Hero by Mike Lupica

September 28th, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

Mike Lupica is known for his sports books, so it’s interesting that sports take a back seat in Hero. Main character Billy is a basketball player, but the big challenge for him is figuring out what happened to his dad and the powers that he had.

I’m a big superhero fan, so I have high expectations for a superpowered book. Stories like the Quantum Prophecy series and Powerless find new ways to spin old tropes. It’s so tough to break new ground in a superhero book considering how many comics are published each month (each day, if you count webcomics (which you should)).

Hero does not do anything new. I really, really wanted it to, but it doesn’t. Maybe I’ve just read a lot of superhero stories, which is a very possible reality. The only thing I found different was that a lot of the metaphors are sports-related, which makes sense since it’s Lupica, but felt kinda weird in the narrative.

You’ve got the boy who loses a parent, finds a mentor, and discovers his special talent to use for the betterment of society. [Insert your Luke Skywalker/Harry Potter/Eragon/King Arthur comparisons here to make Joseph Campbell giggle with delight.]

This isn’t a bad book; it’s simply one that had potential that it didn’t fulfill. Check it out and see if I had too high of expectations.

Griggs Note: I chatted with Mike Lupica today. After hearing about his kids’ experiences in sports, I have a better understanding of his plotlines. In his words, sports teaches you that when you get knocked down, you get back up. It makes sense that you see that thread in all of his books if that’s what he’s passionate about.


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