Heritage: Addie Hunter
Creating a world that would be crime free, safe and hoping to use their newfound powers for the good, six teens by no fault of their own, but caused by an accident become superhuman with superhuman abilities. Where some would use them for destruction, to gain power over others these six three girls and three young boys use them to help make the world a better place. What happens when you live in a world where people have lost their good feelings and opinions of others especially with those with abilities? But, keeping their powers a secret from family and friends will not be easy. Approaching senior year in high school presents other challenges as we meet our superheroes and get to know them one by one as they take center stage trying to stop crime, robberies, thefts, possible arson, murder and other crimes. When we join the three girls, Ultra, Neon Wing and Kicker hoping to see why they were called to a warehouse what they see on the walls will send them on a journey to find out why strange symbols are appearing all over this small town and what connection does it have to the newest member of someone’s family that has just moved into town. Someone wants and does bomb the news building but why? Dave, one of the male superheroes as some of the others are concerned about finding dates for the homecoming dance as Dalia insists they all attend because she hopes to be homecoming queen. Dave, Chris and Blaise are the male superheroes, Julie, Kat and Lizzie the girls as their powers intertwine; their resentment towards each other is high as each group of superheroes takes center stage at different times. Julie is strong, smart and has the power to use her hands to take down criminals in an unusual way. Kat has wings that spread out and can do amazing things and Lizzie is Kicker self-explanatory. But, they can fly over towns, cities and mountains, they wear masks and special uniforms and no one knows their real identities. Able to read each other’s minds and speak without speaking in their minds one person realizes just who Julie really is but will he tell her secret or will he be her ally?
The novel starts in a unique way with someone taking Julie captive, keeping her in a cell, wanting to delete her thoughts and leaving us wondering at the end will the author return to this scene, who is this person, why do they want her and will she escape?
Each of the six heroes/teens has their own backgrounds, which make them different than most others. Julie lives in the poorer part of town and those living there are labeled as ruffians. Kat, just moved there but her family is rich and her parents always doing things for her friends. Lizzie has her brother and Dave and Quinton were left to their own devises as their parents left in November and have yet to return communicating with them by mail each month but not telling them where they went or when they would return. Zach seems odd and when Andy in school the end result attacks Julie you won’t believe allowing readers to know not to fool with Zach. Chris and Molly are paired up but each one wants to stand out in their own way and be recognized for who they are and what they bring to the friendship.
Heritage is the full range of our activities, meanings, and behaviors we draw from them. It is much more than preserving, displaying or restoring a collection of something. Heritage is tangible and intangible. Ideas and memories of important events, language or other elements that help identify who were are as us, which is equally important as saving and restoring historical buildings and more. In other words what are the memories we want to hold dear and which are forgotten? Each character as you get to know them as teens who have flaws, trying to survive, graduate and yet lonely in many respects as Julie plays off of Blaise and his family for some semblance of a parent and a brother, Kat, Lizzie just want to be recognized and accepted as who they are but what about Dave, Zach, Blaise and Quinton each one struggling with their own identities yet carrying on at school as somewhat normal teens.
A homecoming dance, Dalia wins everyone seems to be having fun until someone gets the single that something happened and the superheroes once again get there before the police but all that is there are the symbols. But, the reader gets a glimpse at the person whose doing it but why? This is a strange town and something happens that causes a car crash and someone thinks Ultra caused it because of the purple glow that comes out in her hands when she is at work as Ultra. Chris, Molly, Julie and Dave are all hurt but Molly is really injured but who or what caused the accident? Added in Chris, Julie, Kat and Lizzie have dinner at the Millers and the truth about Lizzie and her feelings about her powers comes to light at Kat reassures her that it’s the person not her appearance that makes her special. But, does she or will she grasp it?
Someone is setting fires all over town, others are robbing banks and at times the superheroes are caught in the crossfire and are injured when not wearing their costumes. Trying to figure out who is behind it seems to be uppermost in their minds but as yet the symbols and fires are still a mystery as more truths about Julie and Lizzie come out. Lizzie has her bouts with weight and appearance and Julie her father’s problem. To transcend is to rise above or go beyond the limits. To try and overcome the negative or restrictive aspects to go beyond and above the universe or material existence as these characters are doing in their own unique ways. Julie is fighting her own demons with her father, her past with Andy and having gotten involved with Zach and watching him defend her but what was he really after? Dave has his own issues along with his brother since his parents are missing. Kat and Lizzie bond hoping to solve their own type of issues and Lizzie will hopefully seek help. But, who is setting the fires and why? What about the symbols?
When the truth is known and the shadow creatures come out and the fighting ensues the ending will surprise readers as truths and lies come out, someone close to them is part of the reason why things have happened and in the end lives are lost and all six have to come to grips with different kinds of grief. What is next for them and where will they wind up and how will they convince the world that people with superpowers are here to help? Find out when the author pens Volume 2 until then Julie, Dave, Kat, Lizzie, Chris and Blaise are taking time off before the next battle begins. A great story for teens to learn the meaning of family, love, friendship, loyalties, trust and renewed faith in yourself.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine