Very occasionally you pick up a book and from the very first page you know you are reading something quite special.
"A Powerful and fascinating foray into the future of science and its unforeseen consequences"
It wasn't Jason's fault that his father's Ultimate Sacrifice hadn't resulted in Martyrdom, but in a Villainous reputation. His classmates were intent on punishing him for it regardless. It wasn't Evanna's fault that she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and wound up with Superpowers a la toxic waste. She was forced into Superhero Training anyway. It wasn't Stretch's fault that his teachers focused more on using his powers than on the ethics of doing so. Sidekicks had to do what Superheroes told them to, and why shouldn't he use his powers to get what he wanted? In a world where Superpowers are common, and those gifted with them a facet of everyday life, the lines between Hero and Villain are not always so easily drawn. As though being a teenager wasn't hard enough!
It seems that superheroes are everywhere these days, and readers couldn’t be happier about it as they continue to migrate from the pages of comic books to prose fiction. Unfortunately too many follow a generic pattern and originality in the subgenre is still something of a rarity whilst few are significant for their quality of writing, depth and literary value. Rose seems acutely aware of this and has therefore delivered a novel which is wholly original. Yes, the expected tropes that question the notions of heroism and good vs evil are present but rather cleverly she turns the idea of how one individual might deal with being gifted with extraordinary abilities on its head to make superpowers commonplace and it's a formula that works really well. Readers familiar with Rose’s work will know she is very good at creating solid origin stories that set the tone for her characters and challenges that they will face and here she is clearly on form giving each of her heroes a distinct voice.
A strong start to a series with huge potential, Between Darkness and Light might mark a step change to Rose's previous releases but it is one to which seems particularly well suited. A must-read for fans of the super hero genre it is definitely recommended.
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