JLU Membership Denied: Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs


Kenna is tired of being “normal”. The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers. 

Source: GoodReads


I love the idea of a superhero YA book, except with the exception of a few of them, they usually don’t work.  Unfortunately, Powerless falls in this trend.

I really don’t know why it’s that difficult to pull off a superhero type book.  Because there’s so many directions you can go.  From over the top campy, to dark and gritty, you can essentially do anything with superheroes.  Unfortunately, Powerless did nothing with its world.  Really, nothing.  Oh, maybe something happened in the second half of the book-I DNF’d it-but I seriously doubted it.  This book was just so dull of so many levels.

Which was really sad.

I would’ve thought the world building would’ve been stronger.  I really did.  While Tera Lynn Child’s Forgive My Fins series wasn’t perfect, there was actually some world building there.  Same thing goes with Tracy Deebs, Tempest Risingwasn’t bad world building wise.

Oh, wait there was Doomed But even with that catastrophe, I would think the two could pull it together to create a sensical world, but there wasn’t really anything all to this world to this world other than heroes, villains, and let’s try to do Sky High  but not do Sky High because that wouldn’t be cool.

Okay, I think you get a general idea of what a hot mess the world was.  But what about the characters…

Well, I know nothing about them other than the fact that Kenna is an idiot.  Oh, wait…I do know something about them because if you take the jacket off of the book you get  this….



Yes, your very own character chart (sorry that my phone couldn’t display the entire picture.  But if you’re going to know anything about these characters you better look at this chart.  You also might get a little confused if you don’t look at either because these characters have names like Khardashians (they all start with the same damn letter based on family, to the point of stupidity.  I mean really, Draven.  I have no words).

Other than that though, the characters are pretty much archetypes and nothing else.  There’s the main character Kenna who is just dim beyond belief.  Who’s main deal is that she is powerless in a world full of super heroes-um, so was Batman but he still kicked Superman’s butt in like every episode of the JLU  ever made just saying.    Then there’s Draven who I think is suppose to be the love interest because were given a paragraph about his stupid blue eyes and about how Keena is not suppose to be attracted to him.  And there’s there’s Jeremy who is suppose to be Kenna’s ex who is basically like the Jeff Goldblum in the book (aka strangely attractive ridiculously tall nerd).   Then there’s the punky best friend and a lot of other characters I could care less for.

The best thing I can say about this one is that shit did happen.  It was sort of chaotic at best, but things still happened.  So there was that…

And yet, somehow throughout the chaos I was able to pretty much predict everything that was going to happen.  The plot was like that AU episode of The Justice League with the Justice Lords (if you haven’t you should watch that episodes it’s better than this book) mixed with Sky High. It just didn’t work.

I didn’t even care enough about Kenna to learn the truth about her pseudo Bruce Wayne background because girl was so useless she’s obviously no Batman.  She’s not even Ironman when he’s drunk and telling everyone he can use the bathroom in his suit.  She’s that useless with useless Bella Swan non-superpowers.

Overall, Powerless was a huge disappointment for me.  It had an interesting enough premises, but it was poorly executed.  To have a properly done superhero book you need a well formed world.  It can be extremely cheesy or extremely gritty, but there needs to be some sort of world that our characters are fighting for and there wasn’t here.  The characters need to be more fleshed out than a brief description on the back of a book jacket too.  And above all, there names don’t need to be Khardashian inspired.

Overall Rating: A DNF more on the failing side of this, since I had more problems with the books construction than it being a subjective DNF. But hey, at least the internet didn’t go out and everyone was acting like the world was ending like in Doomed.

2 thoughts on “JLU Membership Denied: Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

    • In superhero books I’d recommend A Rise of Renegade X. It’s a little on the campy side, but unlike Powerless you get a good sense of how the super powers and world works. I’ve only read the first one, but I hear it gets better as the series progresses. As for other books out there (that are non-superhero centric) I’d read The Lunar Chronicles, The Wrath and the Dawn, or maybe even Exquisite Captive (though that book tends to be a bit slow in the pacing). There are several others out there too.

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