Past Features

Turning Off The TV #13: Heroes

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Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The TV series this week is: Heroes

Heroes

After a total eclipse casts its shadow across the globe, seemingly calling forth a multitude of everyday men and women with special powers, Dr. Mohinder Suresh, a genetics professor from India, continues to champion his father’s theory that there are people with extraordinary abilities living among us. Heroes follows those people and their fight to save the world…

Heroes is another one of those shows that I started watching when it was first aired, then missed a couple and never caught up – despite the fact that my family owns all the DVDs and I could watch it on Netflix at any time. I’ve always been quite squeamish and that scene where Claire has to basically put her chest back together was a bit too much for me – although I think shows like Game of Thrones have desensitised me lately! Maybe I should give it another try, and just add it to my ever growing list of shows to watch and/or finish…

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

I’d always heard a lot about Brandon Sanderson, but I didn’t read any of his work until the end of last year. I’ve only read two of his books so far (Elantris and The Final Empire) but I loved them both. Whilst he tends to write fantasy, Steelheart is something quite different – a story of normal people, granted superpowers – and a desire to take over the Earth. The ‘Epics’, as they are known, are almost unstoppable, and only one force dares to stand against them – the ‘Reckoners’, normal people without super powers, who study the Epics in order to assassinate them. Ugh, I just want this book NOW. But it’s only out in large paperback at the moment – I’m waiting for a Kindle sale, or the smaller paperback.

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Vicious is one of those books that I’d heard absolutely nothing about – until suddenly ALL of my blogger friends starting reading and talking about it. It’s about two young boys, college roommates, who discover that under the right conditions, gaining superpowers is possible. But things go wrong when it comes to the experimental stage, and ten years later the two boys are no longer friends – but enemies. Goodreads claims that Victoria Schwab ‘brings to life a gritty comic book style world in vivid prose’, which sounds totally my kind of thing. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me – but when I look at the thumbnail of this cover, all I can see is Gru from Despicable Me looking down from that balcony!

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

Unlike the previous two books, Soon I Will Be Invincible is not one that I’ve seen all over the blogosphere. I found it whilst browsing Goodreads, and thought it looked pretty perfect for this feature. It sounds like a bit of a typical superhero story (an evil villain called ‘Doctor Impossible’ determined to take over the world, a ‘new’ superhero who will go on to prove themselves), but it also sounds pretty fun.

The H.I.V.E series by Mark Walden

The H.I.V.E series by Mark Walden

Because we can’t forget the super villains! I’ve seen the H.I.V.E series around a lot – it’s mostly aimed at middle grade audiences. The series follows a young boy called Otto who is picked from his orphanage to become part of the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, where young children are trained to become super villains. However, Otto soon realises that it is a six year program and he doesn’t want to stay. With the help of his genius friends, he begins formulating a plan to break out. There are currently eight books, with a ninth on the way.

As well as these novels, there are so many different graphic novels and comic books relating to superheroes to check out. I’m currently working my way through various Marvel (mostly X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers) storylines, but other great publishers include DC and Dark Horse.

Are you a fan of Heroes? Do you have any recommendations to add?

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10 thoughts on “Turning Off The TV #13: Heroes”

  1. I know the Ex-Hero’s series is pretty popular. The only superhero fiction I have ever read though is Carrie Vaughn’s ‘After the Golden Age.’

    Vicious probably interests me the most from you list, I have heard great things about it.

    And I never watched the show =)

    1. Well thanks Nathan, that’s something else to go on my towering TBR list! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d not heard of that before, sounds pretty interesting.

      I know, Vicious has had so much wonderful praise, right?

  2. The HIVE series and Vicious are both great. Another novel I’d recommend is Phenomenal Girl 5, which is actually a superhero romance; I don’t normally read romance so I picked it up just for the superhero bit and found it entertaining. It’s the first in a series.

    There are a bunch of middle-grade superhero novels out these days beside HIVE, but damned if I can remember their names right now. For comic books though, the whole New Avengers run was pretty awesome.

    1. I’m not a romance reader either, but I’m okay if it’s mixed in with other genres. And I doubt there are that many ‘superhero romance’ stories out there, so that certainly sounds interesting ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m reading my way through as many Marvel comics as I can at the moment – and I’m off to a ‘free comic book day’ next Saturday ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I LOVE Heroes. I’m on my third watch of the whole series. I think if you can get through GOT now, you won’t have any trouble with Heroes. GOT is the most gory show I’ve ever watched and I love it too. I think if you like superheroes, then you shouldn’t deny yourself watching your Heroes DVD’s. It might get a little slow in the fourth season but there are some episodes that make it totally worth it. The criticism that it went downhill was way overhyped, I think. Looking back I think it was a mythology to explain the ratings getting lower. It’s way, way better than most popular shows today.

    1. I think so too. I seem to be less squeamish now – it’s more the sort of gore that you might see in horrible films like Saw or Hostel that I can’t stand ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I’m SURE we have them all in this house… but if not, it’s on Netflix too. You know, I might actually start the series soon (yes, you’ve persuaded me!) – even though I still have Supernatural and Continuum to really catch up with. I should at least give it another shot, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m a long time (superhero) comics reader so I’ve read a few books about superheroes, too. I’ve read some Batman and X-Men books but it was so long ago that I don’t remember if they were any good.

    I would recommend two series:
    Peter Cline’s series which which as mentioned above. The first book is Ex-heroes and it combines zombies and supers.
    Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge’s two books “Black and White” and “Shades of Gray”. They’re a more traditional super hero books than Cline’s series, focusing on how media and big corporations would treat supers.
    On comics side, I think you would enjoy Kurt Busiek’s Astro City series. Oh and Carolyn Crane’s series is sort of super hero stuff, although it’s marketed as urban fantasy. The first is “Mind Games”.

    I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Vicious. I’ve heard such great things about it.

    As for Heroes. I wasn’t happy with the last season but more because they brought in another batch of new characters and then the show was canceled before we got answers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I was so addicted to the show that I even bought the comics based on it.

    1. I’m currently working my way through a LOT of Marvel comics. Not in any particular order, just whatever I can get my hands on ๐Ÿ™‚

      I checked out the Peter Cline series on Goodreads – it looks good and has been added to my ‘tbr’ list ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the other recommendations, I’ll look into them.

      Ugh, I hate it when that happens! So many shows left unresolved…

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