Chance Fortune and the Outlaws

Shane Berryhill, Author . Tor/Starscape $17.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1468-0

A strong echo of The Incredibles runs through Berryhill's debut, set in a world where superheroes are taken for granted as a part of day-to-day affairs. Joshua Blevins has been starstruck by these heroes all his life. At age 9, he encounters Captain Fearless, who takes him under his wing and trains him for five years. But all appears for naught when Joshua's application to Burlington Academy for the Superhuman is turned down on the grounds that, "as a normal human, the Academy has nothing to offer you." Joshua and his mentor are not so easily deterred, and Captain Fearless fakes some documents to get Joshua accepted under the name Chance Fortune. Chance makes new friends quickly, young heroes-in-waiting like himself: the electrically charged Shocker, the elastic Private Justice and a psychic named Psy-chick. After a lengthy training sequence that references Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card with both a wink and a nod (one of Chance's classmates Space Cadet, or S.C., has a roommate named Orson), Chance learns that the school is connected to The Shadow Zone, "a dimensional prison reserved for supervillains too powerful or too diabolical to be jailed by conventional means." Readers weary of

Potter-esque fantasy but hungry for another semihumorous/semiserious school setting, and lovers of superhero stories in general, will delight in this first volume in the Adventures of Chance Fortune series, ideally structured for many further adventures at Burlington. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7653-5354-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-2863-0
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-9209-1
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