Launch: Rise of the Anointed, a superhero novel by Jason Joyner, is filled with appealing sixteen-year-olds. Two of them, Demarcus Bartlett and Lily Beausoliel, are at crisis points in their lives even before they discover that they have developed superpowers. Instead of yelling, “Hey! Look what I can do!” they try to hide their superpowers because they are afraid of being treated as freaks or being dissected by a lab somewhere. There is no evidence given that such a lab exists, but their fears of never fitting in are logical, given the disordered situations of their lives.
Then out of nowhere they receive invitations to attend an exclusive, all-expenses-paid conference held by a computer/social media guru. It’s almost as if Bill Gates had invited them to his house for the weekend. They are excited, their families are excited, and the hundreds of other teens invited are excited. Lurking under all of the excitement is worry and wonder with the question of “Why?” Why would anyone pay for a free weekend for these two teens with their problems? Why does anyone consider them to be future leaders of the world?
Why would anyone pay for a free weekend for these two teens with their problems? Why does anyone consider them to be future leaders of the world?
As time goes on, these two find other people with superpowers and befriend them and each other. Slowly the gathered group of people with powers find out why the guru wants them. They discover that they are not the only ones holding secrets.
While the story is a bit complex, as it follows the point of view of four people, the story is easy to follow. The reader will never wonder what just happened. In fact, that ease of following leads to my one complaint about the book. Because I prefer books that challenge my comprehension, I felt like the author overexplained things to me. I’m not sure that’s a fair evaluation. What the author has done here is written a book that someone who might have trouble following text can follow. And that’s a good thing.
My favorite character was Demarcus. Despite his problems, he always wants to help people. His superpower gives him the ability to do so in a number of ways, for example, carrying people to the hospital faster than any ambulance can. I also liked that he goes to church and prays. The scene where he melted his shoes made me laugh.
Each character is a separate person with their own agendas and characteristics. You’re bound to find somebody you can identify with. Each person is given their chance to be sacrificial and heroic. It’s fun to watch the assemblage of an ensemble superhero group and see how they learn to use their superpowers alone and with each other.
It’s fun to watch the assemblage of an ensemble superhero group and see how they learn to use their superpowers alone and with each other.
The book is explicitly Christian in its orientation. Scripture is quoted, God is talked about, and people pray. Even though we never see a church service, we learn that several of the characters do go to church. There is an assumption of evil spiritual powers that guide one of the main characters.
Profanity: I don’t remember any. If it’s there, it’s minor.
Violence: Some. Standard stylistic superhero violence that does not result in permanent damage of any humans. A building falls down. Some machinery blows up. A girl is really mean.
Genre: YA Science fiction, Superhero, Genesis Story
Recommended for 13 and up. Younger might have trouble identifying with some of the teenage angst—especially the girl with a chip on her shoulder the size of a redwood—even though the levels of angst are fairly low.
Launch is available on Amazon.
Considering how attractively designed the book is, you might as well purchase the paperback, and after you’ve read it, donate the book to your local Christian school.
Reviewed by Lelia Rose Foreman
Lelia Rose Foreman was born and things progressed from there. After gaining a degree in Clinical Lab Technology, she swam in the South China Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the YMCA. She has climbed Mt. Fuji, Mt. St. Helens, and viewed Mt. Denali. She has raised and released five children, homeschooling three of them for fourteen years. Everyone survived. Cyborg (cochlear implant) and avid gardener, she enjoys collaborating with her oldest son Josh Foreman on stories set on Talifar. She is the sole author of A Shattered World, a science fiction novel that follows the life of Rejoice. How can she save her new world filled with aliens who want to fight? You can learn about the coming Talifar series on Breathoflifeart.com