The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver. ★★★1/2
In Chameleon Moon, RoAnna Sylver introduced the dystopic city of Patrol, who’s citizens lived a precarious life above eternally blazing fire, governed by the nefarious Eye in the Sky. Oh, and most of these citizens also had some form of superpower – the reason they were trapped within Patrol.
In this sequel, Slyver takes us outside the city of Patrol. But as it turns out, the world beyond isn’t all sunshine and happiness. A poisonous wasteland named Tartarus has infected much of America with noxious fumes and eerie ghosts. Three teenagers will have to brave this danger zone to bring hope to Patrol.
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. ★★★★
I loved Chameleon Moon so much, and I think it would hold a strong appeal for fans of Welcome to Night Vale.
Patrol is a true dystopian – a city where the sky is chocked with smoke and ash and the ground is just one step away from crumbling into the fires below. And above everything the helicopters of Eye in the Sky survey the super powered citizens, making sure no one can escape. But within this hellhole, the citizens of Patrol have found love, families, and the will to resist. Among them is Evelyn Calliope, a singer with a sonic voice who is the heroine that Patrol needs.
Dreadnought by April Daniels. ★★★1/2
Trigger warning: Transphobia, emotional abuse
Dreadnought is an #OwnVoices YA superhero novel about a young lesbian trans girl.
Fifteen-year old Danny Tozer is secretly painting her toenails behind the mall when two meta-humans get in a fight right in front of her. Thus she’s the only person around when Dreadnought, the greatest superhero of them all dies… and so she receives his powers. But not only does she get superpowers, her body also transforms into the one she’s always wanted. Now everyone knows that she’s a girl. Unfortunately, this includes her emotionally abusive father, who’s always tried to make her into a “manly man.” Oh, and the super-villain who killed Dreadnought is still running around. Danny’s life just got complicated.
Plastic Smile by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2
Plastic Smile is the fourth novel in the Russell’s Attic series, a usually action oriented science fiction series about an anti-heroic woman with superpowers based on math. I suggest reading the series in order, starting with the first book, Zero Sum Game. This review may contain spoilers for prior books.
As part of her attempt to become a better person, Cas Russell has decided to fight crime. Being Cas, she decides to find the most mathematically efficient way of crime fighting. She hits upon a device that emits subsonic signals that break up group thought. Subliminal brain control over the entire Los Angles area. What could go wrong?
Root of Unity by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2
Cas Russell and her mathematical superpowers are back! Root of Unity is the third book in Russell’s Attic series (start with Zero Sum Game), a series of fast paced, science fiction action thriller’s. Cas Russell has superhuman math abilities which she uses to work as a mercenary, instantly calculating the trajectory of bullets and the exact parabolic arcs needed to leap between buildings.
However, Cas is also trying to become a better person. It’s a strange journey for our anti-heroine, and Roots of Unity opens with her “falling off the wagon” – killing people again after she’d gone all of book two without murdering anyone. Over the course of the last two books, she’s found something very new for her: friends. Cas is horrible at interpersonal relationships, but she’s trying her best to learn this friendship thing.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee. ★★★1/2
Not Your Sidekick is an adorable YA LGBT superhero story. Jess Tran’s parents are the resident superheroes of Andover, Nevada. Jess wants nothing more than to be a superhero herself, but unlike her gifted sister, she’s never manifested powers. Determined to try and make her own path in life nevertheless, she applies and is accepted for a prestigious internship… which turns out to be for the town super villain. On the bright side, she gets to spend some time with her crush, Abbie. But as her internship progresses, Jess will begin to realize that there are secrets yet to be uncovered.
Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow. ★★★1/2
Broken is a fast paced story that crosses dystopia with superheros.
Decades in the future, earth’s been united under a single government and other planets have been colonized. Michael Forward is an extrahuman – someone with supernatural abilities. He was born with the ability to see possibilities of the future whenever he looks at someone’s face. And the possibilities show that the course of history depends on one mission. A baby boy can grow up to bring either great good or great evil to earth, depending on whether or not Michael succeeds in getting him off planet. And he sees that all possibilities of success depend on the presence of Broken, a homeless ex-superheroine. So this is a story about a teenage boy, a former superheroine, and a baby seeking an escape and hope for the future as the world falls apart around them.