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ARC Review of Flash Fire by TJ Klune (With Bonus Review of The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune)

Flash Fire by T.J. Klune

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I almost DNFed this because the secondhand embarrassment at the beginning was brutal and I came away from the first book ambivalent about the characters. I’m glad I stuck with it though, because somehow they grew on me and what had previously annoyed me became sort of… endearing?

I really liked the way Nick’s dad had to face the things he’d done and that his role as a police officer was not as shiny as he (and Nick) had believed. There was a thoughtful discussion of what it means to be a police officer and what the police mean to different people.

There were some very sweet moments, and some embarassing ones (with Nick, there probably always will be) and dangit I went from being completely meh about the series to having to read the next book. (I’m totally not mad about that).

I love TJ Klune’s writing, even when it is embarassing, because it’s real and authentic and also lifts up the people who might not always be lifted up. It’s also just excellent writing and a pleasure to read.

I was running late with this arc review (oops) so I ended up listening to the audiobook and the narrator did a really excellent job capturing Nick’s personality (and his friends too, but let’s face it, Nick’s personality kind of takes over. A lot.)

*Thanks to NetGalley and MacMillan/Tor-Forge for providing an e-arc for review.

Bonus Review of The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was good. I didn’t like it as much as I expected, given that the author is T.J. Klune, but it was still good. Nick was a little too young and oblivious, and I didn’t much like his dad. Come on, checking to see that he swallowed his pill? Locking the pills up in a safe? That was a bit much. I also saw most of the plot twists coming from a mile away, though there were a few details that I didn’t expect.

I’m not a big fan of the superhero genre, and that could be part of why it didn’t really work for me. I had to speed up the audiobook because I was more focused on getting through it than enjoying it which is telling. Honestly I would probably have dnfed except that I have an arc of the sequel and so needed to finish it. That said the friendship group is good, there are a lot of funny moments, and it’s definitely an interesting take on superheroes.

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