Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne takes every opportunity to poke fun at the old comic book worlds with superheroes all over the place and the rather poor view on women that was also integral to many of those comics. I had no idea what to expect from Superheroes Anonymous, but I was in the mood for trying something I hadn’t heard anything about and I’m so glad I did! I was at first worried since the main character is called Hostage Girl for how many times she has been kidnapped by super-villains and rescued by superheroes, but this was just the start of the light being shone on how ridiculous many old comic book stories were. Our Hostage Girl is by no means a wilting flower and finds herself in a situation no one expected.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Superheroes Anonymous from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne
Published by Harper Voyager on Nov. 18th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again.
Now, the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just Gail’s boyfriend Jeremy in disguise. Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?
But when the villains miraculously lose interest, Gail is able to return to her life…until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. Escaping, and now more than human herself, she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weakness) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.
- Superheroes Anonymous takes place in a world were superheroes and supervillains are fairly common. A few decades ago people started getting powers and then starting battling each other with those super powers. Eventually the thrill of the new wore off and now super-powered people are a known part of everyday life. You probably won’t run into them on the street (at least you won’t know you did), but you might spot them from time to time and you’ll definitely follow the superhero gossip sites since they are the new celebrities. It was a lot of fun to read about a world that was pretty similar to the ones from the major comic book worlds, but just this side of ridiculously entertaining.
- Gail is a strong and delightfully blunt main character. She is put into ridiculous situations because the super villains have taken a strange interest in her, but she speaks her mind and doesn’t tiptoe around any sense of propriety. She also doesn’t stay Hostage Girl for long and soon enough finds herself with some new strengths to add to her arsenal.
- The romance in Superheroes Anonymous is not actually a full-blown plot line and is only hinted at, but it is pretty adorable. I’m so excited to continue wanting to smash Gail’s face into a certain sweet superhero’s as the series continues ;-).
- There are so many moments in Superheroes Anonymous where they are clearly poking fun at the tropes of the comic book industry and I just couldn’t help laughing out loud and reading lines to whoever was around me. I was honestly never much a fan of comic books, but satire based on them is quite entertaining!
- Superheroes Anonymous is written in a light-hearted and fun style. Gail is working hard throughout much of the book, but the reader has a lot more fun than she does. I was always excited for the next snarky encounter and finding out more about the secret underground superhero world.
- There is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of Superheroes Anonymous that just didn’t feel necessary. It isn’t the sort of “omg what is going to happen next????” cliffhanger that also annoys me but for different reasons. No, this cliffhanger is a “omg that is so unfair gah stupid person is stupid!!!!” where I just want to punch someone. I almost don’t want to read the start of the next book because it will annoy me so much! (I get righteously indignant easily >.>.)
- Superheroes Anonymous just didn’t give me enough information about what each of the superheroes and villains could do. They all have varying levels of various powers and there didn’t seem to be much of a pattern to them. I must be able to learn everything!
- While it was clear that Superheroes Anonymous was meant to be making fun of various annoying tropes, there were times when the satire just wasn’t obvious enough for me and instead the dynamics felt vaguely uncomfortable and sexist. I’m taking everything with the assumption that they weren’t meant that way, but it’s hard when that isn’t clear enough from the writing.
Superheroes Anonymous is a great book for those of you who love the idea of superheroes but are uncomfortable with the comic book industries murky history when it comes to the treatment of women. Gail is a heroine you have to root for and I seriously wish I could be friends with her. I’m excited to see where her new powers go in book two and the budding romance should be fun ;-). If you hate cliffhangers though, maybe wait until book two is out and then binge!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.