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Secret Identities by L. M. Bricker

 

Lola Merriweather is the daughter of Mesmera, a bank robber with mind control abilities. Her mother wants her to follow in her footsteps, but Lola had other plans—she wants to take over the world.

Lola’s best friend is Glory Hart. With her super-speed, she knows she was meant for greatness, and has never wanted anything but a future with the League of Heroes.

Lawrence Lawrence’s only concern is to escape small town hell, and he doesn’t much care where he goes or what he’s doing. He doesn’t see his telekinetic powers as helpful, until he gets his League of Heroes acceptance letter, and learns that not only is having a life fun, having two lives is even better.

All three end up at the University Noir in Acropolis, Connecticut, where the League of Heroes runs one of their training programs. The city is also a Mecca for super villains, including the nefarious Dark Lothario. While Glory and Lawrence learn to be heroes, Lola sets the building blocks for her future role of secret leader, and tries to connect with the underworld she knows she belongs to.

Unfortunately friendship, love, and betrayal disrupts the best laid plans, and by the end of the year everything changes.

Note: Secret Identities is unfinished, with no recent updates.  It contains some graphic sexual content, graphic violence, and harsh language.


A serialized novel, with no recent updates

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Listed: Oct 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

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A fun story

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Feb 5, 2011: If there’s one type of tale that’s almost as prevalent as zombie stories these days, it’s explorations of what it might be like to be a young superhero in training. There are many fine examples of that genre on WFG, and once again, although it wasn’t a subject I’d seek out, once I started reading Secret Identities I was fascinated.

In this world, the select few born with supernatural abilities that qualify are invited to enter an elite program at the University Noir at which masks are always worn to protect the identities of the students’ friends and families. For super speedy, idealistic, pink-loving Glory, this has always been her dream and mission. Unknown to her, her best friend Lola also has a superpower, but she won’t be attending the League of Heroes, because her secret inherited ability is a darker one, associated with the villain’s camp! (What? – her mother didn’t really make all that wealth by being a successful writer?) And then there is a boy, a dissatisfied, diffident boy, but talented and also a League student, who meets the strait-laced, noble Glory in his superhero identity and the seductive, manipulative Lola in his "normal nerd" identity.

Will any of their tangled relationships survive the inevitable betrayals? There are a number of interesting twists and turns to this tale, which is told alternately from the perspective of Glory, Lola, and Lawrence. The interactions between characters and the demands and quirks of their strange world make this story fun. They are each callow, headstrong, conflicted and courageous in their different ways, none of them really good enough or bad enough to be predictable, and though their values and dreams are in conflict I find myself sympathising with each.

It’s not a very deep story, but it’s good at being itself. One feels like anything could happen, and that keeps me reading to find out what. The text is snappy but sensitive and very readable (except for being white on black, my pet peeve).

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Editor’s First Impression

By Linda Schoales, editor

Oct 24, 2010: The first chapter is well-written and introduces the main characters and their families. Each of the three has just finished high school and is wondering what to do next, when they receive a letter from a college for superheroes. After meeting the critical mom, and the whiny little brother, it’ll be interesting to see how the author characterizes the instructors.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Hiding its Potential

By G.S. Williams, author of The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Oct 26, 2010: "Secret Identities" has the usual premise of super-powered teenagers going off to college to be trained up as superheroes. The interesting twist to this standard premise is that one of the superheroes in training is rooming with a supervillain to be—Glory has superspeed and wants to be a hero, but her best friend Lola has evil mind control powers and wants to take over the world.

Now, I’m not sure if a villain with plans for global domination is all that smart by living with a superhero —- I mean, sure, you might get dirt on other heroes and tactics, but you’re also running the risk of getting caught pretty quick. However, it makes for an interesting dynamic as the story follows both characters and their friend Lawrence, the Kinetic Professor who can move objects with his mind. Both girls seem to have feelings for Lawrence, giving them one more thing to fight over if they ever become enemies.

There’s some fun dialogue between characters, and a large cast of other heroes and minions even after only 4 chapters. However, the story seems to be skimming the surface and not going very deep in characterization or creativity.

Here’s an example of Lola recruiting a minion to work for her:

"Lola knew the importance of brains and muscle. She picked Hannah out at the campus fitness center."

That’s it. The whole story of how Lola picked a henchwoman and why, in two sentences. Almost all the action in the story is like that, a few lines summarizing what’s happening. Chapters concentrate on dialogue and the perspective and thoughts of characters, and given that superheroes are usually action oriented, there’s surprisingly little action and certainly nothing that takes my breath away.

So while the dynamic between the three main characters is interesting, and there’s plenty of potential for intrigue and action, this story hasn’t really found its heart or its muscles yet. This is the skeleton of a larger story, and the outline needs to be filled in.

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