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Review: Powerless (Childs/Deebs)

AUTHOR: Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
SERIES: The Hero Agenda, book 1
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492616573
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: paranormal, superheroes
SETTING: present day Boulder, Colorado

SUMMARY: In a world full of superheroes and super-villains, it is no fun to be powerless. The only daughter of a superhero scientist, Kenna secretly tries to formulate a serum to grow superpowers in those without powers–people like Kenna. Working late one night, powerless Kenna must fend off powerful villains who break into her mother’s lab. When her mother is kidnapped soon after, Kenna begins to question the hero’s agenda and and their possible involvement in her mother’s disappearance. Kenna soon learns that the line between superhero and super-villain aren’t so clear after all.

REVIEW: As much as I loved Childs’ Forgive My Fins series, I really thought I’d like Powerless much better than I actually did. The first 50 pages went reasonably well, but before long, the story just gets tedious. Nearly everything that happens–even those things that were supposed to be surprising–is so easy to predict. I saw the “bombshell” at the end coming in the first few chapters. The romance between Kenna and Draven is also predictable, even when the two of them appear to be on opposite sides of the hero/villain battle.

After the first half, I started skimming. I liked it well enough to keep reading, but not well enough to read every word. There isn’t really all that much conflict going on–find the missing villains and Kenna’s mother, a little predictable romance, some predictable stuff about Kenna and Draven’s pasts. Some stuff with Kenna’s annoying bestie Rebel. While there is some action, I just couldn’t find it within me to care about the plot.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I had hoped for something more along the lines of Sky High, but for me, Powerless just wasn’t that interesting or engaging.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don’t have it, and I don’t plan to get it.

READALIKES: Pivot Point (West); I Am Number Four (Lore)


  • Overall: 2/5
  • Creativity: 3/5
  • Characters: 2/5
  • Engrossing: 2/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens: 4/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 3/5


  • Language: medium–several sh**; no F-bombs
  • Sexuality: mild–kissing
  • Violence: medium–torture, kidnapping, murder (nothing too graphic)
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none

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