mjules loved this book, and I was intrigued, so I ILL-ed it.
I wasn't impressed.
I liked the matter-of-fact treatment of there being superheroes in this world, and also that we got to see them being less than ideal human beings from the get-go.
However, because it was so matter-of-fact, the superhero aspect didn't particularly engage me. It didn't add much to pre-existing superhero worlds/ideas, and the parallels were straightforward rather than winking in-jokes (which was fine).
It was an interesting take on Superman -- Justice going "evil."
I wondered whether Hal was intended to parallel Batman -- being that he was a non-superpowered "superhero" (and Golden Boy informs us that Hal was an orphan), but he didn't have the Batman feel to him. Dark Hero was the one who did (was it ever clarified whether he actually had a power?). And of course Dark Hero turns out to have been tragically orphaned as well -- though that still doesn't answer the question of whom Hal was supposed to have been. (Though it's not like they have to have exact parallels.)
Amy (fox1013) said, "I got... frustrated, I think, with the way that EVERY POSSIBLE QUEER ISSUE came up."
I, however, kinda tuned out the gay-bashing stuff starting fairly early on. I was like, "This isn't really my experience, but I recognize that plenty of people have far scarier queer existences than I do, so I'm not gonna say this is unrealistic, but I don't really connect with it." And maybe some of it was my detachment, but all the gay issue stuff, while obviously important, felt incidental in a way.
I said to Amy in IM: "It occurs to me now that maybe that's why it [the book] didn't particularly work for me -- I'm thinking about the parts I really cared about, and it was the *characters* and their relationships (this is shocking, I know), and the superhero stuff was basically a means to advance that, and the gay persecution was probably *supposed* to engage me emotionally but since I was detaching from it it obviously didn't . . . so I'm left with like a third of the book that's actually *working* for me."
I liked Goran and his developing relationship with Thom. (Though I'm still working out whether all the distinct pieces of information we get about him fit together into a cohesive whole for me.) I loved Ruth a lot.