Saturday 14 December 2013

Joshua Dread — The Nameless Hero

Joshua Dread — The Nameless Hero by Lee Bacon (Hardie Grant EGMONT)
ISBN 978 174297412 5
PB $16.95 RRP
Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

For those not familiar with Joshua Dread from the first book in the series, he's the twelve year old son of super-villains who has super powers himself — he can make things explode. He lives in a town called Sheepsdale where he hangs out with Milton (a normal kid) and Sophie, the daughter of Captain Justice, his parents' arch nemesis. This story begins on the last day of school before Summer break. The kids are looking forward to a long relaxing holiday, but that seems unlikely when they are attacked by a mutant shark librarian. Then Joshua receives a mysterious note inviting him to a Summer camp for Gyfted children. 

At the camp, Joshua finds he has been selected to form the greatest super hero team of all time, along with Sophie, a teen celebrity called nFinity and Miranda, whose superpower is foresight. Milton is also allowed along and they are suited up in lycra. Circumstances throw them into action and they are whisked off to New York to battle a super-villain called the Multiplier. Joshua's heroic deeds launch him into the public eye as the Nameless Hero. His high profile doesn't help the team camaraderie, with jealousies springing up. Joshua also discovers his old enemy Vex, has resurfaced to cause more mayhem in the world. 

Action packed, this installment in a series obviously far from finished is highly entertaining. It explores everyday issues such as family expectations and peer pressure in a very non-everyday family and group of friends. At home Joshua contends with zombies in the basement, a homicidal pot plant and a eager but dysfunctional robot called Elliot. His parents actually seem quite OK with him turning to the good side. In fact, they don't seem too villainous at all.

After some anxious moments, Joshua and his friends dispatch the bad guys, but Vex is still at large and business clearly still unfinished. Readers will need to wait to see what happens next, but in the meantime it seems the super kids can enjoy their Summer break.       

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