I wanted to like this book so bad! I'm a big fan of the YouTube Channel CinemaSins and when I heard the voice behind it had written a book, I thought that was right into my alley. When I got an eARC of the book, I was very happy!
Jokingly I told my friends I would certainly go and sin the book just as the movies, but I didn't know that would be such a massive job. The premise of disabled super heroes working together to save the world and overcome their disabilities was nice enough. Unfortunately, it was filled with almost all the clichés in the book and that was something I didn't expected (as in the CinemaSins they always make fun of clichés in movies). Besides in the beginning I found it far too easy to put the book down and read something else instead. I some times need to do that if I have another review book that needs to be read first, but it was simply too easy this time. It took about the halfway mark before I was really invested in the story. After that point it was a nice and quick read. And please, let me explain: I did enjoy reading it, it just wasn't as original as I hoped it would be.
Some minor spoilers may follow as I try to explain this.
The MC, Philip, is blind, which is inconvenient to say the least with his flowering superpower of telekinesis. After moving to a city that is completely filled with superheroes (and some of their minions), even though his little brother isn't to know about all this for some time (which I think is hard in a city filled with superheroes) and which seemed like a terrible strategic choice because if I were a super villain, I'd know just which city to nuke!
Philip attends the special high school for super heroes, but is put in a weird hodgepodge class of disabled children. I was wondering why all these children were put in that class in the first place. Many of them seemed to be ABLE to attend regular classes I'd say. There's for example a deaf girl (but can't she lip read? and if not, what is the use of placing her together with blind kids for sign language) and a boy with I think some kind of spasms in his leg. Why would you need to go to a special class for that? I spent my whole secondary school with a boy in my class who also suffered from leg spasms and we just helped him from room to room and there wasn't a single problem.
The deaf girl's superpower is superhearing, which is utterly useless to her and proves that life's a bitch. It's said that the whole superpower thing has something to do with genetics, since it's mostly familial, but then again it's said that only 10% of the children inherit the same power as their parents. How does THAT work? I wonder.
On this High School, and brace yourself: clichés are coming, an old tournament, that's been abandoned for years because of safety issues, has been brought back but our band of disabled super heroes is banned from participating. (I'm quite sure you also thought for a moment I was talking about The Goblet of Fire). For some reason, they are then allowed to participate, they find some evidence that a certain villain is on the rise but when they're back at school no one believes them? Sounds familiar, huh?
The rest I'll leave to yourself to figure out, but believe me: it doesn't end their. Also featured:
From the blurb I'd gotten the idea that The Ables was also going to be about overcoming disabilities, and I thought that would be a wonderful message to spread. But 'overcoming' in this context mostly meant using other powers to fill in the gap. It's not about using telekinesis as a blind person, it's about borrowing someone else's vision to do it more easily. That felt a bit like cheating...
All in all, while enjoyable it was also cliché-ridden and that made me cringe more than once. Would I read the sequel? I probably would, but I wouldn't set my expectations quite as high as I did for this one.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!