Who needs a distraction right now? Well, superheroes to the rescue. Here are a few cool-sounding superhero novels that I’ve come across online. As usual, I haven’t read all of them personally (yet), so check out the reviews and previews before purchasing.
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Cute Mutants Vol 2: Young, Gifted & Queer
by SJ Whitby
“I spent my life dreaming of being invited to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Turns out irl it has the vibe of a Dark Kermit gif. I just want to stay in the closet kissing my hot girlfriend.”
Despite the chaos and me being a dumpster fire, things turned out okay last time. We beat the villain, and I’m part of a superteam. I have cool friends, and somehow (don’t jinx it, Dylan), I even got the girl. Not just any girl—the icy badass who’s secretly soft-hearted. Things should be great, right?
Now the government’s come knocking, and we’re summoned to superhero school. Which is a dream come true, except it’s run by a corporation. But not all corporations are shady, right? It’s fine, if you can get over the teeny, tiny problem that there’s also an evolution-obsessed organisation trying to figure us out. Plus, it turns out we aren’t as rare as we thought. There’s another group of mutants with dangerous powers running loose, and we’re the ones who’ll have to stop them. I hope the part on my school records that says “near-pathological disregard for authority” isn’t going to come back and bite me. Maybe it’ll be the thing that saves us.
Hench: A Novel
by Natalie Zina Walschots
The Boys meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this smart, imaginative, and evocative novel of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption, told with razor-sharp wit and affection, in which a young woman discovers the greatest superpower—for good or ill—is a properly executed spreadsheet.
Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?
As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.
So, of course, then she gets laid off.
With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.
Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.
It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.
A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.
Just Cause Universe Compendium
by Ian Thomas Healy
From a single short story written in 2001 to a sprawling series of more than twenty books, the Just Cause Universe is a superheroic reflection of our times. Encompassing more than sixty years of history, these tales fill in the gaps, tell the side stories, and broaden the depth of the JCU. Although all these stories have appeared in previous publications, this is the first time they have been collected into a single volume. Arranged in roughly chronological order, these stories start with the earliest heroes from World War II and run the gamut through to recent history. Read how the inclusion of superheroes has changed some real-world events, while others have instead changed the heroes themselves.
Mercury Out Cold: A Mercury Hale Novella
by Steve Rzasa
Worst. Party. Ever.
Mercury Hale’s dull day is interrupted by Dominic Zein and the rest of the Procyon heroes — the guys, that is. They take him across the world for a bachelor evening to relax after recent conflicts.
But an enemy reappears in a European nightclub, wielding a powerful weapon thought lost, one that can summon an ancient force capable of bringing the teammates to their knees.Or turning them against each other.
Mercury must uncover new allies and hunt down his friends, before they grind the resurgent Procyon into the dust, and before the wedding bells chime.
Geek Fire (Dragon Girl Book 1)
by Mel Woodburn
Honors student, Emma Edgin, never thought she’d be a superhero, but she never thought she’d fail a class or be diagnosed autistic either.
After a strange craft flies over the West Coast, Emma sneezes a fireball and starts flying.
Emma doesn’t want to be a hero. She’s got to focus on passing English and keeping the new Super Commission agent from noticing her.
Too bad so many people need saving.
Geek Fire is the first novel in the Dragon Girl Series. If you like nerdy heroes and conspiracies, then you’ll love this series!
Buy Geek Fire now!
Origin: A Young Adult Urban Fantasy Novel (Spectra Book 1)
by Lan Chan
Every hero has an origin story. Mine begins with an underground cage fight and ends in a secret identity.
By day I’m Willow Nguyen, not so mild-mannered teenager searching for her missing mother. By night…okay, I’m the same, but it’s easier to break into banks under cover of darkness.
My world is divided into the Academy and the Kings: the law and the thugs. At the centre of their power are the espers like me: the telepaths, psychics and illusionists.
What I can do could change the balance of power in Melbourne. So it makes sense for me to keep a low profile. It’s not my fault that I get drawn into an illegal cage fight. Yes, I did have to become a psychotic King’s nemesis. No I won’t stop fighting until one of us is dead.
With great power comes great pain in the backside. I just have to make sure it hurts them more than me. Willow Nguyen might just be a girl, but Spectra will become a legend.
Origin is the first novel in the Spectra Series. It is an Australian young adult urban fantasy series with slight Academy overtones. There are flavours of X-men and Dark Angel with a big helping of snark and a slow burn romance.
The Judgment of Valene: Eververse Book 2
by Darby Harn
The Eververse continues in the second book in a series that’s been called ‘the next logical step after Watchmen.’
Wealth. Privilege. Superpowers. Valene has it all… except any mercy from the person trying to kill her.
For the first time in her life, Valene Blackwood has peace. She’s been aboard her own private space station for a year, removed from the sonic duress of the world that she suffers due to her superhuman ability to hear everything, everywhere. When her father dies, she must return and take over the family business – selling superhuman protection for profit.
With her father gone, challengers emerge for control of Great Power. Valene is young, unproven, and wanting only to go back to her sanctuary in the sky. She struggles to stay focused, knowing the future of the company is at stake. The future of the Empowered. Before she has a chance to get her feet on the ground, someone tries to kill her.
Advanced technology nearly rips Valene right out of her own skin. Technology only one person in the world could have invented: the woman she left behind by going up to the space station. Kit Baldwin. But Kit is a hero. Is someone setting her up? Is someone trying to ruin them both?
Valene sets out to find the truth, and for the first time in her life, she has to listen. She has to stay in the world. She has to be the hero she never wanted to be.
If she can survive.
Have you read any of these books? Know of any good new superhero fiction that I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments!