Bryan Davis, author of thirty successful young adult books, wrote this middle-grade tale and published it last year. It’s a delightful comic book story of heroes and villains told as a novel, with plenty of gadget references that remind me of Batman.

Twelve-year-old Eddie Hertz’s city is threatened with more and worse earthquakes by a dastardly villain who wants the local superhero, Damocles, to give him billions of bucks to hold off on destroying the city.

Eddie, boy genius and superhero wannabee, been patrolling his own neighborhood, hoping to catch the attention of Damocles. Then one day they meet–and Damocles dies, handing off his equipment and his hologram self to young Eddie.

Meanwhile Eddie’s eight-year-old sister Sam wants to be a superhero, and by a strange accident picks up super strength, which Eddie doesn’t have. They team up for their big assignment: fooling the dastardly bad guy into thinking Damocles is still alive and still to be feared.

The stakes are huge: thousands live in the stricken city. Meetups with the bad guy involve crossing lawless areas, snake-infested swamps, and dark tunnels. There are boobytraps. There are also puns.

Can Eddie and Sam live up to Damocles’ expectations and keep trying?

I really enjoyed this comic-book romp. Five stars.

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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