Cover Image: We Could Be Heroes

We Could Be Heroes

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Member Reviews

This book was so much fun! A great discourse on identity with a dollop of discord and superpowers. I found the characters to be real and their struggles familiar, even as they wrestle with the responsibility of owning powers beyond their comprehension. The usual tropes abound like a hidden lab, forgotten memories, secrets and betrayal; and yet the story remains unique, enjoyable and told at a fun pace.
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As someone who grew up reading comic books about super heroes, this book brought me back to those times of rooting for the good guys to overcome their insecurities and rid the world of evil. I think we may still be in those times.
Jamie and Zoe, although they have been given some unique powers (reading & deleting memories or super strengthen and the ability to see heat signatures), have no idea how they became extraordinary. The book takes us on the journey of them finding out what happened to them, who they really were, and who they have become. Both of them are sympathetic without being too whiny about life. This is a fast read — hard to put down — because of the relatively short chapters that alternate between our two heroes and because of the non-stop action. Recommend to readers of Ready Player One and probably The Martian.
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Zoe trying to do good now, but Jamie is just trying to steal enough to escape to a tropical island. Two low-key supers. One a villain who uses his Mind Robber persona to rob banks. He has the ability to cut out memories from people’s heads… An effective way of threatening tellers. And then there’s Throwing Star. She has those classic Superhero powers. Strength, super eyesight, blazing speed!

Zoe and Jamie had met across from each other on the Super playing field, but they meet IRL across from each other at a group therapy session for people who have had memory loss. They both came into the world two years ago with no memory of life beforehand. Zoe and Jamie begin to find they have much more in common, and most importantly, a deep desire to find out who they are and how they got these powers.

I really enjoyed Chen’s first two books. His books are light on the science and big on the characters. By the second chapter I knew these characters, and it was awesome to see them develop. He is also a master of near-future speculation. Each of his books feature a premise that is totally realistic; they are situations that I can envision and I think that just adds to the credibility of his characters.

Look for lots of good twists and some good feels.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Mira, and the author for an advanced copy for review.
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This is a fun read about regular people who have superpowers and how they make use of them. It's somewhat like the TV shows Heroes or Boys on Amazon Prime, in that it deals with the real-life consequences of superpowers in an entertaining way. Those who enjoy "reality-based" superpower entertainment should like this one a lot! It centers on two people who have different powers and their journey to find out what is behind those powers (they both awoke, completely without memory of any time prior to their awakening, but with the ability to read and delete memories and the super-strength and physical prowess that makes them "superheroes"). It's well written with good character development and a bad "guy" who, at the end, isn't quite as bad as she seemed, perhaps. It's a fun read, not too deep or weighty, but with a definite moral opinion and point of view. The bad guys are never quite as bad as they could be and the good guys might stumble a bit, but they end up doing the right thing eventually.
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At the start of this novel, there are two people with unusual powers living in a small city - Jamie, the Mind Robber, who is robbing banks by freezing people and wiping their memories, and Zoe, the Shooting Star, who has super-strength and is trying to stop criminals. And neither of them have any memories dating back more than two years. But when they meet at a support group for people with memory loss, they team up to try to find out more about themselves. I really loved Mike Chen’s first two books, Here and Now and Then and A Beginning at the End, so while I was excited to get an advanced copy of this book, I’m sorry to say that it was just ok. Basically, it just felt under-developed - the characters, the plot, the villain - and was sorely missing the emotional impact of his first two books. It wasn’t bad, just a kind of generic superhero story.
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I loved Here and Now and Then (my first Mike Chen). It was one of my favorite books of that year, and Mike Chen was brilliant with it. It was a marvellous blend of character-driven and plot-driven storytelling, wholly original, and it grabbed my attention from the beginning and never let go. Since then I feel like I have been chasing his books trying to recapture that connection and magic and yet time and again I just can't get there... 

I started A Beginning at the End (his previous title) captivated by the premise and sure I was going to find that same connection. No dice. I tried this one, again convinced I was going to find it - and again, not so much. 

I felt like I had read or seen this story before. The disaffected regular guy turned superhero who discovers that super powers aren't all they're cracked up to be feels like it's become a trope or genre of its own. I've seen a couple of other reviews that mention that this would make for a good movie or TV show - I can agree there,  because the visuals could help balance out what I felt was a lack of drama and an over-reliance on our societal relationship with the concept of angst. As a book,  it just never grabbed me...

I never felt any connection to the characters - although to be fair disaffected 20-somethings and I, a very affected 40-something, don't tend to have a lot in common. I don't know what it is but the magic resonance and lyricism I felt in the writing in Here and Now and Then just never seems to be present in any of other subsequent books - they feel like they were written by someone else altogether... ait's disappointing to say the least. I can't say that there are specific things wrong with this one, but it just never worked for me. I never felt connected to the characters or the plot line and ultimately gave up. 

I'll keep chasing rainbows with Mike Chen, but with each disappointment I find myself feeling less optimistic that I will find the pot of gold at the end...
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This was an entertaining and interesting look at people given super-powers and being taken advantage of. What does it take to live their own lives? What do they choose to do when they are free to choose? Looking forward to reading the author's other books.
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The reason I enjoy Mike Chen’s books so much is because I seem to get really attached to his characters.  And We Could Be Heroes was no exception.

I immediately was drawn to Jamie, a bank robber who awoke 2 years ago with no memories of his life before, but who discovered he was able to read other’s memories and erase whatever memories he chose.  During his bank robberies, he would gently erase all memories of himself and the bank robberies.

Zoe was a little harder to warm to.  She also woke up 2 years before with no memories but with super human strength and the ability to “hover”.  Zoe decides to use her powers for good and becomes a vigilante.

Zoe and Jamie run into each other and decide to team up to get answers to their similar backgrounds.  

And once Zoe and Jamie’s friendship starts, this is where I completely warmed up to Zoe.  Together they made a great team... Eventually.  And then they had a great friendship.

I finished this book in 2 sittings and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  

*Thanks to Mira Books and Netgalley for the advance copy!*
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Thanks to NetGalley fore providing this copy to read.

Overall, I liked this a lot. Easily the best part of it were the two main characters and their delightful evolving friendship. Zoe and Jamie are both in need of a friend - and only partly because neither of them remembers most of their lives. And although they start out as enemies, they quickly learn to trust each other, and seeing the fruits of that relationship was really fun. This is also a quick-moving book, which for the most part worked. I sometimes read action-packed books and feel exhausted, in need of a rest, but the pacing here worked pretty well. I never felt overwhelmed. However, I do wish we got a little more character development, especially with Zoe. We don't learn as much about her background, and they also start some flaws with her (like excessive drinking) that are just later dropped and we don't really see anything happen with them. My only other complaint is that the plot has, uh, some holes in it, to be kind. It tends to make as about as much sense as the plots in classic superhero comic books do. But honestly, I saw the plot in this as just in service to the friendship of Zoe and Jamie, so it didn't really bother me that much.
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He was the Mind Robber. She was the Throwing Star. Can I make it any more obvious?

He was a supervillain with memory-reading-slash-erasing powers who robbed banks to build up his Caribbean retirement fund. She was a vigilante with super-hearing-running-punching-heat-sensing powers who beat up common criminals on a part-time basis. What more can I say? 

He had a cat (named Normal). She had drinking problems. And together they will be heroes. Just for one day. (Or several)  
Alright. Notwithstanding the catchy mashup of Avril Lavigne and David Bowie that's been looping in my head since I first read the blurb, and despite your typical premise of "two enemies find common ground and end up working together," the villain and the superhero of this We Could Be Heroes do not end up in a romantic entanglement--this is a friendship first type of tale--which I thought was delightfully refreshing. And Chen offers a lot more to refresh your dusty, jaded brain crevices. Zoe is an Asian-American superhero whose main job is food delivery (surprise, surprise, she's very good at it), and . Jaime is, in his words, "a pragmatic bank robber." 

I didn't really mesh with the previous Mike Chen book I'd read. But this? This was nice. The whole premise and these two characters fit his style incredibly well. It's charming with a whole lot of heart.

Simple, self-aware, cheesy (but the kind that keeps you smiling), and all in all endearing. It doesn't seek to completely reinvent the superhero genre or pull you through a deep breakdown of its tropes, but it does doodle in a little party hat and a fuzzy lap cat for the superhero on your comic book cover. Just a bit of fun. Just a bit of grounded humanity. And a reminder that behind every masked person with great power is someone with their own share of flaws and insecurities.
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Jamie Sorenson and Zoe Wong are an odd duo. They are on opposite sides of the law initially, but both have memory loss and eventually they work together to discover what was done to them. Heroes and villain's have blurred edges and the story starts slow but picks up the pace. You may find yourself humming David Bowie. I received a copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.
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I want to start off this review by saying that I would absolutely love to watch this as a television show; it had major Jessica Jones vibes. I really enjoyed Jamie and Zoe as characters. They were different individuals and had their own problems and turmoils that were explored in interesting ways. The superhero aspect of this book was really fast-paced, but sometimes I would feel like it was dragging on for no reason at random points throughout the middle portion. I think additional background information would have made the novel feel more balanced. This is due to the fact that Chen created interesting anti-heroes that had interesting motivations, and I just would have liked to see more of their history. I think the reason the first half of the book was far more effective as a narrative to me over the last half was because the motivations of the novel's "true villain" was not really explained to what, I feel, was necessary. (Like, if you understood what physical and mental superheroes had to do with solving world hunger, please let a girl know.) Overall, I did enjoy this and think it was super fun - like I said, I think I would love to watch this visually.
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I really liked this superhero/villain kind of origin story. I wondered if I was too tired of superheroes to get into this (because I kind of am) but this was special and different enough to keep me interested. At its heart, this book is about friendship and vulnerability and trust. It’s more steadily-paced than quick, so be prepared to sort of float along while you figure out what’s going on along with the main characters. If you are looking for a fun, kind of quiet superhero story - with no romance! - definitely give this one a read!
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I have never, ever EVER been a sci fi fan until I read Mike Chen's novel Here and Now and Then, so when I saw this book up on NetGalley,  I jumped at the chance to review it.  Imagine how excited I was to be approved!  
Mike Chen has done it again.  I swear, he is the only sci fi author I can read. Jamie and Zoey are two people who seem to have issues with memory (they meet at a memory loss support group) however, both of them have been blessed (or cursed) with special abilities that set them apart from everyone else.  

This book does have more of a super hero vibe then Here and Now and Then, but it made the book all that much entertaining.  I honestly loved the chemistry between Zoey and Jamie.  I'm not surprised I liked it considering how Chen has a knack for nailing down relationships with people.  

This was def a fun and awesome book!  Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin trade for the arc!
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We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen, an interesting premise and a solid book, merely failed to hold my attention in the long term, I do think others will enjoy it, simply not for me. Thank you for giving me a chance with this book.
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"We Could Be Heroes" is a science fiction novel centered around a man named Jamie and a woman named Zoe who each have unique abilities. The two of them initially meet at a memory-loss support group and end up befriending each other. Over the course of the story, the two of them try to retrieve their lost memories and figure out what happened to them in the past, and learn more about the abilities they possess.

I don't typically read superhero books, but I found this to be a very intriguing and enjoyable read. If you're looking for an action-packed sci-fi book, this is one that I'd definitely recommend!
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We Could Be Heroes is the story of Jamie and Zoe, two individuals who wake up one day in basic apartments with no memory prior to that moment. Unaware of each other, they soon realize that they possess extraordinary abilities -- Jamie, funnily enough, can read/erase other people's memories, and Zoe possesses super strength, hearing, thermal detection, and hovering abilities. Each apply their abilities in different ways: Jamie becomes a "villain," a bank robber dubbed The Mind Robber. Zoe becomes a "hero," a vigilante called Throwing Star. Despite being at odds, the two soon discover their similar mysterious pasts and decide to work together to discover the source of their powers and their true identities.

This book hit all the right notes, and was a lot of fun to read. The main characters have a great deal of chemistry, and I really enjoyed seeing the development of their friendship. I was also fascinated by the divergent paths taken by the characters in order to cope with their abilities and memory loss -- one turns to booze and obsessive research into their past, the other feels that knowledge of their past can only bring pain and prefers to live out the rest of their life in peace. The book starts out strong and is very engaging, but I did feel like it lost some steam in the second half (although I did still greatly enjoy reading it).

Looking at Mike Chen's Goodreads page, I do see that they have a background in comics, which doesn't surprise me. This book has many influences and references to other superhero stories and comic book characters, something that the author acknowledges at the end of their story. Rather than finding these allusions to be a drawback, I actually felt it made the story comfortably familiar and fun.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future! I will be posting my review of this book to my bookstagram, @coldbrewbooks, on its publication date, January 26th, 2021.
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Zoe and Jamie woke up two years ago with amnesia and superpowers. While she uses her heightened strength, speed, and senses to fight crime as a vigilante, he utilizes his mental abilities (and a strong sense of the dramatic) to rob banks. When they meet at a memory loss support group, the nemeses somehow manage not to immediately destroy each other. Instead, they team up to discover the truth about their pasts, incidentally uncovering a dangerous conspiracy. The budding friendship between the oddballs is charming, and they really are hilariously bad at plans. A better-developed villain would have been nice, though.
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Imagine waking up and having no idea who you are or where you are from. You are in an apartment with no personal belongings and there is nothing that triggers any memories. That is what happens to Zoe and Jamie, and oh yeah, they do each now have a superpower.
Jamie just wants to have enough money to live in the Caribbean. His power, the ability to read and erase people's memories( ironic, right). Soon, he is robbing banks and is named the Mind Robber by the media. But when something goes wrong, he is branded as a villain, and someone else with powers is determined to stop him.
Zoe delivers fast food and I mean all those 5-star ratings are well deserved. Her power, strength, the ability to move very fast, and yes, she can leap to the top of tall buildings. She uses her powers to help victims of crime, and the bad guys don't stand a chance. The media names her the Throwing Star, and while it is nice to be a superhero, all she really wants is to know is her true identity. 
A chance meeting between Jamie and Zoe is anything but an ordinary day in the life of our heroes. Initially, adversaries, Zoe and Jamie decide to trust each other and join forces to figure out who they were before, and who they want to be now. Some of their adventures are quirky and fun, but when they discover the real villain behind their plights, things quickly turn dangerous.
An interesting take on heroes and villains. Both characters were likable and the story was fast-paced. I was quite entertained and I kept hoping that these two newfound friends could find the answers they needed.
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I would recommend this book to adults interested in superhero stories. I like how the book plays with the idea that superhuman abilities can be man-made but it is the person who decides how they will use those abilities and in turn, society who labels them as either villain or hero. One element that I found weird in the story is when Jamie and Zoe decide to get the help of the police officer that was originally sent by the organization responsible for their memory loss. However, it works in the later part of the story.
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