“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”
Leia Hamilton can move things and set them on fire with her mind.
Leia’s father and step-mother tried to hide their past: a time when they were part of a team of superheroes. But despite being disbanded for over twenty years following a series of tragedies, their problems were passed to their children and Leia finds that her future collides with their past.
In the diverse world of human and superhuman, heroes and villains, friends and enemies, some of Leia’s choices have terrible consequences. For Leia, this leads to a personal crossroads and a search for redemption.
Not your normal superhero novel, Mindfire isn’t about secret identities, costumes, or evil plots endangering the world. Instead, self-discovery and adaptation is at the forefront as the reader follows the lives of the characters who are unafraid to show love and explore spirituality.
Can redemption and renewed grace weather the flames of absolute power and superhuman strength?
I’ve long since tried my best to support independent efforts, be it movies, comics, or books, especially since I’m an indie publisher myself. And when the creator of one of the webcomics I follow had published a novel, I knew I had to get it. The cover and the premise had me curious, and what I got was a unique and very different kind of superhero story.
Leia Hamilton is a seemingly average college student with a loving family, a decent job, and a loyal childhood friend-turned-boyfriend. But her normal world is soon flipped on its head when she discovers she has both telekenisis and pyrokenisis–as in, the ability to move things with her mind and control fire. Her investigation then leads her to discover that a large chunk of her family and family friends are and/or used to be superheroes twenty years prior…and that her birth mother was a supervillain. As Leia tries to control her new abilities, her and her friends are pulled into a twenty year old conflict between the old superheroes and the events that caused them to disband. Is it fair or right for the next generation to inherit the old generation’s problems? Just what truly makes someone a hero or villain? And given the chance, can someone who caused so much pain in the past ever be redeemed?
While there IS a little bit of action, anyone expecting traditional superhero battles can look elsewhere. The bulk of the story’s conflict is internal. Not a single character falls into a stereotype, and everyone is three dimensional with their own hopes, fears, and dreams. The lines between good and evil are constantly blurred, with characters either doing horrible things for (arguably) noble reasons, or otherwise good people making bad choices when pushed to the limit. All of these people are human and real, and all have legit reasons for acting the way they do. In doing so, it gives the reader a new insight into how hard a job it would be to be a superhero, and the often-deadly consequences that come with it. And more than once, the story throws out some surprises. People that you think are going to be in the book longer get killed off; characters who seem noble and nice make bad decisions, and a villain who would be condemned in any other story is ultimately redeemed in a touching way that makes total sense.
About the only criticism I can give is that one–the writing style is very workman-like, with basic descriptions that set the scene, though, admittedly, could’ve been just a bit more ‘poetic’ in execution. Oftentimes, scenes are described in great detail….almost TOO much detail (we don’t always need to know what clothes every single character is wearing, or stuff like “he touched her left shoulder with his right hand”, etc.) And two–there’s virtually no backstory given to any of the superheroes in regards to where or how they got their powers to begin with. It’s not totally needed, but a little more detail on their origins would’ve been nice to flesh out this universe more. Also, the story is filled with flashbacks, and sometimes, it can be hard to tell when one begins and ends, especially when some of the flashbacks get really long.
Still, both interesting and insightful, this is a decent first effort that gives the superhero genre a more down-to-Earth, human element ala “The Incredibles”. Here’s hoping we get a sequel someday, if the semi-cliffhanger ending is anything to go by. – KarToon12