I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but based on all of the great reviews I knew it was something good, and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. Years before, my best friends introduced me to Doctor Horrible's Sing-along Blog and when I heard this book was like that in some respects I got really excited. The story started off as something more Superman or Batman-esque but as the book went on it did morph slightly into something resembling Kick-Ass. Generally in books like this (those that have a comic-book feel to them) the good and bad characters are pretty clean cut, but Schwab really tangled them up and turned it into bad and worse, especially as the novel went on. What I actually found the most interesting wasn't the plot (although it was expertly done), or the fact that the book jumped back and forth between past and present (which worked remarkably well), but the morals of it all. We as a society are so ingrained with the basic "good vs. evil" trope, but in the real world that's not really how it works. Comic books start off with said basic idea, but the best ones move away from that and make you think about real life. The "good guy" sometimes has to do some bad things to ultimately get the job done and make the world a safer place, so does that mean he's no longer a "good guy"? Schwab cuts to the heart of this question with a terribly profound deeper meaning, and also looks at what I would almost call the morals of being a person with some kind of "super" power, and how it could, would, potentially change you as a person. Honestly this was a book that went so much deeper than just what was on the surface, which is something that can be really hard to achieve, but that Schwab does so well it's scary. Fans of superhero comics and movies will most likely adore this novel, and those who are interested in the "good vs. evil" idea or just the basic human psyche. Hopefully Schwab writes other adult books like this, because although I might like to peek into the world later I think that the ending of this book was tied up so neatly a sequel could never live up to it.
5/5 dust spirits
*technically this is an adult book, but mature teenagers (and I do mean teenagers, not mature twelve-year-olds who read things like the Hunger Games) should be perfectly fine reading this novel.