I’m coming to you live from Nova City for Action News, filling in for Rebecca Firestone, who is currently indisposed. (Don’t ask!)
As you can see, in the sky above me, a battle is raging. Shadow Star and Pyro Storm are at it again! No one knows who’s behind the masks of these Extraordinaries or how Extraordinaries even become so extraordinary in the first place. Did some awful tragedy befall them in their childhood? Were they born with their powers?
While we wait to learn what this latest skirmish is all about (and I dare say it will be something extraordinary), I’ll be talking to local boy, Nick Bell. Nick is widely known for his Extraordinary fan fiction, where he goes by the screen name ShadowStar744. With over 250,000 words already written about this superhero/supervillain dynamic, I’m sure he has a lot to say. Welcome, Nick.
“Uh. Er. Glugh. Blargh.”
It’s lovely to talk to you as well. So, Nick, what’s so extraordinary about Extraordinaries?
“They can manipulate shadows and fire and pose on tops of buildings while the sun sets behind them!”
Do you have a favourite Nova City Extraordinary?
“One is a jerk who burns things because he’s a pyromaniac or something. The other is a paragon of virtue who saves people and controls shadows and climbs walls.”
Right. So Team Shadow Star then.
“You have to get me the security tapes! So I can watch them over and over again for my own personal reasons that don’t involve anything weird.”
Um, I’m not sure that would be appro-
“What did I ever do to you? Aside from all those things I did?”
I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, is there anything you want our viewers to know, Nick?
“I need my own origin story”
“Operation Turn Nick into an Extraordinary and Live Happily Ever After with Shadow Star in a Villa Off the Coast of Italy Where We Feed Each Other Grapes by Hand is underway!”
That sound intriguing, Nick, but unfortunately that’s all we have time for today. Until next time, “Always remember to keep to the shadows!” This is me, signing –
Steve from the Action News desk [whispers]: Guys, did that chunk of building just flatten our reporter? I sure hope Rebecca Firestone is available to take over the commentary …
So, I am absolutely obsessed with this book! If it’s not already on your TBR list, please remedy that immediately! Nick’s story is a binge worthy combination of awkward, heartwarming and funny. I spent so much time smiling as I read that I probably resemble the Joker at this point.
Nick is so endearing and his ADHD, combined with his extraordinarily high adorability/cluelessness quotient, made me want to listen to every single thing that was on his mind, no matter how off topic he wandered.
Nick’s attention had a deficit, and he was hyperactively disordered.
The banter between Nick and anyone who manages to stumble into a conversation with him was one of my favourite things about this book. There wasn’t a dud character in the bunch. I need to find a way to infiltrate Nick’s group of friends because I need people like them in my life; their support of one another is matched by their ability to lovingly detonate truth bombs when required. The best way to introduce them has already been taken by the author:
Seth was too smart. Nick was too loud. Gibby was too butch, and Jazz had once been like everyone else before Gibby had put her lesbian magic all over her and taken her to the dark side.
Alongside the superpowers, the queerness and the almost incomprehensible relatability of every character, you also get the bonus messages, which include but are not limited to:
- Having a disorder doesn’t make you disordered
- Your embarrassing moments don’t have to define you
- Trauma changes you
- Forgetting to human happens to the best of us, and
- Old people are inherently weird. (Hold on! By this book’s standards I’m an old person. I won’t claim that but I will happily claim the weird.)
I personally learned that I can overcome my romantiphobia when the occasion calls for it, like when my heart needs to melt over watermelon flavoured Skwinkles Salsagheti, being able to fly is the first superpower I will achieve, and I may need to take steps to become a supervillain if I don’t get to find out what happens next really, really soon.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the opportunity to fall head over heels in love with this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
In Nova City, there are people capable of feats that defy the imagination. They’re called Extraordinaries.
There is Shadow Star: a protector who can manipulate darkness in his quest to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
His arch-nemesis is Pyro Storm: an Extraordinary capable of controlling fire who is bent on bringing Nova City to its knees.
And then there’s sixteen-year-old Nicholas Bell: who isn’t Extraordinary in the slightest.
He’s Shadow Star’s number one fan, writing fan fiction of their adventures together and dreaming of a day where he too dons a costume and fights crime. Too bad ADHD isn’t a superpower, otherwise Nick would be golden.
Instead of stopping villains and their convoluted schemes of global domination, Nick must contend with starting his junior year, a father who doesn’t trust him, and a best friend named Seth, who may or may not be the love of Nick’s short, uneventful life. It should be enough.
And it is … until a fateful encounter with Shadow Star forces Nick to realise his true destiny. He’s tired of being ordinary, and he’ll do whatever it takes to become something more.