I’ve read my share of teenaged heroines who lose their heads and hearts over a boy. But Anthem Fleet has got to be one of the most naïve, aggravating, mush-brained, twitter-pated fools out there. This girl didn’t start out as being the strongest of heroines. She came off as being a meek, submissive, wan doormat, just the sort willing to be dragged out of the house by her adventurous friend and ride off on the back of a motorcycle with a boy she met at a party. But then she turns into a reckless, careless moron, willing to “risk anything” [sic] for her poor, white-trash boyfriend. Not much of a character improvement. Sheltered, ignorant and apparently a fool for love, she gives up her heart and her virginity, starts lying to her teachers, avoiding her friend, stealing from her parents, ditching her classes and jeopardizing her future as a prima ballerina, all for the sake this impoverished boy from the wrong side of the tracks that she’s known only a week. Then, of course, it all goes pear shaped when he gets kidnapped. No one seems to ask a very pertinent question: What if her “boyfriend” is actually involved with the kidnappers? No one asks this: not her father who’s against giving in to terrorists, not her mother (admittedly doped to the eyeballs most of the time; but even she should know something about how rich people get treated by the envious, desperate and destitute), not her savvy friend, nor her bodyguard who was once a security agent for dictators and ruthless kings—the very sort of person who should know how kidnappers behave! This man idiotically puts himself in harm’s way while carrying his employer’s jewelry, stolen by their adolescent felonious daughter. The story itself reads like a weak rip-off of “Batman” meshed with “Black Swan</u>. Anthem is supposed to be the bright shining hope for a city of beleaguered people. But the bad guys are too clichéd and the problems they supposedly cause a little too vague to muster interest. I don’t care that Anthem’s newfound operation has turned her into a low-rent version of Supergirl. She’s stupid, her emotions are as shallow as a teaspoon and she bounces from boy to boy like a yo-yo—just the sort of co-dependent romantic loser modern-day readers have come to despise. This book is destined to become a series but I strongly suggest that people skip it and re-watch old Xena, Warrior Princess episodes for a powerful superheroine fix.
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