Superhero Syndrome

Written by Caryn Larrinaga ⎮ Narrated by Ruby Hankey

Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Narrator: Ruby Hankey
Length: 7 hours and 55 minutes
Series: Solstice Survivors, Book 1
Publisher: Twisted Tree Press
Released: Jun. 19, 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Tess McBray was dying. The solstice syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.
All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’ hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: Somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.
Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox to create the world’s first superhero duo might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

This audiobook was provided by its narrator, Caryn Larinaga, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Caryn!

Laura C.'s Review

3.5 Stars

A little bit like X-Men meets Superman...... Superhero Syndrome is a brilliant concoction!

Suffering from Solstice Syndrome, Tess- under a much anticipated Meteor shower- finds her illness has disappeared and after a life affirming moment decides to return to those that mean the most to her.

It was a slow start, but once the story hit its three quarter mark and the pieces in play were placed, Superhero Syndrome took a great turn. I found the references to Star Trek brilliant. It had me laughing.

Human trafficking aside, I did feel Superhero Syndrome was written for a younger audience. Some parts were brilliant, witty, and fun. Then some parts were immature and juvenile. My main case in point would be Tess.

Tess did grow on me toward the end, but for the majority of the book I really disliked her. I loved the side characters. Tess, as a heroine, fell a little short. She was very self-obsessed and self involved. Everything was "me, me, me". Although the author did write her initial loneliness so perfectly that you could really empathize with her, I still couldn't warm to her.

Another little irk was Tess's powers. I was waiting for a little more to happen. I'm sure in future books something else will come to her as it's still only book one.

Reed was a brilliant love interest. From the sparks and his stoic nature, I fell a little bit in love with him. I also loved Beth. I thought her warmth and love and caring nature gave pinpricks of light throughout the book when things got a little dark, making a really nice, smooth balance.

I'm sure the solstice syndrome, the superpowers, and the meteor shower will be explored in other books. That's another aspect I'm itching to find out about. I'm also curious about where the road will lead for Beth and if the solstice survivors will all come together, maybe even churn out a big bad, as I'm sure not all solstice survivors are good.

Narration Review

I did listen to the audio version of this by Ruby Hankey. It was the first time I have listened to a book narrated by her and I think her voice, which was young and fresh, fit Tess's POV perfectly. She has a wide range in giving an independent voice to other characters.

Very softly spoken, you could imagine her being a teacher reading to children at story time. Clear and pronounced, occasionally being so soft that it didn't fit certain scenarios, the narrator sometimes does go very slow and drags things out when going into description or Tess's inner monologue. But the range of voices and distinction between characters was brilliant and the narration carried the story smoothly. The audio quality was great!

But the greatest thing with the audiobook was hearing the narrator smile. My mum always told me to answer the phone with a smile, as the receiver can hear it. The same applies here.

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