Kevin Hardman brings the often explored genre of superheroes into the world of novels and delivers a fast paced adventure with good storytelling in Sensation. Jim is a sixteen year old boy who has put off learning to drive, doesn’t have many friends, and deals with anger issues. What sets him apart from many who share those traits is that Jim has developed nearly every super power in the book!
I received a free copy of the audiobook initiated by my request, and I’m glad I sought it out! I used to read a lot of superhero comics as a kid and feel they influenced my tastes in reading and writing. Aside from the occasional Marvel or DC movie, it’s a genre I haven’t visited in better than fifteen years and it turned out to be fun.
We learn from flashbacks early on that two years before our tale begins, Jim blew his big opportunity to join the world’s foremost superhero team, the Alpha League. He now operates under a different alias with the help of his grandfather, a retired telepath, and Brain Trust, a hive mind of clones who want to know everything.
Under pressure from his mom and Grandpa to fit in with other kids, Jim attends a superhero teen football pick-up game where he become acquainted with some of the Alpha League’s junior members. The adventure unrolls in expected and well delivered comic book fashion.
Foreshadowing in this book was well done two pieces in particular played out exactly as I thought they might. No real surprises, but it’s a superhero book, so I didn’t expect a jack-knifing plot like in a suspense or thriller.
The first person storytelling allowed for the occasional info dump on some of the finer details of super powers. One example I enjoyed was when Jim finished a shower, he simply phased himself off from being solid matter, so water dropped away rather than needing to be toweled off.
I listened to the audiobook which was well narrated. Supporting characters had distinct voices or accents which always makes it a bit easier to keep the story straight during dialogue heavy scenes.
Like any good superhero adventure there are more opportunities for sequels sprinkled throughout the story than I can count and a quick look at Mr. Hardman’s Goodreads page confirms he’s made good on at least six of them.
I took off one star because I feel that Hardman introduced the reason for Jim’s freak out and voluntary two year seclusion without really explaining why Jim felt it wasn’t actually him that had such an anger problem. Then Jim continues to have anger issues later on, although to a lesser severity.