LIGHTWEIGHT – Black Death
By Nicholas Ahlhelm
If you think surviving four years of high school it tough, try doing it as a superhero who can control gravity. That’s Kevin Mathis’s challenge in the second of Nicholas Ahlhelm wonderful series that explores both the angst of burgeoning maturity with the fantastical eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil. As the Federation city hero known as Lightweight, has more problems than your average soon-to-be graduate.
Picking up where the first book left off, Kevin is well into his senior year and quickly coming to grips with the fact that he has become a major pawn in battle between two secret organizations known as the Eloi and the Morlocks. Yes, the connection to H.G. Wells famous “The Time Machine” is referenced. The two groups have been monitoring the rise of mankind throughout time and each believes Kevin is the catalyst that will ultimately either save the world or destroy.
Naturally he disagrees. All he wants is to be left alone. We were thrilled to see the action kick off immediately and Ahlhelm doesn’t waste a minute getting things revved up to full speed. Along the way he reveals some hidden secrets from that first outing such as the identity of the mysterious Gray Man who revealed to Kevin’s totally surprise.. At the same time his romantic relationship with the lovely German exchange student, Constanze, continues to evolve even though she is a Morlock and can morph into the were-woman Howl. In the end she may be his staunchest ally in the climatic battle to come.
“Lightweight – Black Death” is what all sequels should be; better than the first. And that’s exactly what you have here. A continuation of an epic saga that is both riveting and fun and certainly has us wanting a whole lot more. This is how superhero novels should be done all the time.