His name is uttered in terrified whispers. He’s the bad guy the good guys fear. He is the King of Pain, and he’s come to Kingsport to put another hero in the ground. The Hero Squad faces their deadliest foe yet, a mysterious killer who hunts within the superhuman community, leaving dead bodies and broken minds in his wake. The Squad is next on his hit list, and the King ofHis name is uttered in terrified whispers. He’s the bad guy the good guys fear. He is the King of Pain, and he’s come to Kingsport to put another hero in the ground. The Hero Squad faces their deadliest foe yet, a mysterious killer who hunts within the superhuman community, leaving dead bodies and broken minds in his wake. The Squad is next on his hit list, and the King of Pain will push the young heroes to their absolute limit — and one of them might not survive the experience. Get ready for the darkest chapter in the Action Figures saga as the Hero Squad prepares for the greatest fight of their lives — a fight in which there are no winners…only survivors....
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||386 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
cruel summer Reviews
I have really been enjoying the Action Figures universe so far, so I was really looking forward to this new Issue. But to be honest, I was blown away at what I experienced in this book. I use the term 'experienced' on purpose, because I didn't quite *read* this book, but I felt connected very much with it, on an emotional level.Issue Four: Cruel Summer is a bit darker than the previous three books, and really explores the characters and what happens and can happen in a person's life, not to mention what a superhero goes through and the craziness that entails. I really can't heap enough praise on this book because it was a great read, and made me laugh, cry, smile, then get angry at characters in turn. It's a rare book that not only entertains, but connects on that more visceral level. This was one of those books for me.
The Action Figures series gets better with each installment, and this is no exception. There's a seriously creepy villain here, and the Hero Squad is badly shaken by the experiences that come with facing him.But the real meat of this book isn't even about the superhero business. Bailey tangles with an ambitious range of life's most intense experiences here—death, powerlessness, alienation, prejudice, sexual awakening, and more—and each is handled with honesty. The depiction of bereavement is among the best I've ever seen. And the supervillain's influence threads through these experiences, amplifying and complicating them, rather than taking over the focus. I look forward to seeing what's coming next.
Wow, this was intense! I can't say much about it without spoiling it, but a lot of disasters and miseries hit the team at once. The author deals sensitively with a number of difficult subjects, to the point where I want my daughters to read certain bits of it (well, okay, one daughter has already read the book twice, but the other one....) I hope he writes more -- he can't leave it here!
My fourth book by this author, all of which were a part of this series.Unfortunately, I don’t really know what to say. The writing seemed stronger in this one. Some of the characters somewhat faded into the background while some others had deeper characterizations. At one point I was beginning to think that I’d end up rating this quite poorly. Two different issues drove that thought – different plot points I mean. I do not exactly recall now what they were, though I know once I was anticipating something that might cause me deep issues/problems with liking the book. But the book veered away from that specific track. Then the other issue was going to leave me making some comment like ‘of course it’s the (view spoiler)[lesbian (hide spoiler)] who goes evil’, but to a large extent that was both unfair and not fully encapsulating what occurred even when I had those thoughts while reading. This is all really really vague, I know.In this fourth book, Carrie, the lead point of view, is nearing the end of her sophomore year at high school. At one point Carrie is relaying everything that had happened, and then made a comment about how full a year she had. And it has only been a year since the first book (which presents its own issues since the first book had a prologue wherein Carrie is relaying what had happened the past year, meaning that I’m not sure that we are even up to the present of that prologue).The team is attempting to regroup after all the issues that have hit them over the past year. Matt’s attempting to get over the fact that his father cheated on his mother, they separated, and now they’re back together. In meantime he has been training and transforming himself from something of a geeky kid into a strong-man ultimate fighter type. While also working as an intern for Edison . . . um, whatever Concorde’s human name is. At his company. Carrie’s training with Concorde, attempting to get better at fighting in the sky; continuing her relationship with her older boyfriend Malcolm; and attempting to function with all the stress that everything she is doing is putting on her (hero work/school work/job/relationship/friend activities). Missy is somewhat off to the side, not sure if she really is going to come back to the superhero business. And enjoying spending time with her father. Stuart . . . um . . . continues to exist? He, as far as I know, doesn’t have a girlfriend, troubles at home (beyond that which lingers from the dead brother), nor an internship. Nor does he feel he needs to train. So he’s busy with . . . school work, mostly. And being lazy. Sara is continuing to refine her mind powers. Deal with the crap that comes with her dickish father – who can find nothing but fault with his daughter regardless of what she does and is always berating her, loudly. While also trying to keep Matt off of her, who feels that he loves her, and Carrie, who feels like Matt loves Sara and Sara’s too much of chicken to go for it.And that’s, what, hmm. Well, somewhere near the beginning of the book, first third of the book? Fairly shortly thereafter, though, things begin to break down, somewhat, for two of the hero squad. The first blow, beyond the continued abuse Sara is suffering from her father that has been ongoing pre-book star, occurs when (view spoiler)[Carrie’s grandfather dies. Beyond being a loving family member, he acted as something of the peace-keeper in-between Carrie and her mother, and with his passing, how will they survive? That’s something of a tipping balance that eventually leads to Carrie wondering if she should even continue being a superhero, though that thought occurs after other events unfolded (hide spoiler)]. Well, how to relay that non-spoiler-y. Events unfold which begin to break apart the foundation that Carrie has developed for herself in her new life as a superhero, the daughter of divorce, and the attempt at rededication to not being the bitch she became in her last school. Before the parents split. And her friends dumped her.Sara, though, suffers the most in this book. There’s the ongoing abuse from her father (and the spineless passivity of her mother). Then a villain calling himself ‘the King of Pain’ attacks her. He’s the guy who every superhero, without exception, fears. He directly and indirectly causes superhero deaths. So she starts to become unglued. Then she lets slip exactly why Matt really isn’t suitable for a potential boyfriend, at least for her. Let’s slip in front of her father (view spoiler)[that she is a lesbian (hide spoiler)]. Who explodes. Sara ends up having to hide out from her family at Carrie’s place. Both hiding from the King of Pain, and from her father.I’m leaving stuff out and being quite vague. This isn’t an easy book to comment on because some major events occur which morph the team. Some of the major events are not possible to be relayed without spoiling, while others build upon things which cannot be named. Let’s just say that, for most of the book, things progress, relationship wise, between Carrie and Malcolm; Carrie and Ben (Carrie’s mother’s boyfriend); and after a particular revelation, between Carrie and her mother . . . to a certain extent. Plus Sara’s world implodes. The other hero squad members mostly fade into the background in this one. There was a third plot, a ‘will Missy actually return to the superhero business, or not?’ that never really developed too far into being a major subplot. I liked the book well enough. And would recommend it. To those who have read the prior books. In order. The series is that kind of series. Things build on each other.On a side note – most of the time I understand the book covers. I do not know who is supposed to be on the cover this time, though. The main villain in this one is a man. Concorde wears a tech-based flight system, and is a man. Manticore – similarly to Concorde (though there are wings, and the wings do take some damage, like the wings on the cover). The ‘obvious’ choice for who the cover is supposed to be showing would be the one female who flies in the book. Major character, I mean. And there are references to how pale she is in passing (her Irish-German background). But she doesn’t have black hair (has blonde hair, as two of the other covers show). Isn’t an albino (again, as two of the other covers show). And does not include wings in her superhero outfit. So I really have no clue who that is supposed to be on the cover of ‘Cruel Summer’. And that vaguely annoys me.January 4 2016
This was good, in parts very good. Much darker and more realistic than the chewing gum level of the previous books. All the way around it is a more inclusive, diverse and mature (but still YA) book.
Over the course of the Action Figures series - which I have devoured with an enthusiasm that I've not seen in myself in a long time - I have come to love the character of Carrie Hauser, and that love is spread equally among her fellow teenage superhero friends Sara, Matt, Missy and Stuart. I've watched them grow as friends, as superheroes, and as people. They've faced super-baddies, and they've faced demons (actual demons). But they've also faced their own demons, which are perhaps the scariest things of all.Never once does Michael Bailey let us forget that, underneath the costumes and funky superpowers, these characters are just people: flawed, emotional, judgmental, and decidedly unsuperheroic when the costumes come off. Trying to balance two lives is a dicey thing at best, a disastrous thing at worst, and never once has Bailey played this balance off as all fun and games.In Cruel Summer, far and away the darkest book in the series, a supervillain calling himself the King of Pain comes to Kingsport, and he has designs on Sara. Being the target of a murderer is bad enough, but add that to Sara's increasingly volatile relationship with her parents, and you have a recipe for drama that slams the needs all the way to the right. Events transpire that will leave the Hero Squad reeling, and I can only wonder (and hope) that recovery from the trauma heaped on them in this story can be repaired. This roller-coaster of a story had me glued to my Kindle from start to end. I only put it down a few times (to work, and, you know, sleep), and I felt emotionally spent afterwards. When a book does that, it's a credit to its author. And once again, I praise Michael Bailey for taking me on another thrill ride.