Damien Locke is extremely excited for his sixteenth birthday, when he can finally claim his powers and get started on his future as a super villain- after all, these things are genetic, and Damien's mom is one of the most notorious villains around. Imagine his despair when he discovers that he's not a super villain- at least, not entirely. In fact, he's half super villain and half super hero- a dirty secret his mom has kept hidden from him for his entire life. Of course, as soon as Damien's goody-two-shoes father finds out he exists, he insists on his newfound son coming to stay with him and his super hero family. Damien has six weeks in their perfect suburban life to try and prove that he's a villain to the core, but that's not gonning to be so easy when he finds out his mom has a new evil plot in the works- one that might end up hurting his new family. The question is whether Damien will choose to go back to his old life of villainy, or stay and help his super new family.
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Best part of story, including ending:
The story itself is kind of hit or miss- some of the aspects of "genetic super villainy" or "inherited heroism" are a bit overdone, and at times it feels like it's trying too hard to subvert some imagined comic book stereotypes- not to mention a sort of weird parallel being made between racism and judging super villains based on their lineage. That being said, the relationships between the characters are spot on, and the family drama is very real and close to the bone. Damien's reactions to his new family, and their reactions to him, are just the right mixture of awkward and funny. Campbell also manages to make a lot of these comic book cliches work in new and fun ways. The book reads very quickly because you're so interested in how everyone is going to react to these new situations.
Best scene in story:
There's a scene that's sort of a parody of that old "double booked date" sitcom cliche, where Damien has promised one girl that he'll help her steal a priceless artifact, and promised another girl that he'll help her protect it. It's actually a really clever tongue-in-cheek parody of that old stock sitcom plot, and watching Damien running around playing both hero AND villain is just such a funny little insight into the conflict he's facing at the time.
Opinion about the main character:
Damien really is a fantastic teen character. He's exactly the type of overblown asshole that everyone knew in high school, and his dialogue and interactions with his new family are all devastatingly funny and accurate. He isn't so evil as to be unlikeable, but rather he's sort of snarky and sarcastic in a really charmingly devious sort of way. It's just so rare to read a teen character that reads like an actual TEEN, but Damien is just the right mix of awkward and snarky- he's not the typical cliche brooding antihero that one finds far too often in YA fiction.