Book Review – Not Your Villain by C B Lee

not your villain.jpgBells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.

After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?

Sometimes, to do a hero’s job, you need to be a villain.

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Half starNo-Star

I’m only giving this 3.5 stars as part one is a retelling, although a shortened one, of the events of not your sidekick from Bells perspective and while we learn some useful bits, it really didn’t work for me. Part 2 is much better, where we move into the action!

I loved Bells in book one so it’s great to see his side of things. I did miss Jess’ voice and seeing more of her and Abby, but we get some really great moments as a result.

My absolute favourites are the two times Bells thinks that if Emma doesn’t return his affection that he will be okay with being friends. A++++++! His jealousy over Carlos aside, it was lovely.

I also loved getting to see insight into him as a trans guy with the ability to change his body. I love that he realises that it is something he really feels like he needs, but that he’s still him without it. Plus he still uses a binder so he doesn’t have to transform all the time, so I like that he sort of respects that his power isn’t always the solution (even if it’s just because of the effort involved!)

**mild spoilers**
Bells and Emma are so cute, and Emma at the end utterly broke me. This is the ace rep I have been wanting – where she’s not sure and just wants to fit in. This feels much closer to my experience than other books (which I still love!) and seeing it out on the page was so awesome. Even in this future and accepting world it’s not always easy to accept who you are.

Right, back to no spoilers! Not as much Jess and Abby as I’d have liked, but I loved the action and seeing all the fallout from the end of book 1. Cant wait to get to book 3!

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Buy Not Your Villain from Amazon UK.

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