Superpowers are awesome – unless you actually have them, as Avery does. There’s only so much he can pass of as “adrenaline” before people start to get suspicious. Probably it’s best to lie low so guys in white lab coats don’t come carry him away, to find out what makes his freakish body tick. Who wants to be vivisected? But flying under the radar becomes a whole lot harder when you can actually fly. It’s dangerous to be different, so for now he’ll pretend to be normal, unremarkable Avery – a dull boy – anything to keep his secret safe.
What he doesn’t expect is the horrifying truth about where his powers came from, who else might have them, and the madness of one villian’s plan to turn this superpowered dull boy into something even more powerful and amazing.
This book is so much fun! High schoolers with super powers – what could be better than that? The fact that they’re pretty normal. Avery, our main character, first discovered his super-strength when he managed to lift a car, and tried to pass it off as adrenaline. The flying, though? That’s a little harder to explain. Avery’s powers have also changed his life; he used to be a jock, but his strength led to him quiting sports so that he wouldn’t hurt anyone – again.
Dull Boy follows Avery as he tries to use his powers for good, and meets others like him for the first time. And meets Cherchette, the villian of the story. Cherchette has been making contact with all those who have powers she deems worthy and inviting them to stay with her at her house, where they will always be safe and welcome. It’s only as Avery keeps refusing her invitations that we see Cherchette has alterior motives, and is in fact part of the reason why Avery and his new friends have their powers in the first place.
I loved the characterizations in Dull Boy. Avery’s just this neat character, whose voice comes through loud and clear. He has hopes, makes mistakes, gets crushes, and feels lonely and confused. He’s a teenager! Darla, one of the first to contact Avery, is hilarious. She’s a genius and incredibly quirky. Catherine’s the badass that you just know has some interesting secrets. Nicholas is pretty troubled – he hates his power – and provides the reasons for most of the action in the book. Sophie’s actually pretty normal for a girl with superpowers, and loves to make all their superhero costumes (because they have to look good while doing good). Jacques is a relative unknown; he’s quite the mystery (and that’s all I’m saying, I don’t want to give away any spoilers).
I really liked the way that Sarah Cross inserted files on each character into the book. Darla has created a file for each person to tell their story, and gives them to Avery to read. This provides us with a great way to hear the backstory of each of them, and yet not distract from the story. The files are nice little interludes, and since they are “written” by each character, we get to hear other voices besides just Avery’s.
I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait for more!