My Rating: 4 Stars
Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.
Meg Sawyer has none of these things.
Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted evil for years.
For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.
But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground of a story she never wanted to be part of-one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.
Beware spoilers ahead!
Trigger Warning(s): Grief and gun violence.
Rep: Oliver is Korean. Sanjeet is an Indian. Penny is a Latina.
My Synopsis: Meg lives a regular life. She works at a coffee shop and lives on her own. She also has her GED. Meg doesn’t really have any hobbies. Her primary concern is putting food on the table and protecting herself from various superhero fights.
To please her boss Meg agrees to deliver some paperwork. Though Meg forgets to do it in the daytime and has to do it at night. After sending in the paperwork she crosses paths with one of the Supers. Much to Megs surprise the two of them get along. Said Super even agrees to help her financially.
The day after Meg’s building is set on fire and on her way to safety, she gets into a minor accident. Fearing someone may be hurt she moves around the wreckage only to find the Super dead.
Confused and in shock Meg decides to go to the police and report what she saw. On the way she runs into her former neighbor Juniper, who is the Super’s ex-girlfriend. The fireman produce the Super’s dead body making Juniper believe he died in the fire. Meg tells her otherwise. And thus gets dragged into a conspiracy along with her best friend Oliver.
Book Format: Collateral Damage is written in first person limited following Meg. There is one chapter that is narrated in third person limited following Oliver. There are table of contents and chapter numbers.
Where I Heard About This Book: I found the author through Twitter sharing her arc copies. The cover drew me in and I decided to read the synopsis. When I saw that it was a superhero book I knew I had to read it!
My Thoughts Before Reading: I was so excited to read Collateral Damage!
I was really hoping that I would enjoy it because I usually don’t like characters like Meg. I’m not a big fan of cynics in real life and I wasn’t sure what I would think. It didn’t help that most reviewers were comparing Renegades to Collateral Damage. Which I DNFed.
I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!
What I Liked: I absolutely adored Meg! Her snark was so good and I found her to be relatable. While not always the most kind, Meg was compassionate and brave. I’m really surprised that there aren’t more characters like her. Especially in Superhero media.
I felt that her reactions to situations were realistic. Not everyone will faun over the hero and will in some cases be frustrated. Also no one likes getting dragged into something they didn’t ask for.
Meg and Oliver’s friendship was so cute! I loved how close they were. And it was nice that there weren’t any romantic feelings between the two of them. Their relationship was strictly platonic.
Juniper was so brilliant! When I read the synopsis I was expecting a normal person with a typical office job. Juniper actually works for the police. In the Super department. After Meg tells her about her boyfriends murder Juniper forces Meg to help her. As Meg is also apart of the whole situation and the only witness.
It took sometime for Juniper and Meg to be on the same page. Juniper spends a majority of the book talking over and bossing Meg around. Despite all of this the two become close friends.
Sanjeet was so much fun to read about! I liked that he was a hardworking nerd and compassionate towards others. Specifically Meg in the beginning. Penny was a little rough around the edges but she grew on me.
The world building was unique! And very much rooted in real society. I thought it was cool that the Super’s were switched around in intervals. And the whole concept of specific serums giving those powers.
There is no romance whatsoever. The only character that had any romantic feelings was Juniper. And unfortunately her boyfriend is found dead in the beginning. Instead Collateral Damage focused on the friendship between all the characters.
The humor was on point! Initially I thought that Meg would be the only source of humor. When I started reading I found out that it wasn’t just Meg but most of the characters and situations. I laughed out loud at several points!
The thing I appreciated the most after reading was how character driven Collateral Damage was. I find that a lot of superhero stories fail because they are plot driven rather than character driven. And considering how most of the science is made up to fit those stories, it makes more sense to have them be character driven instead.
My Criticism(s): Collateral Damage was very predictable. I saw most of the plot coming. Which isn’t bad and was most likely the intention. I think you can still enjoy the story regardless.
What I’m Looking Forward To: I’m assuming because of number 1 on the cover we might be getting a sequel. Which I would definitely read! I’d love to see where all the characters are and how their coping with the entire city being Supers.
Conclusion: Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Collateral Damage! I highly recommend it.