t know what it is but the magic resonance and lyricism I felt in the writing in Here and Now and Then just never seems to be present in any of other subsequent books – they feel like they were written by someone else altogether… ait’s disappointing to say the least. I can’t say that there are specific things wrong with this one, but it just never worked for me. I never felt connected to the characters or the plot line and ultimately gave up.

I’ll keep chasing rainbows with Mike Chen, but with each disappointment I find myself feeling less optimistic that I will find the pot of gold at the end… One area in which I am never disappointed though is his covers – they’re always gorgeous and really help draw readers in, as you can see!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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