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Powerless
Cover of Powerless
Powerless
The Hero Agenda Series, Book 1
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In a world of superheroes, the line between good and evil is always clear. Right?Kenna is constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has...
In a world of superheroes, the line between good and evil is always clear. Right?Kenna is constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has...
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Description-

  • In a world of superheroes, the line between good and evil is always clear. Right?

    Kenna is constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Kenna doesn't have a power. Sure, she's smart and independent, but surrounded by all the extraordinary, it's hard not feel very ordinary. And she's tired of it.

    So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She stands her ground. She's not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary too.

    But in the heat of battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless...
    The Hero Agenda Series:
    Powerless (Book 1)
    Relentless (Book 2)

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    If I could have any superpower, right now, I'd choose the ability to reach through glass. One thin, little pane is all that separates me from bliss...of the midnight-snack variety, to be exact. The chocolate bar hangs halfway to freedom but refuses to take the plunge, as if the vending machine is mocking me, taunting me.

    As if it knows I'm powerless.

    Annoyed, I slam my palms against the glass. Everything inside shudders. My chocolate bar-pure Swiss milk chocolate dotted with toasted hazelnuts-doesn't budge.

    "Come on," I beg as if the candy can hear me. "Just a little farther."

    No such luck.

    Then again, when have I ever been lucky? I'm just glad no heroes are around to see me lose a battle with a vending machine. I would be the punch line to every joke for a year.

    Thankfully, the lab is pretty much empty at this time of night. Even Mom went home two hours ago, leaving me to transcribe the notes from today's sessions. I prefer to work when no one is around. My experiments fall into a gray area in the Superhero Code of Conduct, and even though I'm not technically a superhero-yet-I try not to piss off the powers-that-be. The last thing I need is to lose my lab privileges before I've perfected my formula.

    Copying down Mom's scribblings is like deciphering some previously unknown ancient language. It isn't exactly the most glamorous summer job ever, but it pays okay and gives me access to the facility.

    I'm almost done with tonight's transcription from the digital white board Mom and her team spent all day filling with chemical equations for her newest power-enhancing formula. Maybe twenty more minutes, and then I can get back to my test samples.

    My stomach rumbles in protest, reminding me that I skipped dinner. I really want that stupid chocolate bar. But since I just used my last quarters, my only hope is that one of the security guards upstairs has change for a ten.

    I turn away from the vending machine alcove and start back around the corner to grab my wallet from the lab.

    Right before I make the turn, I hear hurried footsteps. Not wanting a repeat of last week's collision with Dr. Harwood-my favorite jeans still smell like sulfur-I hang back a step.

    But the boy who rushes around the corner looks nothing like the balding, old scientist who works nearly as many late nights as I do.

    No, this guy is tall and lean, but not too skinny. He's got major biceps and I can see the outline of some pretty impressive muscles beneath his shirt. Yum. He's probably about my age or a little older, eighteen or nineteen maybe. And everything about him is shrouded in black-his tee and jeans, his heavy-duty boots, his shoulder-length hair-everything but his eyes.

    If we weren't in superhero central, I'd say he looks like a stereotypical villain.

    You'd think with all that darkness, he'd be nothing more than shadow. But he's all angles: his cheekbones, his jaw, even the collarbones I can see peeking out from the low neckline of his tee. Light seems to reflect off him like moon glow at midnight. Surrounded by all that sculpted darkness, his icy blue irises burn like the hottest flames.

    Our gazes collide, and though I know it's vain, I instantly wish my hair wasn't pulled back in a messy braid and that I was wearing something-anything-more appealing than my dad's ratty old 1996 Stanley Cup Champions tee.

    Hot guys in the underground lab are few and far between-Who am I kidding? Hot guys in my life are few...

About the Author-

  • Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning and bestselling author of teen fiction about a mythological high school, mermaid princesses, monster-hunting triplet descendants of Medusa, and dark fae princes.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books happy - REALLY GOOD!! must read.
  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2015
    A teenager discovers that the line between superheroes and supervillains isn't as sharp as she supposed in this steamy collaboration. Kenna gets her first hints that something is rotten in the Superhero League when a trio of squabbling supervillains breaks into her genius mom's supposedly top-secret lab in a failed rescue attempt. Rescue? Who needs rescue? Kenna's world is about to be rocked: by the discovery that the supposedly upright superheroes are capturing and torturing villains; by the sight of her own goth-punk best friend, Rebel, snogging one of the burglars (!)-and also by newly met Draven, a "dark and scowly" villain with sexy stubble and whose "icy blue irises burn like the hottest flames," whose touch "sizzles," and whose lips...ah. Kenna suddenly finds herself a fugitive engaged, along with a crew of unlikely allies, in a series of schemes to free the captives. In addition to the flaring of romantic torches, the continual, testosterone-fueled bickering of the male cast members and laughable worldbuilding (superpowers come with convenient marker tattoos beneath the right ear for heroes or left for villains) provide at least mild entertainment. The present-tense tale hustles readers along to a climactic, inevitably far-from-decisive face-off. Unsurprisingly, Kenna turns out to be far from the unpowered "ordinary" she had been raised to believe she was. Readers beguiled by this fluff will need to stay tuned. (Romantic thriller. 12-15)

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2015

    Gr 7-10-Even though she doesn't have a superpower herself, Kenna has grown up immersed in superhero culture. After a group of villains break into her mother's lab, Kenna's outlook on the superhero world starts to unravel as she realizes that the do-gooders she has always admired are engaging in malicious deeds. Now she must work with the most unlikely of characters (villians!) in order to set things right. There is no shortage of action as this band of teenagers tries to sneak into several well-guarded facilities, but unfortunately other aspects of the novel don't hold together as well. Characters such as Kenna's rebellious best friend "Rebel" and her "dark-and-scowly" love interest are not very original or well developed. While teens in these situations may spend a lot of time arguing about what next step to take, too much of the novel is spent on the characters' bickering. The major theme explored here is the thin line between good and evil, and while there is an interesting parallel that can be drawn to the current actions of U.S. government organizations, most of Kenna's narrative is lacking in subtlety. With a cliff-hanger ending and plenty of dangling threads, there is ample opportunity for a sequel. Marie Lu's The Young Elites (Putnam, 2014) offers a more nuanced portrait of young superheroes and Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor, 2008) presents a better glimpse into corrupt government behavior. VERDICT Fans of fast-paced action and superhero books may enjoy this, but readers looking for more complexity should search elsewhere.-Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Tera Lynn Childs
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