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Summary

Knowledge is power. That would be the motto of Lander University, had it not been snatched up and used to death by others long before the school was founded. For while Lander offers a full range of courses to nearly all students, it also offers a small number of specialty classes to a very select few. Lander is home to the Hero Certification Program, a curriculum designed to develop students with superhuman capabilities, commonly known as Supers, into official Heroes. Five of this year's freshmen are extra special. They have a secret aside from their abilities - one that they must guard from even their classmates.

For every one person in the world with abilities they can control, there are three who lack such skill. These lesser super beings - Powereds, as they are called - have always been treated as burdens and second-class citizens. Though there has been ample research in the area, no one has ever succeeded in turning a Powered into a regular human, let alone a Super.

That is, until now....

©2012 Andrew Hayes (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, clunky writing

The concept and protagonist gallery is very, very good. It is a bit like a unholy crossbreed of Harry Potter and X-men and is a excellent example of crossbreeding being successful. The tropes are there but neither taken overly seriously nor too flippant.

However one thing that become obvious with listening to the audio book is the authors horrible tick of ending each characters line with : ... Alice said, ... Vince said, ... said Alice, ... said Vince. Usually an author either let sentence build, choice of wording or just plain logic mark who said what. Or at least choose something like "... said Alice while something, something" when the need to be clear is nessecary. But not this guy, it is page up, and page down with said, said, said, said. Of course it becomes more obvious with such a good narrator ... but for heaven sake!

(It do get better in book two, perhaps a literate editor was used for that one)

Addendum: This book really grows on you, I'm not really into the supers scene, but like the X-men movies. I have continued to pursue the authors work in this world and enjoying it more and more. I don't like all worldbuilding choices he makes, but they are understandable and quasi-logical, and the characters are way better written than anything else I have seen in the genre.

So slog through this, it isn't bad, and find plenty of compensating joy in the books that follows!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a peice of crap

I thought, I only purchased this book because it was 5* and suggested.. Unbelievable story, silly premis.. Dumb everything... Well, it's amazing really loved it I have nearly or maybe more than 500 books and I loved this.. Buy it.. I purchased and downloaded the next one half way through the first..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Story

I originally picked up this book when going through a phase of loving stories about super heroes. Many others I picked up and discarded, but this story stuck with me. Drew has created a wholly new and unique way of looking at Heroes, how they might get to the standard they achieve, how they would impact the world around them by simply being.
If you're looking for something different from the usual teen friendly bog standard Super hero literature, I beg you to give this one ago. It doesn't disappoint.

As for the audiobook version, I really liked the voice actor who read the book. Many times I'll buy hear an audiobook if something I've read and find that the voice I hear doesn't match in my head, but Drew's style of writing is so individualised that they way it's read almost completely matches how I've read it in the past.

A great read or listen I can't recommend strongly enough!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to Super Powereds: Year 1 the most enjoyable?

The characters (I am particularly fond of Nick), they all have their own distinct personalities, the only issue (for me) is the sheer number of them, it can be a little tricky to keep track of who can do what.

What other book might you compare Super Powereds: Year 1 to, and why?

There are some obvious parallels between this and the Harry Potter series, both are about young people learning to master special abilities, although the character in Super Powered are much older and tend to swear more, and be more concerned with adult activities, such as sex and alcohol.

What aspect of Kyle McCarley’s performance might you have changed?

Kyle generally does a good job, however the sheer number of characters forces him to reuse a couple of voices, which can get a little confusing, particularly when he reuses a very distinctive voice.

Any additional comments?

It's well worth a read, and as the series progresses the writing style improves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Super/Powered

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The structure, and sequence. I would have focused more on the fantastical racism aspect of the story or focused more on the kids learning more about their powers. There is no overarching story to work with, at least several try to break through as the most dominate but none actually breakthrough.

What could Drew Hayes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Expanded on the universe: A lot of plot threads were touched upon but not adequately expanded upon. For example: the Racism in the story, Nick and so on. Ultimately, the story seemed all over the place but ultimately doesn't really cover anything worth while.

What about Kyle McCarley’s performance did you like?

A great range of voices and quality in delivery despite the material he has to work with.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Credit where it was due, the characters are interesting and the powers are diverse enough to keep the story interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The reader ruins it

it's a good story, it really is. The only thing that ruined it for me is the guy who reads it. Once you hear the way he says "Nick said" "Vince asked" etc you will not be able to unhear it. it's bothersome. Good book though!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great story irritating narrator.

loved the book but the constant robotic "said Vince" or "said Alice" (etc) really ruined it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A compelling listen

A compelling listen that crescendo's nicely. Somewhat predictable, but still a fun time. Definitely listening to the next!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book!

great characters and a smashing idea. like the x men with a drew hayes twist!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favourite

Not a bad story. Really odd use of language and the narration was very heavy handed

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Get Off My Lawn!
  • 08-10-16

Best Series In Recent Memory

What did you love best about Super Powereds: Year 1?

Each primary, and many secondary, characters are fully fleshed out. They mature over the course of the novel, as well as the series. The training is well thought out and the faculty have individual personalities and backstories.

What other book might you compare Super Powereds: Year 1 to and why?

In an oversimplification, you might think of this series as Hogwarts for Supers, but MUCH better in every way.

Which character – as performed by Kyle McCarley – was your favorite?

I enjoyed them all. The individualization of voices is very well done, which is no easy task with such a large cast of characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's hard to pick a single moment above all others, but perhaps when the core team finds itself challenged by harsh environmental conditions (no spoilers here).

Any additional comments?

I seldom bother to take the time to write a review, so the fact that I am for this book (and the series), is high praise indeed. It may seem that I am gushing in this review, which is unusual enough for an old man ("GET OFF MY LAWN!"), but I can't imagine any reader/listener that wouldn't enjoy this entire series. My wife and I enjoyed listening together and are eagerly awaiting the fourth installment, but with the same mixed feelings that you get as you approach the end of any great novel, never wanting it to end.

In conclusion, BUY this book immediately. After listening to this series, I bought every Audible audio book available of Drew Hayes' writings, though we haven't listened to them yet.

85 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Morning Star 0724
  • 11-08-16

Brillant!

I loved this story.

This story centers around 5 super powered kids, who until an experimental surgery, haven't had control of their powers.

The narrorator does an excellent job with changing his voice for each character and pulls you into the story.

To me, the story is more like a season of a TV series, unlike most books which strive to be a movie.

Love the all the details, and the way it was written. And as an added bonus, I now know which super power I wish I had...

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Erwin
  • 18-06-16

Excellent story, characters; adjust for narrator

I was reluctant to purchase this book at first because of the narrator, whose voice I didn't care for, but playing the book at 1.25x speed solved that nicely. Loved the characters and story. Can't wait for the next installment to be available.

40 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • 27-09-16

give it a chance

this book starts out really slow, with boring generic characters and crappy names like mr numbers and mr transport. I was about to give up on this, but i didn't have anything else to read, so i stuck with it. and i'm glad i did.

it's like a standard teenage movie / tv serie AT först, which is mildly entertaining, but it morphs into more superhero stuff as The characters grow.

now i'm off to get The second book. i'm itching to hear the rest!

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Miachi
  • 21-03-17

Fun, but in a YA way

I think that this book needs to be marked more clearly as a YA book. The whole college scene is in full glory with emphasis on drinking, dating, parties and clubs, etc. Personally, I am 100% not interested.

Barely visible between the stereotypical college activities is a world of ENORMOUS potential. The social interactions of supers vs. powers, the economic implications, the political players (who do Mr. Numbers and Mr. Transport work for anyway?), the nature of the superpowers in general... But these topics are barely touched upon. Instead, we have beer pong.

The narrator was mediocre, and I wasn't planning on continuing the series after this book... until the last 30 minutes. It finally got interesting. REALLY interesting. All that potential came flooding out and hooked me into giving the next book a try (although I may wait for it to go on sale).

All in all, if you've already read Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners and Rachel Aaron's Heartstrikers (two phenomenal YA series), and you're looking for something light and fun (maybe you want to relive your college years?), then go ahead and give this a shot.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • James Hugo
  • 25-05-16

"[NAME] SAID" almost ruined it

This was a pretty good book to let play in the background, entertaining but you don't miss much if you space on it for a while.

Good:
- Strong characters I thought - well conceived with complex-ish back stories.
- Good heroes journey. Author takes you along with their development where as other (shorter though) books do the literary version of a training montage.
- Super powers were acknowledged to have some science and not absolutely ridiculous. So often now there isn't a set of "rules" for super powers and they end up controlling monsters from other dimensions and breaking the laws of physics. It wasn't organized like Mistborn or anything, but there was some order, a nod to that they are still understanding them, and nothing was absolutely over the top or unbeatable Superman type.

Not Good:
- No story really. This book just kinda of wanders through like its a season of Real World following super powered college kids. Which is fine but I like story arcs and the feeling that if I'm reading something I know it is driving the plot/story forward. Stuff happened and there was a climax, but it wasn't together feeling.
- The plot was moved forward often by the author telling you something was happening but offering absolutely no details about, like two characters discussing what is coming but with saying one specific about it. Which is fine in small doses but it was the main mechanism used and just isn't very nuanced.
- The narrator. I thought the voices were good but almost quit listening several times because of the "[name] said" or "[name] replied" were so frequent and off putting. At first I thought the author abused the use of it (too frequent) but the more I listened the more is was the way the narrator delivered it: flat, loud, and hard... even if was the character whispering. It honestly sounds like they recorded him saying every characters name and every speaking verb, and just spliced them in during post production where needed. It was really incongruous and off-putting.

I realize my negatives are longer than my positives but short of the 5000 times i heard the dead pan "VINCE SAID" it was an enjoyable listen.

65 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 11-07-16

Wish I could read the second chapter.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would, characters are fun, and the narrator is pretty good.

Any additional comments?

Make an audio of year two and three already! I know the books exists already, where are they??

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Trahloc
  • 15-08-16

only negative is "x said".

I love comic books but they're just too short to enjoy. a novel about super hero's in training is just perfect though. if not for the repetitive "x said" the audio book would be great. in written form that's easy to ignore in an audio book its rather painful but it was worth it.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Z. Richardson
  • 06-10-17

Overexplained Ad Nauseam

The idea is interesting, but the writing is pretty bad. Every line of dialogue, every description, every character interaction is explained then explained some more. There's zero subtlety or room for interpretation. You understand what the author is getting at in the first couple of words but the sentence just keeps going on and on until every banal detail is spelled out for you.

This tendency makes the dialogue especially painful, as characters talk like automatons rather than people, delivering plot and "worldbuilding" exposition at the speed of snore. Readers can skip through the repetition and heavy, obnoxious dialogue tagging on paper, but read aloud all the unnecessary word-spew becomes painful. Try listening to an "action scene" that takes two minutes to get through a character feinting a kick then throwing a punch. It's awful.

On top of that, the characters are, without exception, shallow stereotypes that make the denizens of the tongue-in-cheek superhero sendup Sky High look like a bunch of Hamlets.

I picked this book up looking for a fun, light, read--the audiobook equivalent of a popcorn flick. If it's popcorn, it's stale and bland. Sure, you can finish the whole thing, it won't kill you, but with so many better, fresher, and more enjoyable reads out there, I have to ask, why?

I plan to refund this book (if possible) and hopefully pick up something better.

Narrator Note: sounds like a tv-show teen--i.e. really whiny--which could be down to the writing or his own limitations. Can't really tell. His female voices though are almost offensively bad.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin
  • 06-10-16

Stick with it

It starts out slow and this is one of the first books I almost did not finish

3 of 3 people found this review helpful