What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Villains Rising: The Cloak Society, Book 2 is the second book in a superhero vs. supervillain series targeted at tweens. The first book, The Cloak Society, featured young supervillains realizing they picked the wrong side. Now they're hiding out with a small band of young superheroes and trying to form a team. Of course they have problems with whom to trust and how to work together. They also fight some villains using their various powers (one uses telekinesis to slam opponents into walls, and others use claws, metal fists, and gas bombs), but it never gets gory and no one dies.
What's the story?
After Justice Tower burns to the ground at the end of The Cloak Society, former supervillains-in-training Alex, Mallory, and Misty lie low with young heroes Amp, Kyle, and Kirbie in a lakeside safe house in the Sterling City 'burbs. Gage, Alex's super-brilliant scientist friend, comes along, toting a precious half of the special weapon that transported the adult superheroes into an alternate plane known as the Gloom. The new, not-quite team starts training together, while Gage immediately gets to work in the lake house garage trying to repair the weapon and get the heroes back. But Gage soon realizes he can't make progress without the other half of the weapon. Thus, this new team-in-training's first mission: Go to Alex's former underground lair to retrieve it. Even if they sneak out of their safe house on a night they know the High Council will be gone, plenty of other villains are on the lookout for them including the young Beta team villains they left behind and the Omegas, a covert group of superspies whose superpowers and training Alex fears are far superior to theirs.
Is it any good?
VILLAINS RISING: THE CLOAK SOCIETY, BOOK 2 is one of those books that needs the old sports-movie cliche of a montage -- maybe a few of them. One for when Alex and team start training together. One for Gage in his workshop fixing the Gloom weapon, when he tests things on Alex and Amp and fails and everyone waits and bites fingernails. One for planning meetings with maps and snips of newscasts as the new team tries to plot their next move. One for preparing for their mission to the underground lair. Then we could get to the action faster and get to meeting those cool Omegas -- just when you think there aren't any superpowers left to think up, the author offers us a few more slick ones. (Well, maybe one derives from a Wonder Twin's ability to turn into water, but this is way, way cooler.)
Fans of superhero tales should still be drawn in enough to find out what happens to Alex and friends in Book 2 and beyond -- they definitely have a lot stacked against them -- but don't expect a fast and thrilling read until near the end. It may be helpful to skim until you get there.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the supervillains use the media to their advantage. Why do they report Misty as missing? What else do they do? What's their endgame?
Alex doesn't trust Bug, and Kirbie doesn't trust Del. What are their reasons? Did you suspect they were up to something, too? Were you right?
How does this new band of young superheroes compare with other supergroups like the Justice League and the Avengers? What's your favorite supergroup? Why?