WE COULD BE HEROES – Mike Chen

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.

WE COULD BE HEROES is one those books I picked up almost immediately when it was released. It seemed 100% right up my street, and I had every intention of reading it shortly thereafter.

But we know how that goes.

But then I read FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, a collection of Star Wars short stories. It featured a story by Mike Chen called “Disturbance,” and it’s awesome. It takes a way-too-close look inside Emperor Palpatine’s mind, and it’s just kinda unsettling and very strong with the Dark side.

And then something EVEN COOLER happened: it was announced that Mike Chen was writing a full-length Star Wars novel about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker called BROTHERHOOD!! Which of course made me infinitely more curious to check out some more of his writing.

So here we are.

And wow. Not to dwell on Star Wars in a non-Star Wars book review…but with the way that friendship is the beating heart of WE COULD BE HEROES, it’s clear to me that Mike Chen is the exact-right author to write a new Obi-Wan & Anakin story!

Anyway!

Our two main characters in WE COULD BE HEROES are Jamie Sorenson & Zoe Wong. They are both struggling with the loss of their long-term memories, and have also recently developed superpowers.

Jamie has the ability to reach into someone’s mind & tamper with their memories. He’s using this ability to rob banks (they’re fully insured!!) so that he can start a new life in the tropics with his cat, Normal. Around the city of San Delgado, Jamie is known as the Mind Robber.

Zoe’s powers are more physical in nature… super strength & speed, the ability to hover. She uses these powers to fight crime, and also earn kickass reviews delivering for FoodFast. Zoe is known as the Throwing Star.

Ostensibly arch rivals, Zoe & Jamie meet, realize they have a whole lot more in common than they ever would have thought, and perhaps even have a common enemy. They’ll have to work together to learn the truth about who they really are, and who they want to be.

This book was a DELIGHT, and I was a fan from the first chapter on. Jamie & Zoe make for an unlikely (yet deeply likable) duo. Jamie is kind of anxious & orderly, whereas Zoe is more confident, but also sometimes…chaos incarnate. Jamie is bookish & likes pour-over coffee. Zoe is a bit of a problem drinker (something that’s addressed in the book) and lives on schlocky & obscure horror movies. But somehow these two click & the (truly platonic) sparks kinda fly.

WE COULD BE HEROES is warm, funny, clever, and has that extremely addictive “just one more chapter” quality to it. I flew through this one in just a couple days & it was the perfect start to my 2022 reading. This is an incredibly heartfelt & fun superhero story…it’s also queer & has a platonic relationship at the center of it, and I think this story will appeal to a lot of folks!

I LOVED THIS!

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