When Jim, otherwise known as the ‘Kid’, tried out for the superhero league, he didn’t expect to become a fugitive. Now on the run, Jim uses his myriad of superpowers to stay anonymous while still being a good guy. When the forces of evil deign to track him down for their own nefarious ends, Jim is caught between the struggle of good and evil and must face temptation, broken alliances, and blossoming romance.
Sensation was a genuine surprise to me. I generally don’t read male POV (I do make a few exceptions – the Shift series by Kim Curran is also does excellent teen boy POV BTW) and I did have to read the blurb a few times, trying to read between the lines of what might actually happen in the book. Of course, the cover is gorgeous, so that decision was easy What can I say, I like colourful, shiny things.
Hardman is a competent, confident writer with only a few mistakes often seen in newbie tomes: there was a distinct lack of character voices (two different characters both happened to say ‘Voila’ when unveiling something), and overuse of unneeded parenthesis and a startling and annoying repetitious habit of ‘cutting a long story short’: ‘Basically’ an awfully high percentages of sentences began with ‘essentially’, ‘moreover,’ ‘frankly speaking, ‘ultimately,’ ‘in essence,’ ‘in short,’ ‘needless to say,’ and so on. It seemed like superfluous word padding, and unfortunately after reading some author blog posts I also see it’s a habit in non-fiction writing as well.
There was also some issues with deciding what to include as dialogue and what to summarise, but it didn’t really impact the overall story and I expect Hardman to get better as he writes more. I’ll also add that Jim’s narrative voice didn’t seem particularly ‘teen’ but I will also point out that there is such a thing as a mature teen boy, and he had more important things to worry about than girls and sex and whatever else teen boys think about (seriously, I’m not one, so I don’t know).
The plot of Sensation was really great, a strong typical ‘coming of age’ plot for a teenage protagonist anonymous superhero fugitive. I would have liked more angst, especially when it came to Jim’s absent father, and there seems to have been an entire aspect missed concerning his mother as well. Unfortunately, as usually is with boys’ stories written from a male author, the book seemed to revolve entirely around males. The only females present were either sexually interested in Jim (or pretending to be), or his mother. I guess I’m probably not the intended audience though, as I highly doubt many teen boys would give a shit how many women show up in the novel and what they talk about.
Overall if you want to read a YA book from a teen boy perspective, and you want to see what a really well written self-published novel can do, I do recommend Sensation, though I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequels.
Thanks to the author for providing this review copy for an honest review.