‘H.E.R.O.’ is a superhero novel series by Kevin Rau about a world filled with danger, adventure, and high flying action. At present over ten novels have been self-published by Kevin. The first work in the series, Metamorphosis, introduces the main characters for the series and the mechanics of the world setting.
Metamorphosis follows three friends Rael, Lance, and Stephanie as they gain powers from a passing meteor. All three teens are second generation superheroes so they quickly fall into line with the Homeland Extraordinary Response Organization (or H.E.R.O. for short).
The writer claims it is the most extensive written superhero novel series of all time (Animorphs, H.I.V.E. and Marvel/DC Comics may disagree). In truth the series does have a strong following and several editions that show different perspectives of the ever evolving world.
Once inducted members of H.E.R.O. they track a militant group of mutants bent on over throwing the world’s government and turning humanity into monsters. While tracking down these dangerous criminals they also banter, flip over trains, and eat out.
The good for this novel is that it creates a somewhat believable world setting, has a lot of character interaction, and tries to get in an explosion quota to make any superhero fan happy.
The story tries to combine realistic elements into the character’s lives. People stare at the heroes, supers have jobs and families, and they can’t always be saving the world. It even shows that not all heroes are amazing or glamour (Muckman definitely didn’t draw the pretty mutation out of the deck).
The strong suit for this novel though is its character interactions. The conversations are more relaxed. They have inside jokes. It makes the reader feel like these could be real people.
That being said this is a rough novel. It is free as an introduction to the series but it is still a hard sell to anyone who is not an avid fan of super-fiction. Because despite several proofreaders and editors it still reads like an early second draft (everything is there to be a book but it feels like it is missing direction).
Another issue in the text is the awkward unnecessary character interactions. While the characters have good interaction it is also followed by terrible interactions that neither add to nor take away from the plot. The biggest instance is the constant weird love triangle between the three main characters.
For example Steph likes both Lance and Rael. They like her back. She then teases them into doing things for her by using her body. Then they openly talk about what they want to do to her body. This is where it gets weird. They openly discuss the sexual scenarios they want to play out with her. This is completely unrealistic and comes off as trying way too hard at being sexy.
Not only that but the characters describe each other to their exact height, bust size, and clothing in every chapter. This is completely absurd and it bogs every chapter down as we are told again exactly what the character looked like in the last chapter… again.
That said the powers were fairly interesting. The female super, Stephanie, is a telepath that uses her psychic powers to see or hear other people’s thoughts. Lance is a body builder who is strong enough to lift a train. Then there is Rael who can become a blood thirsty black werecat.
Their powers are described in an interesting way however like their clothes we get told way too much about them in every chapter. After several hundred pages of re-describing something it gets old.
In the end this book has a lot to offer to fans of the genre but let’s hope this first novel is just a rough start to a great series. It is available online at Amazon along with Kevin’s other works.
I give ‘H.E.R.O. - Metamorphosis’ two dancing hamsters for strong ideas and characters—let’s hope the other hamsters get mutated with their own meteor in the next installment.
For more information about Kevin and his H.E.R.O. books check out his website HERE.