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Review: V is for Villain (Peter Moore)

The Deets:
Audience: older MG (like 8th grade) and YA
Genre: superhero fiction
Source: library copy

V is for VillainBrad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

I live in a house full of boys that are crazy about super heroes. I live and breathe Marvel and DC Comics. I even have Wonder Woman socks. I consider myself well-versed in all things superhero.  While browsing the aisles at Barnes and Noble over the summer, we instantly gravitated to the graphic novels (which are next to the YA section). I refused to buy another graphic novel for my oldest son, so he picked up Hero Worship by Christopher Long; I picked up V is for Villain by Peter Moore... and our superhero reading showdown began. 

 I thought I had a highly original book in my hands when I started V is for Villain. In some respects, I did because every book is unique even when it shares many similarities with another. The story is fun with a likeable narrator. I liked that Brad showed no aptitudes to make him "great"-- or great by hero standards. It was rather funny at times to feel like you were poking a big stick at how small minded some of the characters could be. There was also a pretty major twist at the end that you may or may not see coming, but certainly put things in an interesting light.

But I guess what kind of nagged at me along the way was how similar V is for Villain was to Hero Worship. I seriously doubt it was intentional (Hero Worship came out 5 months before V is for Villain) but it was still obvious at times. In each book you have kids that have special powers that they aren't able to use, a school for developing special powers/heroes, and a corrupt society. Yes, very generic themes but still similar.

Add that to the super annoying footnotes littering the pages and I became a bit frustrated while reading. I cannot begin to say how obnoxious a paragraph long foot note is. Maybe it was supposed to add to the effect of reading Brad's after the big event diary or something. I dunno. It was lost on me.

My son didn't seem interested in V is for Villain at the store, so I never pushed it on him afterwards. It was okay, but not a favorite. I also felt like it was marketed to younger readers but had very mature themes (lots of talk about female anatomy and sex). Both of those would not go over well for my very naive child. Overall, it held my interest for about 2 days, then I found myself rushing to finish before the library's deadline. I was hoping for more, oh well.


  1. I hadn't heard of this book or Superhero Worship, I wonder if I could get hubby to read any of them. Sad to see that this book suffers from organization, a messy page would turn me off from a book.

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  2. Yeah, this is one of those books that don't stick with you. I'm glad it at the library, and didn't pay full price for it.


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Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
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Source: My personal book

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