Fall of Heroes: The Cloak Society, Book 3

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Fall of Heroes: The Cloak Society, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Superheroes make a comeback in crash-pow installment.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Mentions of Machiavelli and Odysseus, plus lots of food for thought on media manipulation; both villains and heroes try to use the media to get the public on their side.

Positive Messages

Teamwork is vital, especially as less experienced young heroes face off against villains. The villain side has power and dominance, and the heroes stand for protecting humanity. There are more internal struggles for the main character about what's more important: loyalty to family or doing what's right. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alex continues to struggle with his connection with his supervillain parents. He still always wants to do what's right but won't hurt his parents in the process. When he talks to Lone Star, a hero he thought would never be afraid or have doubts, he realizes Lone Star's human, too.

Violence

Superbeings -- heroes and villains -- battle it out a few times with their powers resulting in one human death, one animal sidekick death, burns from explosions, a broken arm, and near-strangulation. A trip into a parallel plane called the Gloom shows superheroes trapped there wasting away or attacked by a monster (one death from the monster is mentioned). One hero sees his long-missing parents in the Gloom and must leave them there.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fall of Heroes is the third book in The Cloak Society series about superheroes and supervillains. Both sides face off in battles causing one human death, one animal sidekick death, burns from explosions, a broken arm, and near-strangulation. In a parallel plane called the Gloom, trapped superheroes waste away and are attacked by a monster. One hero sees his long-missing parents in the Gloom and can't rescue them. The main character, Alex Knight, has faced tough choices throughout the series since joining the good guys, especially since his parents are the head bad guys.

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What's the story?

After Alex Knight's villain parents take over the city claiming to be the good guys, the junior heroes' plan is simple: Go into the parallel plane called the Gloom and retrieve the big-cheese supers trapped there; they'll know what to do. The mission is a success, and they return with Lone Star and Lux. But their powers didn't come with them, and it could take a month or more before they're restored -- but the heroes don't have that kind of time. Alex's mom is building weapons and alliances in New York and has set her sights way beyond Sterling City. She's after world domination, of course.

Is it any good?

There was a lot of slow buildup in Book 2, Villains Rising, but, happily, FALL OF HEROES jumps right in. Superpowers are out and ready to beat up on the bad guys. Of course, there's the huge complication that the main character's parents are the ones he has to fight, and it adds a nice wrinkle to an otherwise pretty straightforward superhero tale.

With more focus on the action in this book, some of the minor superhero characters just seem along for the ride. It's hard for the reader to remember anything beyond their superpowers, especially for Mallory and Kyle. And Kirbie used to be a stronger character, but not here. Maybe as the series grows these characters will come back into focus. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Alex's struggle. He cares for his parents but won't be a villain like them or hurt them. What does his mother offer him? What does Alex say and why?

  • How do the villains use the media to sway the public? What do the heroes do in response? If you were an average citizen in Sterling City would you have believed the villains? 

  • Will you keep reading this series? What do you like about it? What do you think is next for Alex and his friends?

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