Overpowered by Mark H Kruger
Published by Simon & Schuster Books
1 out of 5 stars
Format: ARC/Egalley (Out 27th August 2013)
Awesome cover. I’m thinking 28 days later….zombies, mutants the lot…..
Overpowered isn’t that. Well sort of, but no.
Overpowered introduces us the Nica, a 16 year old girl who’s spent the last 14 years traveling around the world (19 countries, 19 schools – remember that, its important!) only for her mum to turn around and say she can’t come to the latest destination, Antarctica. No, Nica has to go to live with her dad in Barrington, Colorado – home to the safest town in the country. Suburbia. So why if its so safe does the town have a curfew of 9pm for all, why does her dad have extra secure locks on the windows and why do the local tech company BarTech supply their own security forces to the town (and pay for the school….). Nica starts to realize the town is a little strange, and more that slightly stepford. The adults don’t really talk about anything, her dad shuts her down when she asks why the internet is shut of at night, or why she can’t go out after 9. But she does and she’s caught in a green ‘pulse’ -as are her friends and they develop strange powers…..what exactly is happening in Barrington?
I hate trashing books, I mean really trashing. There is nothing wrong with an opinion, but as I’m not a writer I hate to criticizing something I couldn’t’ do better. In this case dyslexic me could do better. Much better.
I loved the idea, and the story itself had promise but was severely let down by the writing. Firstly the horrendous product placement – every single page mentioned some sort of product, ‘drinking a dragon fruit vitamin water’ ‘she reached for a vitamin water’ ‘her dad has stocked up on vitamin water’ and so on. (this is where I need a head bang smiley) then there was the ‘Jason’s mac pro was bigger and faster than anything either of them had owned’ (I’m not quoting here, but writing it from memory – you get the gist). Add to the annoying sponsor messages the writers completely inappropriate attitude towards depression, anti-depressants and mental health in general, there are endless comments about people needing to take a prozac or other antidepressant to calm down, then others about how they must of taken to much of xyz as they were chilled, in a world where we are trying to bring mental health issues into the mainstream, to make them understood and not kept quiet attitudes like the ones portrayed in the book are completely unacceptable.
Then there’s Nica and her traveling (19 countries and 19 schools, remember) and his constant need to remind you every two seconds (just in case you forgot its 19 schools in 19 countries), there was one time when I was in thailand and I read a book, which reminds me of this book. (I’ve never been to Thailand but thats the sort of crap that was spouted by Nica every twenty words). I get that she’s travelled, but in all honesty it does nothing for the story, her travels do not affect the outcome, she could of lived in a town up the road and moved back with her dad, the story would remain unaffected.
The writing was truly the thing that let the story down, it was quite entertaining once you filtered out all the crap, but sadly when sifting everything you didn’t care about out, your left with a good short story, not a book. I wish I could recommend it, but I can’t – I was going for 2 stars but writing this review made me mad (particularly the negative attitude towards mental health issues) and I realized there is nothing I can recommend about it, whilst the plot is fun, teenage mutants isn’t original, but it could of been saved by good writing, which is not going to be provided by Kruger I’m afraid.
Egalley kindly provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.