Sunday, June 07, 2015


(Senior Year)
Nick Ahlhelm
Metahuman Press
151 pages

Kevin Mathis is an only child living in a world with superheroes.  He lives in a town called Federation and is about to start his senior year of high school.  Neither a nerd nor a jock, Kevin is pretty much your average American teenage boy.  He has two close friends, Andy, who he has known since childhood and Millie, his neighbor next door. 

As the school year begins, Kevin is plagued by strange dreams in which he is flying while at the same time hearing strange, ominous voices.  Over a period of a few days he discovers he has the ability to move things with his mind; telekinesis.  He gets so good at using this skill he eventually ends up saving the city from a runaway robot and decides to become a masked superhero.  He takes the name Lightweight.  Though he shares his secret with Millie, he still finds having a dual identity a problematic challenge.

Which only gets worse after he is confronted by a hooded figure called the Gray Man who informs Kevin he is actually a pawn in an ancient war between the forces of good, the Eloi, and the forces of darkness, the Morlock.  Yes, they’ve taken their names from the H.G. Wells classic sci-fi novel, “The Time Machine.”

Nick Ahlhelm has a keen awareness youthful awkwardness and insecurity.  Kevin, Millie and Andy come across as believable teenagers all of us have met before.  It is this juggling of life, school and hormones that make Kevin such a fun character.  By the time he meets a sexy, female werewolf named Howl, the book is speeding along like a runaway freight train until it comes to a screeching, cliffhanger finale.  And that, fellow readers, is our one warning in regards to this tome; it is only the first in a series and the ending is by no means the climax.

So if you don’t like continuing series, then you’d best let this one pass.  On the other hand if you enjoy well written superhero fiction that takes a fresh, new look at this familiar genre, then “LIGHTWEIGHT – Senior Year” is something you really should pick up.  It’s a quick and fast read and we enjoyed it a great deal.  Happily, the next one is sitting on our bookshelves and we’ll be digging into it shortly.  Stay tuned.

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