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The Hero Strikes Back by Moira J. Moore

The Hero Strikes Back is the second book in Moira J. Moore's Hero series and it is, as promised (you were dead on, Ann), even better than the first book. Thankfully, Moore doesn't spend a lot of time trying to catch new readers up, but plunges right into the new plot with wonderful abandon. Lee and Taro are still stationed in High Scape, but conditions are rather eerie. Instead of its usual string of natural disasters, the city is languishing under unprecedented weather anomalies. Snowstorms in summer, followed by unending heat waves. Farmers are losing their crops, disease and discontent are running rampant, and people are blaming the Sources and their Shields for not adequately protecting them.

In a desperate attempt to deescalate the general unrest, the Pairs promise they will work on fixing the weather, despite having no actual ability or training to do so. Lee, true to form, insists she and Taro actually try to come through on their promise and their fumbling attempts to manipulate the weather produce some rather interesting, unexpected results.

Meanwhile, both Lee and Taro's mothers come to town, insinuating themselves into their childrens' lives, causing irritability on Lee's part and outright fury on Taro's. There is some real emotional wrangling in this second volume, and I was so pleased to see these two friends and partners grow independently and together, come to each other's defense when the situation warranted it, and accept the other's help for what it was. These emotionally charged scenes were at times delightful and at others excruciatingly painful to read and, as I watched Lee and Taro try to navigate it all, I found myself so proud of them. And exceedingly anxious to find out what happens next!

Comments

  1. This book is my favorite of the three. Book three is good, probably on par with one, although some readers felt it was tangential. I think she has a story arc in mind, but she's a deliberate author, so we have to be patient to see where it all ends up. I'm all for taking the ride with her. I think Taro and Lee are fantastic together.

    (And the big reveal with Taro was heart-breaking!

    S
    P
    O
    I
    L
    E
    R

    When he talked about practicing his smile in the mirror because he didn't know HOW to smile, oh God, it almost broke my heart. He noticed people reacted to him in a certain way if he twitched his face just so. His looks seriously mean NOTHING to him. And the visits from his brother... it was terribly powerful, I thought, and explained so much about him.

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  2. Oh my gosh, it practically slayed me. By the end I was ready to join Lee and go kill someone, preferably his mother!

    And I agree, I feel like she has the overall story arc well in hand and I trust her to take it where it needs to go. I'm into the third one right now and am getting the distinct feeling that something I have been very much wanting to happen is going to, in fact, happen.

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  3. Oooooh, you're into the third one. I will tell you nothing. But I -will- smirk widely.

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  4. Finished it. *blissful sigh*

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