cover image Faith: Taking Flight

Faith: Taking Flight

Julie Murphy. Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-289965-1

In the first of two origin story novelizations based on the comic book character Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr, Murphy (Dear Sweet Pea) breaks stereotypes while retaining well-established comics tropes. Seventeen-year-old Faith, who is white and fat and considers her sexual orientation “abstract,” is a superfan of long-running television show, The Grove, her love instilled by her cosplay-loving parents before their death in a car accident. When the show relocates to her small Midwestern town, Faith crosses paths with its star, 18-year-old “modern heartthrob” Dakota Ash, a half white/half Latinx lesbian. As their friendship deepens into a flirtation, Faith carries other secrets, like her grandmother’s declining health and memory and her time last summer at the Harbinger Foundation’s secret lab, where her buried powers, including flight, awakened. As people, including a popular classmate, and pets go missing and a new drug starts appearing around town, Faith finds herself pulled into a dangerous plot involving family trauma and the fumbles that come with newfound power. Murphy affectionately portrays a plus-size girl coming into her own, resulting in a character readers can root for while adding much-needed diversity, in terms of body type and sexuality, to the superhero canon. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jen Marshall, Aevitas Creative Management. [em](July) [/em]