Review: Heroes Fall by Morgon Newquist and Thomas Plutarch
Heroes Fall is a superhero adventure featuring “engaging drama and confrontation with fate, punctuated by slick action scenes.” The first book in the Serenity City series and the Heroes Unleashed shared universe from Silver Empire.
This review was written by T.J. Marquis and originally appeared on his blog Epic Sci-Fantasy on Feb 14, 2022. Periapsis Press is sharing it with permission. I encourage you to check out his website!
Heroes Fall Publisher Description:
Victoria doesn’t need a cape and a name to be a hero.
Living and working in the slums of Serenity City, she has become its faceless and nameless defender. She turned her back on the glittering world of professional superheroes years ago. If she has her way, she’ll never go back.
But the young and forgotten teens she helps are disappearing from the street, and nobody seems to care. As Victoria unravels this mystery, she is lead back to her old life in the star-studded glamourous superhero circles. No matter how much she hates it, she can’t abandon the helpless when they need her the most.
All clues point back to The Rampage, the terrible day when their mightiest champion Achilles fell to darkness. Will Victoria uncover the truth of what actually happened twenty years ago in time to help her lost boys and girls?
And what will happen when the fallen hero Achilles escapes, and Victoria is the only one who can stop him?
Morgon Newquist blazes on to the Superhero scene with the first Serenity City book, bringing nuance, emotion, and superpowered fights in spades. A solid, engaging launch to the brand new shared Heroes Unleashed universe, Heroes Fall will hook readers right in and leave them wanting more.
Can Victoria solve the twenty year mystery of Achilles’ fall from grace in time to save Serenity City? Or is there another, more sinister player who will destroy the very idea of superheroes?
Unravel the mystery and fight the villains with Victoria. Buy Heroes Fall today!
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Book Review: Heroes Fall by Morgon Newquist
I entered the Heroes Unleashed universe via Kai Wai Cheah’s killer thriller Hollow City, and every one of these books has been great. It was about time I circled back to the first in the series, and I’m so glad I did!
Newquist’s approach is as unique as each of the other authors and displays great technical skill and imagination, leveraging interpersonal dramas to delve deep into what it means to be a hero in this shared universe.
One thought in particular that kept coming to mind for me was, “She does The Boys-ish style superhero drama better than show!” (I’ve never read those comics, so I can’t comment on that.) That’s not to say that’s all this book is. It’s at once more kind, lighthearted, and deeper, less superficially ‘gritty’. There’s a lot here to enjoy and I hope I can do it justice.
Once again we have an HU entry with a cast of clearly defined, engaging and useful characters. Everyone’s strengths and flaws come into play, and in fact all of the plot concerning the mains is specifically driven by these things.
What you’re in for here is an engaging drama and confrontation with fate, punctuated by slick action scenes with surprisingly technical and realistic details.
The plot runs tight and every scene contributes to forward motion. You will hardly notice as the pages fly by.
There’s a deliberate fuzziness between hero and villain here, which is part of why I made the connection to The Boys. Watchmen could be brought up as well. Some characters wonder what they truly are, while others pretend to be heroes when they’re not. Some aspire to be better, and others tend to hunker down and hide. It all comes off really juicy and authentic.
Victoria herself is the perfect window into the drama between the two heroic titans involved, Achilles and Pendragon. Though she’s strong, she’s only barely capable of holding her own among the older guard, and must often rely on cunning to get herself out of a fix. She’s likable and it’s easy to root for her as she figures out her place in Serenity City.
Craft and Critique
Morgon is a more than solid author. Her appreciation for classic literature comes through, in no small part via her inclusion of quotes from the Iliad. It’s a nice way to punctuate the beginning of chapters and frame the central conflict in epicness.
The prose is easy and smooth, with a certain quality that put me in mind of Paula Richie’s Penance (also in the series and also very good).
If I had anything to say by way of critique it might be that I found Victoria a little too reactive in the early chapters, waiting for a time to act while the plot revs up around her. This makes sense in context of course, since the character is at that point making up her mind how involved she even wants to be. Thus it may be more of a feature than a bug!
Check Out Heroes Fall!
Overall this is yet another excellent addition to the HU series. If you’re in the mood for superheroes, or even just a good action tale, Heroes Fall is for you!