Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws by Shane Berryhill

Main Character: Chance Fortune
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Superhero

There are a number of humorous superhero books available for young readers now--this subgenre seems to really have grown since the release of The Incredibles. This book is geared to a slightly older audience, and has the intriguing trick of making the main character someone who has no superpower at all. Like Batman or Doc Savage or the Phantom, he has gone through many years of rigorous training, both physical and mental, to achieve a certain level of superhuman abilities, but that is not enough to gain him entrance into the Burlington Academy for the Superhuman. However, when he changes his name to Chance Fortune and claims that his superpower is good luck, he is accepted into the school. Though it may seem that he is at a disadvantage, he soon becomes the leader of his team, mainly because he has grown up without a superpower to depend on. His teammates may have psychic abilities, or the power to shoot lightning from their eyes, but Chance is the one who sees how they can combine their powers and work together to defeat the other teams in competition.

The middle section feels a bit rushed--a lot of time is spent on coming to school, making friends, building the team and winning their first competition, and then we jump to the end of the school year and the final competition against the team of school bullies. Still, there were some very enjoyable moments and I look forward to the next book in the series.

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