July 29, 2015

DNF Review: School for Sidekicks

School for Sidekicks
School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough
Grade: DNF
Release date: August 4, 2015
This e-galley was provided by Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Being a hero isn't always what it's cracked up to be in this funny and genuine novel from adult fantasy author Kelly McCullough.

Evan Quick is a GIANT superhero geek who dreams of one day becoming a superhero himself. Every morning he checks to see if he's developed his powers overnight, and every day there's nothing. No flying, no super strength, no invulnerability—that always hurts to check—no telepathy, no magic. Not even the ability to turn off the alarm clock without smacking the switch.

But then Evan somehow manages to survive a supervillian's death ray, and is sent to the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Unfortunately, his new school is not what he expected, and instead of fighting bad guys, Evan finds himself blacklisted, and on the wrong side of the school's director. If Evan ever wants to realize his dream, he must convince his "mentor" Foxman, a semi-retired has-been, to become a real hero once again.

When did I stop reading?: 12% into my e-galley (midway through chapter 5, so roughly page 40)
Why didn't I finish?: I wasn't feeling particularly enthusiastic about this book, and the worldbuilding was shoddy at best.

The Long(er) Review: I love superheroes. I love books about superheroes. So I believed School for Sidekicks was written for me. Unfortunately, I got a book that seemed very early in its writing process. The worldbuilding was shaky; I felt so confused about everything. The narration was unreliable. For a kid who overshared, Evan Quick also left a lot out. Nothing really made sense in this book. I understand keeping your readers somewhat in the dark, but this was just too much. And, as the chapters went by, I felt pretty bored.

The Verdict: Not worth your time. If you're looking for a good middle grade superhero book, try Sidekicked.

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