“H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis”
by Kevin Rau
The digital age is upon us and what may have ruined the music industry may be a boon for the publishing industry, well maybe more for the authors than for the publishers. When the mp3 format for music came out it was a nice way to store audio files on the computer but as the market demanded mp3 players became a hit. I had one of the original Rio mp3 players, I believe it only held about 64 megabytes worth of files. Which at the time (late 1990s) it was enough, or so we all thought. Then Apple came along with their iPod and changed the way music was distributed.
This has been a bad thing for the recording industry. The sharing of mp3 files is super easy and pirating of music is pretty common. This caused major losses for the recording industry by way of sales. The recording industry should have stepped up and made sure that all the music released was worth having, but someone along the way dropped the ball and now the only thing major record labels release is the same old cookie cutter pop that sells but has no real artistic value. The positive side of this is that local bands and talent that would have been otherwise looked over can now self publish and distribute their music easily. So now we have choice, but sometimes you have to really sift through the detritus to find a treasure.
This seems to be happening now with books and authors. When the portable eReader “Kindle” came out many authors wrote stories that were available only online. Later the “Nook” came out and then there were many eReaders all competing for your dollar. I purchased a “Kindle” and have enjoyed it ever since. I love having thousands of books in my hand on one device. This also has created a market that made authors able to self publish. I am constantly scouring the internet for free books by up and coming authors and many times they will offer their books for free in order to get their name out. This is how I discovered this book and the entire “H.E.R.O.” series by Kevin Rau.
I’m a huge comic book fan and I often find great audiobook versions of novelizations of comic books. This time around I ran across Kevin Rau on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/herobooks )and discovered he was creating his own world of superheroes with his line of books that are all self published, and like any good dealer, the first hit is free. His books are all available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other online booksellers and you can get this first one for free. I will warn you that this will turn into a habit, because these books are addictive, especially if you love comic books and superheroes.
On his website ( http://www.kevinrau.com ) he has 3D graphic renderings of the heroes and villains in his book. As a full-time computer programmer he is able to use that skill to create the computer generated images which adds to the effect. He has published a book that contains the images, which makes a good companion to this collection.
So let’s talk about this book, “H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis.” This one is pretty much the introduction to the series and it does a great job of bringing the reader into Kevin Rau’s Superhero and SuperVillain world. Through the changing of three fairly normal college age friends from normal humans into metahumans, Kevin not only introduces the three heroes but the world that created them and even the politics of a world where super powers happen.
The world was once threatened by an asteroid, and in order to save the planet nuclear missiles were launched to destroy the threat. While a cataclysmic event was averted by the destruction, a side effect was created. Pieces of the asteroid became radioactive and began falling to the planet. These fragments had the power to change human D.N.A. and mutate those that were too close. Some gain powers and become heroes and some villains. In the worse case scenario some become so horribly mutated they not only look horrid, but also lose their minds. An organization was formed to allow those that become heroes to help and to round-up the mutants who present a danger to all.
Lance, Rael and Stephanie are all good friends who have been raised in single parent homes, more to the point, those single parents were all metahumans. They have been raised as if they were to become heroes themselves, taking the proper courses in school and even through weight training and martial arts. One day they are told to be at the mall when the next meteor shower hits, and sure enough they become heroes and their lives change forever.
Lance becomes the hero Spartan, a brick who is super strong (think of The Incredible Hulk). Rael becomes a bit of a mutant in that his eyes become catlike, his teeth sharpen a bit and his hands have turned into claws, he becomes the Black Tiger and is able to use his martial arts training better than before. Stephanie becomes Psystar, a hero who is able to read minds and influence emotions, she is also able to fly. The three have been studying and training for this for all their lives and when a mutant by the name of Shrinker begins kidnapping humans to feed her army of mutants the three go into action to shut her down.
The story is extremely fun and very smooth flowing. My favorite part of the book is that the author tells the story from the different perspectives of the three friends and mixes in third person perspective to tell the entire story. I really can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I should say that this book does seem to be aimed at a younger audience so don’t go expecting something with intense depth. Just prepare yourself for a fun superhero novel with some very well written fight scenes.