Hey, all, it’s Alexa and I am super excited to be a part of this blog tour!!! I’ve been a fan of Bryan Davis’ for years, since I read Raising Dragons and its sequels as a young teen, so I am utterly honored to get to be a part of all this. ?
Without further ado, I introduce to you: Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World.
Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.
Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.
When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all. Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.
About the Author:
Bryan Davis is the author of several bestselling series, including Dragons in Our Midst and the Reapers Trilogy, speculative fiction for youth and adults. Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.
Wanted sprints into its start, and the plot curves about in a way that makes it seem like it’s going to be your classic, fun, fairly straightforward kids’ story. But it turns out to be way more nuanced than that: it has that perfect kind of storytelling that never really lets up; every time an issue seems half-resolved, something else spikes up in front of them. There’s always something new we have to find out, some new problem we have to solve, and it captured my attention from start to finish. The story goes from middle-grade exciting to mega epic out of nowhere, building expertly on the basic plot ideas to create something that I as an older reader found intriguing, surprising, and wholly entertaining.
Another thing I noticed is that it’s a rather advanced story for the MG age group: it’s significantly less intense than YA’s of this sort, but it is still a little intense. There’s no talking down; the story already assumes the reader can handle bigger concepts and more dangerous situations. Rather than softening the issues, Wanted puts Eddie, Sam, and therefore the reader, right on the realistic level with the superhero of the story, giving the kids a real sense of risk and responsibility. In a way I’ve never seen another story accomplish, Wanted acts as a bridge book between most MG’s and YA’s, offering young readers a taste of something grander, before they dive all the way into the YA side. Masterfully executed, it was originally told and absolutely epic.
Plot: 5 stars out of 5
These… kids… though. I love them so much, the little heroes!!! They’re young and precious, but simultaneously, clever, wise, and resourceful from the get-go (and they just kept getting better). Eddie was sharp, mature, and just the right mix of realistically brilliant and naively hopeful (also, I love the fact that he was the hero and the tech genius. Smart kids for the win!). Sam was adorable and realistically childlike, yet surprisingly capable of helping her brother take on the massive mission of saving the city. Together, the two of them made an incredible brother-sister super duo; they fought for themselves and their city in a way that, in the story, was actually reasonable for kids their age; and I loved the way their relationship was reinforced and strengthened as they fought off the baddies and grew together along the way. Their relationship is the best part, in my opinion, and I seriously am so proud of them.
Characters: 5 stars out of 5.
Like I said in the plot section, the writing doesn’t talk down at all. It puts the reader on the level of an older individual, but at the same time, doesn’t present the story so maturely that a younger reader can’t get into it. Instead, it strikes the perfect balance between the two, creating a writing style—and a story—that can be enjoyed by old and young alike.
Writing Style/Setting: 4 stars out of 5.
And so, we come in right around 4.5 stars out of 5. Wanted is a thoroughly epic story, written for and from the point of view of younger kids. It’s entertaining for the older ones (like me), but still perfectly capable of reaching the MG audience. I’d make sure kids actually can handle bigger issues before recommending it (my sister in this age group, for instance, is very sensitive), but it is a wonderful story and I was thrilled to be able to read it. ? If you’d like to check it out for yourself, you can pre-order it on Amazon for $6.95 or, if you’d like it autographed, buy it on the book purchase site linked above.
And now, the part we’ve all been waiting for, you, dear blog reader, get to meet the characters for yourself!
From left to right, Samantha (Sam) Hertz (eight years old), Eddie Hertz (twelve years old), and Damocles (adult, age unknown) sit around the interview table. Samantha is wearing a supergirl-style cape. Eddie is fidgeting, constantly glancing at Damocles. Damocles, wearing his usual camo pants, a letter-D-emblazoned shirt, and a cowl that covers his face, sits calmly, though he seems a bit … transparent. Literally.
Me: Introducing Eddie and Samantha Hertz and the superhero, Damocles! *turns to sit with the guests* I am so glad you all could make it!
Sam: Actually, my name is Princess Queenie Unicorn Iris Ponyrider Buttercup Olive Lover Rosey Is Posey, and I’m a superhero, too.
Eddie: That’s one of the names she chose. She changes it all the time.
Sam: *scowling* No, I don’t. It’s always been Princess Queenie Unicorn Iris Ponyrider Buttercup Olive Lover Rosey Is Posey.
Eddie: *rolling his eyes* Whatever.
Damocles: *smiling* Shall we let the verbosity begin?
Me: *was totally lost in Eddie and Sam’s conversation. shakes self to focus* Oh, yeah, right. *clears throat* Damocles. Maybe you could tell me why you’re … you know … transparent?
Damocles: I have always been open with my feelings. I see no need to hide—
Sam: *interrupts* It’s because he’s a hologram.
Eddie: Shhh. That’s supposed to be a secret.
Sam: Don’t be silly. Everyone can see right through him.
Eddie: *folding his hands on the table* Alexa, the real Damocles couldn’t make it here today, so we’re projecting his image and letting an artificial-intelligence computer program answer questions for him. It’s kind of buggy, though.
Me: *opens mouth. closes it* I see … sort of. Well, Eddie, my sources say that you’re a genius. Did you invent the hologram projector and program the artificial intelligence?
Eddie: The projector is mine, but Damocles created the AI program.
Me: *plays with pencil, trying to be casual. is probably failing* The same Damocles who, you know, was unable to come today… *attempts to look innocent* Is he sick?
Eddie: Well, not exactly. Let’s just say that he’s—
Sam: *interrupts* Sparkle dust.
Me: *drops pencil* Um, what?
Sam: You know, like magic fairy sparkle dust. Don’t you watch the Princess Queenie show?
Me: Sorry, no. Can’t say as I have.
Sam: Well, you should. Damocles watches it, don’t you, Damocles?
Damocles: *blinking at her* Excuse me, Miss. I’m not sure we’ve met.
Sam: It’s me. Samantha Hertz.
Damocles: She does? I hope she feels better soon.
Eddie: *raising his hands* Let’s just get to the interview!
Me: But… Well, okay. Eddie, how did you manage to stop Mephisto from destroying Nirvana?
Eddie: Well, Sam and I had to track down where Mephisto was hiding his earthquake machine. It was deep under—
Sam: First we had to use the wings to fly over the swamp, remember?
Eddie: Right. But then—
Sam: And before that, we had to sneak through the Dead Zone. That’s when I punched that mugger in the gut.
Eddie: True, but that was—
Sam: And before that, I ate the dirty pizza and ant-covered hot dogs, and we climbed to the roof of the Stellar building and Mephisto flew down on a glowing eagle, but the helicopter was dangling Mr. Graham from a rope, so I had to jump up and save him.
Eddie: Yeah, Sam, I was going to mention—
Sam: You have to tell it all in order, Eddie. Telling it backwards is confusing.
Eddie: Well, it all started when Damocles—
Damocles: *raising a hand* That’s me. I’m Damocles.
Eddie: Right. Damocles gave me Mastix, his super weapon that—
Damocles: I taught Eddie how to use it. Maybe that’s how Samantha got hurt.
Sam: No, my name is Hertz. I’m not really hurt.
Damocles: Excellent. I’m glad you healed so quickly.
Sam: I didn’t heal because I was never hurt. Well, except when I jumped into that gorge and nearly broke my ankles. That hurt a lot.
Damocles: Ah! Well, I hope you feel better soon.
*Timer beeps in the distance*
Me: *laughing to self* I absolutely love you guys, but I’m afraid we’ve run out of time for this interview. However, if you readers would like to learn how everything really happened, you’ll just have to pick up the book. Trust me, you want to. *turns back to guests* Eddie, Damocles, Sam, and audience, thank you all so much for coming.
Eddie: You’re welcome.
Damocles: Yes, Ms. Verbosity. I think, however, you are misnamed. You were quite concise today.
Me: *laughs* Thanks, Damocles. I appreciate that.
Sam: I’m hungry. Aren’t we supposed to get lunch?
LOL, that was so much fun! They’re all that amazing in the book, and you do want find out how everything really happened, trust me. ? Final question, this time for the audience: What would you have as your four superhero necessities? I’m thinking mine would be superhero sidekick, superhero symbol, superhero gadget, and of course, superpower!
Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to enter the giveaways below: the first is a normal Rafflecopter, but the second requires a tad more effort: you have to visit the various tour stops (listed at the bottom of the post), find the secret numbers (that are generally underlined, highlighted, or colored ?), add them up, and plug the sum into the giveaway below. For more information, check out the kick-off post over on Mr. Davis’ website. So glad you could join us, and thanks again for reading! 😀
~ Love, Alexa ❤
Note: I voluntarily and honestly reviewed a free copy of this book.
Content: mild violence by middle grade standards, nothing graphic.
GRAND PRIZE Giveaway:
Wednesday, September 20th
Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair
Book Spotlight @ Backing Books
Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books
Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings
Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows
Thursday, September 21st
Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering
Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified
Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways
Book Review @ Ashley Bogner
Book Review @ The Page Dreamer
Friday, September 22nd
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire
Book Review @ Inkwell
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher
Book Review @ writinganyone
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons
Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum
Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight
Saturday, September 23rd
Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life
Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews
Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite
Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits