Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review of School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough

Advance Review of Kelly McCullough's School for Sidekicks
Release Date: August 4th, 2015

Synopsis as found on

Being a hero isn't always what it's cracked up to be in this funny and genuine novel from adult fantasy author Kelly McCullough.

Evan Quick is a GIANT superhero geek who dreams of one day becoming a superhero himself. Every morning he checks to see if he's developed his powers overnight, and every day there's nothing. No flying, no super strength, no invulnerability—that always hurts to check—no telepathy, no magic. Not even the ability to turn off the alarm clock without smacking the switch.

But then Evan somehow manages to survive a supervillian's death ray, and is sent to the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Unfortunately, his new school is not what he expected, and instead of fighting bad guys, Evan finds himself blacklisted, and on the wrong side of the school's director. If Evan ever wants to realize his dream, he must convince his "mentor" Foxman, a semi-retired has-been, to become a real hero once again.

Synopsis as found on

“Evan Quick, Hero’s Log, May the 25th… and darn it – I just can’t do this. I’m never going to be a Mask. Get over it Evan.”

Evan Quick has spent his whole life dreaming of becoming a hero. Every morning he wakes up and runs through a checklist of test to see if he’s developed powers over night, and every day it is the same thing – nothing. No flying, no super strength, no heat rays or cold beams. No invulnerability – that always hurt to check – no telepathy, no magic. Not even the ability to light a light bulb without flipping a switch. And now, he’s finally ready to give up.

But then, the class field trip to the Mask Museum is interrupted by a super villain attack, and Evan somehow manages to survive a death ray. Even better, Evan’s favorite Mask, Captain Commanding, shows up to save them all -- and when things go very wrong, it’s Evan who finds the strength to come to Captain Commanding’s rescue.

Yet the hero’s reception Evan is expecting never happens. Before he even gets the chance to say hello, Evan is bundled away to The Academy, an institution derisively called The School for Sidekicks by its students. Forced to take classes like Banter Basics and Combat with Dinnerware, while being assigned as an ‘apprentice’ to Foxman – a Mask widely considered a has-been -- Evan starts to worry that he’ll never be able to save the day…


This is an insanely witty & entertaining book geared for Young Readers, but smart & funny enough for Readers of ANY age. It takes me back to being a child with the comic books I grew up on & I think this could be the book that brings an avid reader to a new world of Graphics or an avid Graphic Novel reader to a new world of books.

In the mind of the great Golden Age in comics when there were not more Heroic characters than human ones... and when it was more about the character development than the story arc... School for Sidekicks transports you to a world where Heroes & Villains fight in a modern day Minneapolis, now called Heropolis, which was renamed after the events of Metamorphosis Day in 1988 that created most of the Metahumans alive today.

The Heroes are like celebrities that every kid wants to be. And like every celebrity, there are some that are just a cut above the rest. For Evan Quick, and most of the kids he knows, that hero is Captain Commanding. He has action figures, cereal, a line of t-shirts... even a Theme Park.

When Evan unwittingly saves the day during a school fieldtrip at the Hero Museum, saving his idol in the process and defeating the villainous Spartanicus, he is whisked away to begin training as a Hero... or so he thinks at first. What he soon learns is that nothing at his school, or in the Hero World, is as he once thought.

This book will have something for every reader. It reminds me in part of many different series I have loved. It has the school life that reminds me in part to Harry Potter, the Hero teamwork you would find in any X-men-esque book, the subplot... well I can't exactly tell you that, because it would ruin the whole book for you... and what's the fun it that!

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