Powerless, Matthew Cody’s debut novel, is a fun, action-packed novel that middle grade readers will really enjoy. When 12-year old Daniel and his family move to the small town of Noble’s Green he’s nervous about making new friends and fitting in at school. But soon enough he makes friends with some kind of odd, but cool, kids, as well as making some instant, and scary enemies. Daniel begins to realize that what he thought were simply oddities and quirks are actually powers – super powers, that is: Mollie is the fastest flier ever; Rohan has super senses; Rose can disappear; and Eric is super strong and can fly. But the downside is that they must hide their powers from being exposed to the adults and, even worse, they mysteriously lose both their power and the memory of those gifts when they turn 13. Daniel is quickly adopted into the Supers’ inner circle, even though he isn’t a super and gets to know his new friends, he discovers a sinister villain lurking in the shadows who seems to be responsible for their loss of power. Following in the footsteps of his hero, Sherlock Holmes, Daniel uses some old fashioned sleuthing and bravery to solve the mystery of Noble’s Green and its Super Kids.
Cody effortlessly weaves themes of coming-of-age, heroism, and the power of friendship, in this good vs. evil detective story. There’s just enough intrigue, action and good character development to engage the reader and keep the pages turning. By telling the story from Daniel’s point-of-view, the reader gets a glimpse into the struggles and insecurities of an ordinary kid who compares himself to his “better” friends, but is also able to see that there’s more to power than super-human physical strength or being able to fly. All the kids are likeable, the villain is sufficiently villainous, and the story is wrapped up in a satisfying way at the end of the story; and of course there’s just enough of an opening for future adventures if Cody is so inclined to takes us on them.
- Posted by Cori