Sunday, 16 December 2018

Review: Scales

Scales Scales by Nicole Conway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A decent YA supers story which manages to avoid the heavy reliance on cliche that can plague both those genres.

The protagonist, while explicitly mediocre (or is he?) is not a mediocre white guy. The pacing and tension are well managed (good chapter-ending points that make you want to read on). The love interest has blue-green eyes, but don't they all? That's the YA equivalent of a muscular bare chest on a romance cover: cheesy, but so much expected now that it almost can't be dispensed with.

The superhero side of things plays out pretty Spider-Manish (New York nebbish gets superpowers, is regarded as a threat by the media), but not so much so that it's just a clone. And although the protag, and most of the people around him, think he's mediocre, he's kind and courageous and deserves his superpower; he doesn't just luck into it.

The identity of the villain amused me. It just seems such an obvious play to the prejudices of the teenage audience. But it's handled well, and so are the characters in general and their interactions, motivations, and development.

The pre-release review copy I got via Netgalley was still a little scruffy, but nothing a good copy editor couldn't tidy up in short order.

I will be watching for a sequel.

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