Lochran, Steven: Vanguard Prime.
[A] ** LOCHRAN, Steven Vanguard Prime Penguin, 2012 185pp $14.99 pbk ISBN 9780143306894 SCIS 1570382
Sam Lee is just an ordinary teenager living a mundane life, until he unexpectedly develops the superpower of being able to run at extreme speed. His ability brings him to the attention of Vanguard Prime, a group with varying superpowers who protect the world from all manner of threats. Sam is initiated into the organization as 'Goldrush' and must spend time learning to master his power before being allowed to join the others on their dangerous missions. The superheroes, however, must confront supervillains who use their powers for evil. When they hatch a plot to control the world and are about to destroy Vanguard Prime, it is up to the untried Goldrush to save the day.
Steven Lochran's first novel is a fast-paced action text that delivers the necessary energy and tension for a superhero story. We learn about Sam's family and his troubled past when he first developed his power and the other members of Vanguard Prime are also slowly revealed as real people making the characters more involved and interesting. The action scenes are tightly written and the pace never slackens. While good ultimately triumphs, the plot remains tense and the sense of drama and excitement are maintained until the closing pages. Lochran has created interesting and complex characters with plenty of scope to develop them further and will appeal to readers in the 10 to 14 plus age range.
** Book by an Australian author or illustrator
[A] An outstanding book of its kind as recommended by the reviewer