Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: We Don't Need Another Hero by Sierra Dean

We Don't Need Another HeroWe Don't Need Another Hero
Sierra Dean
Release: April 5, 2016
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She'll Light His Fire. 

The city of Gold Bay once had a great champion in local superhero Apollo. But after his brutal defeat at the hands of The Scourge, the citizens have been left to the villainous whims of a madman. 

When young reporter Rebecca “Bex” Beckett returns home to care for her sick father, the last thing she expects is his request that she play caretaker to his shut-in employer, Camden Nash. Cam is not the same man Bex remembers from ten years earlier. Once a pinnacle of society, he is now a broken shell of his former self. Yet something is simmering between them. 

As Bex becomes interested in the elusive mayor of Gold Bay, Simon Nerezza, Cam must rally to become the hero he once was in order to protect Bex from Nerezza’s dark past. But Bex is no damsel in distress. She has a trick or two up her own sleeve, and things in the city on the bay around about to get super hot. 

Contains a grumpy has-been hero, a fiery heroine who is too hot to handle, and a villain who’d love nothing more than to have them both in the palm of his hand. 
We recently spent a whole week talking about superheroes on the blog, but Sierra Dean's latest still managed to look at them from a new perspective. We always expect the superhero to defeat the villain and take for granted that he will always be there to protect the city. We Don't Need Another Hero explores what happens when the hero loses.

Bex watched Apollo die at the hands of The Scourge when she was twelve. The city of Gold Bay was no longer safe so she and her mother moved away. But her father stayed and still works for the reclusive billionaire Camden Nash. When Nash calls to tell her that her father's in the hospital Bex returns to her hometown and ends up caring for Nash in her father's place while he recovers. She also starts to realize just how far the city has fallen since its hero fell. And since she's a reporter, she investigates and lands both herself and Camden on the mayor's radar.

I liked the behind-the-scenes/where-are-they-now look into Cam's life after he could no longer be a superhero. Dean contrasts that with Bex realizing that the powers she's tried to hide might be put to use to help people, or they might make her a killer. She's no damsel in distress, which she demonstrates not only when battling The Scourge, but also with the way she handles the sexism in her everyday life, but she doesn't want to put on a cape either. So the title has multiple meanings for Bex: she helps Cam realize that he still has a little hero left in him, but she also helps the city to realize that they don't need to rely on superheroes to save them. Her story is ultimately about everyone finding strength in themselves.

That said, her story is also a romance. One with some unique twists. I think this is the first time I've seen a hero in a wheelchair. But what really stood out to me was, not exactly their age difference, but the fact that she grew up in his house. She says that her father "practically raised" Cam but they don't think of each other as brother and sister (because that would have been creepy.) I liked seeing their memories of each other from her childhood and how their feelings evolved.

I did want to know more about Cam's past though. How did his family make their money? When did he lose his parents? What made him become Apollo? I keep filling in his backstory with Batman's because of their similarities and that doesn't feel quite right.

Recommended for fans of: Agent Carter, Lois Lane, superhero stories

ARC provided by the author

3 1/2  stars

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