Thank you to one of the authors, Hope Bolinger, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Cortex and V need a new nemesis. Cortex’s last villain dumped him, and V got a little overeager and took out her hero prematurely. They meet on Meta-Match, a nemesis pairing site for heroes and villains. After throwing punches at each other behind coffee shops and hiring henchman to do their bidding (mostly just getting them coffee), they realize they have a lot more in common than meets the eye. And they may have a lot more hero and villain inside than they realize. ~ Goodreads
The description of this book completely drew me in and I had absolutely no doubts about accepting a review copy. I love the whole trope of heroes and villains and I thought a match maker for heroes and villains to find a nemesis was really clever. I also love that this entire book is written as text messages! I’m always looking for books with interesting formats and Dear Hero definitely checked that box.
The main characters, Cortex and Vortex, meet through Meta-Match and begin a professional nemesis relationship. I liked both of these characters, but I feel like we don’t learn much about them and a lot of their personality rests on their identity as a hero or a villain, even though these lines are often blurry. They also do things sometimes that I felt were really unrealistic and they often seemed to lack emotion in situations that I feel should warrant more. I don’t know if this is just the nuance of text messages and how hard it can be to show emotion through it, but Cortex in particular seemed really dismissive of things and didn’t even react as you would expect when his loved ones were in danger.
I really liked the format of the book, but I did find it to be a bit confusing at times, especially during group chats or when they were using “speech-to-text” in action moments. I got lost sometimes in what was happening and being able to imagine the scenarios from these texts alone. I think it is really clever though and the authors did find some really creative ways around the restraints of text messages.
Overall, this book was okay and I definitely enjoyed parts of it and appreciate the creativity, but there were also a few things that I wish had been a bit different or developed more.