I’ve always been fascinated by extremes.
Not that I have anything to do with them in real life—I don’t push myself too hard at the gym, I don’t eat until my stomach hurts, and I don’t forego sleep for work, which seems to be A Thing for the romanticized creative type. I don’t even really know how to deal with it when other people push themselves to extremes. I think at best I’m politely baffled when confronted with workaholics and marathon runners.
But in fiction, I’m fascinated by fanaticism. Morbid curiosity, maybe. Who is the person who ignores physical pain in favor of the problem in front of them? Who becomes so obsessed with an idea that the rest of their life falls away? Who becomes so consumed by one goal that they’ll compromise everything else to achieve it? What makes you lose the forest for that one single life-changing tree?
Eventually, I realized the answer was simple: Bad guys, and good guys.
The cliché is that good and evil are two sides of the same coin, but I don’t think there’s a coin at all. If one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, then there aren’t two faces—there’s just one fanatic, staring at himself in the mirror.
The Good Guy—cop, lawyer, superhero—wants to stop the Bad Guy more than anything, and we can tell that because his personal life is a mess, he’s emotionally drained, and he’s constantly on the verge of a breakdown. By contrast, the Bad Guy is almost in better shape, but only because his obsession has progressed further. He’s already ditched that baggage! He doesn’t have a forest to be distracted by anymore, only the one tree in front of him holding his focus.
The other cliché is that every bad guy is the hero of their own story, so I decided to write a bad guy who was the hero of our story.
Max Jackson lives in a world where the government (corrupt) has branded any opposition firmly in the “Villain” category. With public opinion against them, Max’s family has little choice but to join the local chapter of the supervillains’ league. It’s a good fit for Max, though, to be with people who have likeminded sensibilities about the artistic vision of a well-crafted plan and the pageantry with which it should be executed.
The real challenge comes when Max gets mixed up with his arch-nemesis, his high school’s resident superhero—the other face in his mirror, so to speak. How does one fanatic convince another to switch trees? With a superhero and a rogue supervillain gunning for him, Max has to figure it out fast.
Max Jackson spends his days worrying about the same things most teenagers do—homework, college admission, and how to detonate the doomsday device his mom built in their basement. As a member of the “Injustice League,” Max has devoted his life to destroying his city’s corrupt power structure. Everything is going according to plan until all-American superhero Crush Goodman steals the device right out from under him. Max’s life gets even more complicated when Crush starts stalking him at school and acting friendlier than he ever should to his archnemesis. Caught between his evolving feelings for Crush and wanting to protect his secret identity, Max has to steal his device back and show Crush the true meaning of supervillainy.
Review by Elaine White
Book – Refraction
Author – Hayden Scott
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 52
Movie Potential – ★★★★★ (Think Sky High, but better)
Ease of reading – very easy to read
Would I read it again – YES!
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
This was amazing! It was such a fantastic Young Adult story, with plenty of character development, a kick-ass plot and and still suitable for all ages.
It has action.
It has drama.
It has teen romance.
Oh, and it has a really AWESOME cover!
There were Superheroes. Supervillains. Super complicated romantic entanglements and lots and lots of cheese-tastic goodies. Think classic Comic books, geek fuelled, high octane, ridiculous superhero vs supervillain drama, with a dash of young adult hormones.
We have a strong, independent, African American supervillain of a lead character in Max, who is all kinds of snark, opinions, hormones and more. Then we have the blonde, perfect superhero Crush, who lives up to his name in more ways than one. Together, as Max and Crush, they’re awkward teens, trying to bridge the gap between popular and unpopular, with developing new feelings for each other. As Dynaman (who can fly!) and The Crush (with great powers of strength), they’re highly invested Arch Enemies.
In this, you get a superhero you can be proud of and a supervillain you wish you were brave enough to be! What more could you ask for?
“Max felt a grin bust out of his face. “This was great. We should go home, though!”
“Okay, just let me grab my–Max!” screamed Crush as Max pushed him off the building.
Harmony Ink Press: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/refraction-by-hayden-scott-373-b
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-refraction-1996363-145.html
Hayden Scott grew up, very reluctantly, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. She spent her time climbing trees and playing in the dirt until the day she discovered books, at which point she holed up inside her imagination and never came out again. She prefers to believe the whole phrase is “Jack of all trades, master of none, certainly better than master of one.”
Hayden likes magic, adventure, romance, and puns. She has no idea where she is going but hopes that writing stories will make the journey more interesting.
Harmony Ink Press is an imprint publishing Teen and New Adult fiction featuring significant personal growth of unforgettable characters across the LGBTQ+ …