Yesterday’s Heroes by Heather Long
Carina Press (Sept 2012)
Ebook, 89 pages
If you follow this blog and have read a number of my posts, you will know how much I love a good old Superhero tale, whether in print or on screen. So when asked to review this book, I was giddy with excitement for this looked like it was going to mash my love of Superhero’s with my soft spot for a good old romance. And in many aspects, Yesterday’s Heroes really does fulfil both of these very well. It also has a really interesting plot that pulls all these elements together.
The whole premise of the book is based on our hero, Michael Hunter, and his team mates being sent back in time to prevent the future where all superheroes are assassinated by corrupt governments. The key to achieving this is to prevent a number of events from transpiring.
Rory, a superhero in our time, is central in the plan to stop this bleak future occurring and Michael is tasked with killing her in order to flush out the mysterious figure named Hans Geiger. Geiger is the mastermind behind the whole structure of Michael’s time. Unfortunately, or fortunately events don’t transpire as Michael and his team planned.
For what could be classed as PNR, Long manages to create a pretty complex plot based on the difficult subject of time travel. This is due to the fact that Rory’s superpower is to evaluate all possible outcomes to a situation and select the one with the highest rate of success. It is through this superpower, she comes to the possible conclusion that Michael and his teams journey to her time may be the exact cause of their future.
Since Michael and his team effectively kidnapped her, it meant that her team-mates came looking for her which was the first domino in the chain to fall leading to Geiger wrecking his revenge. I’m not going to spoil what the link between Geiger and Rory is, but when reading the book it is pretty obvious.
There are many unanswered questions that are left hanging by the end of the book, ones which I do hope will be resolved in any future instalements. (I contacted the author via twitter and she has confirmed that she has books two and three written, so fingers crossed).
One that has me really puzzled is what it means now the chips inserted into each member of the team are working sporadically after being dormant for nearly 60 years. Does it mean that the future they wanted to avert is still going to happen? If they succeed, will they be able to get back home? Will the home and lives they knew even exist? It’s pretty deep stuff for this type of book (either that, or my passion for sci-fi means I looked into it deeper. )
The almost primary, not quite secondary plot of Rory and Michael getting a happy ever after, is very different from the usual flair. True, they do acknowlege their attraction for each other, but it is never a clear cut “We are going to be a couple for ever and ever.” There are a few hurdles that can be seen in the distance linked to Michael’s mission; Rory’s link to Geiger, will they return home after stopping the future happening, etc.
I do hope they manage to overcome them because as a couple I really did like both Rory and Michael. Both have their own agendas and are desperate to try and not let their feelings for each other get in the way of their mission. The pair do have an undeniable chemistry and the pages sizzle when the two end up partaking in the horizontal tango. The tried and tested “instant attraction” is still fresh. This is down mainly to Michael’s unexplainable reaction to Rory from missing a shot that he has made a thousand times in his attempt to assassinate Rory, to the blinding rage he goes into when he fears that Rory is going to be taken away from him.
Rory is the more methodical one between the two and I really did like her. Her gift allows her to see things from many directions and this gives her a sympathetic view. By the last couple of chapters she has grown fond of this band of merry men, even if their actions are a bit unorthodox.
While this is Rory and Michaels book, I feel I must mention the supporting characters for they hold much promise.
Rex, one of Michaels teamamtes, was one such charcter whose backstory really is rather interesting and is different from the usual band of warrior origin tales. He had taken this assignment in order to give his daughter a chance of a better life. My heart went out to him, when he realised that if he succeeded there was no guarantee that she would be in that future, let alone would he get back.
Simon, the telepath in Michaels team is very much an enigma and very little of his background is given. My gut instinct tells me that his story would be something a bit specially and I hope we find out more about him. (He kind of puts me in mind of a young Professor X from the X-men.)
Garrett is token tortured member of Michael’s ream, only wanting vengeance for the murder of his mother. It is clear he has been mistreated while he was held prisoner for his mothers supposed sins. This clearly suggests that he is the one to fall the hardest for his eventual Happy Ever After. My guess would be someone very close to villain of the piece, but who this is has yet to be seen.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book but there are too many loose ends for you to treat it as a stand-alone. With other books I have read in the genre of PNR, each pairing usually gets a contained story and though there is usually a larger story arch at play, you are left satisfied in the knowledge that Heroine X and Hero Y have found each other. Yes, our main characters do manage to find each other, but for me there are still a number of variables that mean their future is insecure. I do hope that there are more books in this series as it really did hook me in with a new breed of supernatural.
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