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Like millions of other kids, Jim grew up wanting to be a superhero. Unlike most of his contemporaries, however, Jim actually had the goods: a plethora of super powers that would have been the envy of any meta on the planet. But when his tryout with the Alpha League - the world's premiere group of supers - goes disastrously wrong, Jim basically becomes an outcast.

Two years later, Jim is still bitter about what happened to him. However, he soon finds himself the centerpiece in an odd turn of events that gives him a second chance at his dream. But nothing is as easy as it sounds, as Jim soon discovers. Among other things, he’s made an enemy of a prospective super teammate, he’s being stalked by an unknown pursuer, and a shadowy cabal bent on world domination has identified him as the only obstacle to their plans.

It’s a lot for one super to handle, even with a smorgasbord of abilities. But if saving the world were easy, everyone would do it…

206 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 3, 2013

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Kevin Hardman

24 books1,425 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 162 reviews
Profile Image for Gavin.
886 reviews399 followers
May 7, 2020
This was an enjoyable YA superhero tale. It was nothing special but was entertaining enough and mixed in some fun superpowers with an action orientated plot.

It was the tale of 16 year old Kid Sensation, a multi-powered superhero, as he sought to try out for the superhero teams for the second time. The first time ended in a spectacular disaster!

It was a decent enough story. Kid Sensation was a little bland but he was likeable and easy enough to root for since he was actually a real hero! The issue was that none of the secondary characters were all that memorable. Weirdly they all had fun superpowers but were just dull as people. The plot itself was OK. We got a mix of super battles and world saving as one might expect from as superhero tale as well as a bit of high school drama as Kid Sensation butted heads with a few of his new super-classmates and started what seems bound to be a slow burn romance.

It was readable but nothing overly special. That said, I did enjoy this and plan on moving onto the second book in the series.

Rating: 3.5 stars. I'm rounding down this time.

Audio Note: I feel like Mikael Naramore did a good job with the audio.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
641 reviews301 followers
January 30, 2014
When Jim, otherwise known as the ‘Kid’, tried out for the superhero league, he didn’t expect to become a fugitive. Now on the run, Jim uses his myriad of superpowers to stay anonymous while still being a good guy. When the forces of evil deign to track him down for their own nefarious ends, Jim is caught between the struggle of good and evil and must face temptation, broken alliances, and blossoming romance.

Sensation was a genuine surprise to me. I generally don’t read male POV (I do make a few exceptions – the Shift series by Kim Curran is also does excellent teen boy POV BTW) and I did have to read the blurb a few times, trying to read between the lines of what might actually happen in the book. Of course, the cover is gorgeous, so that decision was easy :P What can I say, I like colourful, shiny things.

Hardman is a competent, confident writer with only a few mistakes often seen in newbie tomes: there was a distinct lack of character voices (two different characters both happened to say ‘Voila’ when unveiling something), and overuse of unneeded parenthesis and a startling and annoying repetitious habit of ‘cutting a long story short’: ‘Basically’ an awfully high percentages of sentences began with ‘essentially’, ‘moreover,’ ‘frankly speaking, ‘ultimately,’ ‘in essence,’ ‘in short,’ ‘needless to say,’ and so on. It seemed like superfluous word padding, and unfortunately after reading some author blog posts I also see it’s a habit in non-fiction writing as well.

There was also some issues with deciding what to include as dialogue and what to summarise, but it didn’t really impact the overall story and I expect Hardman to get better as he writes more. I’ll also add that Jim’s narrative voice didn’t seem particularly ‘teen’ but I will also point out that there is such a thing as a mature teen boy, and he had more important things to worry about than girls and sex and whatever else teen boys think about (seriously, I’m not one, so I don’t know).

The plot of Sensation was really great, a strong typical ‘coming of age’ plot for a teenage protagonist anonymous superhero fugitive. I would have liked more angst, especially when it came to Jim’s absent father, and there seems to have been an entire aspect missed concerning his mother as well. Unfortunately, as usually is with boys’ stories written from a male author, the book seemed to revolve entirely around males. The only females present were either sexually interested in Jim (or pretending to be), or his mother. I guess I’m probably not the intended audience though, as I highly doubt many teen boys would give a shit how many women show up in the novel and what they talk about.

Overall if you want to read a YA book from a teen boy perspective, and you want to see what a really well written self-published novel can do, I do recommend Sensation, though I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequels.

Thanks to the author for providing this review copy for an honest review.
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,605 reviews2,309 followers
May 25, 2019
By: Kevin Hardman
Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
Most superhero stories seem to come across pretty cheesy but this one is a real winner! I got hooked right away! Plenty of action that was exciting and some was just down right funny! I loved the unique characters and the twists that crept up unexpectedly. A great world the author has built here. I definitely want to continue this series!
The narration is fantastic! All the voices unique and special. Great job!
Profile Image for Gary.
167 reviews67 followers
June 10, 2020
Not a bad story line and premise but lacking depth to the characters 3 stars
Profile Image for Leah.
696 reviews77 followers
March 25, 2014
Received a free copy for a review. Damn good program!

Sensation by Kevin Hardman was pretty darn decent. At first, I was extremely hesitant, especially when the Wanted poster of Kid Sensation (the protagonist) came to light. He had so many abilities, I was afraid the book was going to be about this over the top hero, with no faults, and just an extremely predictable plot.

A lot of this story was predictable, and normally that would annoy me. From I was really afraid it was going to destroy my enjoyment of this book, but it didn't. I took all of the cliches in stride and remembered this was a superhero book I was reading. The comics are filled with cliches, so why wouldn't novels of superheros be?

I think that the reason I was able to enjoy this book so much was because of the writing style. The author did a fantastic job, I think, making his characters likable and interesting. While there was predictability in the plot, the characters made it worth reading.

My one annoyance, and I guess I should be thankful to Hardman for switching up the bad guys in the book, was that we didn't get to see the super villains. And their names sounded so cool. I'm hoping that in Book 2, we'll be introduced to them. I really want to know more of the villians' back stories, and to see where this story leads. Will definitely be reading the other books in the series to see where this story goes.

I really enjoyed this first book, and I think it did a really good job fleshing out a pretty BAMF teenage protagonist.
Author 3 books8 followers
November 3, 2016
I love comic books, super heroes and villains fighting against one another in a perpetual struggle. I love conflicted heroes and vigilantes, who struggle against their inner darkness. I love villains who do what they do because they don't consider themselves the villains, but the heroes in their own stories. I practically learned to read from comic books. That's why this book was such a disappointment to me.

It may have gone a different way had I not loathed the main character so much. From almost the very first sentence I didn't like him... he had everything! Telepathy, telekinesis, invisibility, shapeshifting, teleportation, and on and on and on and on... practically everything but super strength which, as the lead pointed out many times, he could fake. He was a teenager, which isn't bad in and of itself, but this teenager took out a super hero team without hardly breaking a sweat. Not only that, but he and his grandfather decided for him to hold back when trying out for the local super hero team, which was a decision I didn't really understand. I mean, if he wanted to be a hero or wanted to be famous, why not show off how awesome you are? Or, if you wanted to keep your abilities hidden, why try out in the first place? It didn't make sense.

That's not the worst part, though it was plenty bad. The worst part is that much of the first part of the book was told via flashback. Instead of starting the story with the young Kid Sensation, about how he got his first power when a bully picked on him, or about the try outs, or going through high school while all this was happening to him, or training with his grandfather... that stuff is told in flashbacks. The initial scene has us watching him be a bounty hunter while under disguise as "Mohawk". We then see his fancy apartment and all his super powers and so on, which just made this... I don't know... "Bestest With The Mostest" vibe. After that, it was hard to feel sympathy for the character at all. Why should we? He had all of these advantages and yet still finds stuff to complain about? Granted, he's a teenager, but... he's a teenager! Should he really be besting the premier super hero team? And should we be seeing it in a flashback? If we had grown up with him, watched him be bullied by mean kids, and how he developed his first powers, and how awkward it was to have all this, then maybe it might have worked. Instead, we get page after page of past tense battles and shenanigans which put me to sleep. When it wasn't boring, it was almost painful to listen to. Last thing (off the top of my head at least), I know it's a YA book, but the lead character didn't sound like a kid, not in the slightest. The way he "spoke" (as it's in first person POV) was way too adult at times, using words like "ubiquitous". Granted, I know what ubiquitous means, but the average kid isn't going to. One shouldn't "dumb it down" for young adults, but the way the lead character spoke didn't sound like a young adult at all. That was another thing which made it hard to relate to him.

There are, however, a couple of bright spots. The narrator was very good, and I enjoyed his voice. I think I'll have to cleanse my audio palette before trying him again, but try him again I shall! He had a lot of emotion in his voice, and he did the best with what he was given. For the text itself? The lead character was African American, which made me really happy. There are so few minority protagonists that I feel this must be pointed out. I really wish I liked the protagonist at all, but I appreciate seeing minorities in positions of power. AND on top of it, the author called out racism within the book, which was great! It's not enough for me to bump it to 2 stars even, but it was good to see that! I also liked Brain Trust. The idea for BT was really quite interesting, but we didn't see enough of him-or-her.

Overall, I would definitely pass on this book. While the narrator was excellent, and there were a couple of bright spots, the book overall felt like watching a train wreck, except without the compulsive 'can't look away' aspect. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
Profile Image for R J Royer.
503 reviews60 followers
March 20, 2014
Let me just say that I wish more novels where written in this genre. I love my comic books but novels will always be my first love and there was a series of short story collections I read back in the 1990's that had super heroes in them and I loved them. The stories where by some of the best authors of the time and I would like to say that this one could have been included among them. The story is well paced and detailed enough that you get the idea of the world very fast. The idea of super beings is one that is hard to write without getting into something that has gone before and sounding overly rehashed but even though some of those elements exist here from both movies and comics the way they are used here is very interesting if not unique at least it isn't as rehashed as some stories I have read in the past where things are almost a word for word copy. The Academy is actually the only real issue I have with the book. Mostly because in most worlds that have super heroes they have them and, even in the Marvel and DC worlds, they do not press the issue of how bad the government would want to control super powered peoples or exactly how badly they would be discriminated against. If we as a race cannot overcome our hatred of ourselves in a world without powered individuals by discriminating race and sexual orientation then how would we as a race react to supers?

The book is an amazingly fun read and I would love to see another. This book is generally good for teens and I would even say younger people. Though I would like to mention that the deaths in the book should probably have had more of an impact on Jim than they did. Once again this is my opinion and should be taken as such but a young man of his age confronted with death as he was should have had a more serious reaction.

Either way a good book and one I would gladly tell others to read.
Profile Image for NotAnotherJenn.
11 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2014
Two years ago Kid Sensation (Jim) had a disastrous tryout for the Alpha League, the world's premier super hero team. He's spent the last two years working as bounty hunter Mohawk and trying to develop and hone his abilities. He quickly gets pulled into a plot involving a mysterious group of evil-doers who are trying to take down the league and rule the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I thought Jim was a likely kid who stuck by his principles and generally tried to do the right thing. He has a unique lineage, being descended from alien royalty and the world's greatest telepath, and this has gifted him with a plethora of abilities. His skill set was almost too much, so much so, that an entirely new power is introduced, utilized, and quickly forgotten about within about ten pages. At one point his mentor, Braintrust, comments on his skills and remarks that Jim doesn't need teleportation AND super speed because they are basically the same thing. I found myself agreeing with him and probably would have liked to see Jim make due with only a few good abilities and give the other characters a bit more breathing room.

The pace of the book was good and very easy to follow. There are moments where the novel jumps to the evil-doers perspective and I don't think that really advanced the story and probably could have been omitted. There is also a twist at the end that was easy to figure out and the moment it happens could have been fleshed out a little bit more. Jim is very mature for his age and often makes very rational, adult decisions so perhaps it was handled in line with that. It was very refreshing to read a novel told from a male's perspective and I appreciated that there weren't any real attempts to slide in a romance sub-plot.

I was given a copy of the novel in exchange for a review.

Profile Image for Michael Chatfield.
Author 61 books1,292 followers
April 24, 2016
Cool, just, damn cool! Yes he has a lot of powers, and yes he's still being something of a pain about not having all of them, makes sense as people always want what they don't have.
I like him being cocky, because it's a good defense from the crap in the world.
Up there in my meta books, fun read, looking to getting the other books!
Profile Image for Heather Hayden.
Author 13 books95 followers
March 12, 2018
I don't often stumble upon a good superhero novel, but this one had all the one points for me--sympathetic hero, interesting setting, and a cliche in just the right way plot. After a disastrous tryout for the Alpha League, Jim plays superhero in the shadows. But he's not a vigilante--he has his grandfather and a powerful superintelligence called BT helping him capture and turn in supervillains secretly. It's only when trouble really begins to rise that he realizes he'll have to embrace who he is--Kid Sensation--in order to save the world.

I loved Jim's voice throughout the piece; he comes across as very human in spite of all the powers he has and all the training his grandfather has given him. He and the other characters bring the story to life, and it's rather larger than life in some ways, just like a superhero comic might be.

If you enjoy comics and superheroes, I highly recommend this story.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
1,337 reviews28 followers
May 18, 2017
This is a world where super powers are not quite as uncommon as our world, it is a cool mix of YA and superman.
Jim is a normal teenage boy with all the usual teen issues to deal with, along with something extra, he seems to have more superpowers than all the other heroes put together and this doesn't make his life any easier.
I really enjoyed this book and didn't want to stop listening, unfortunately life got in the way and I had to take 2 sittings to finish the book.
Profile Image for Curly's  Ramblings.
1,820 reviews7 followers
April 8, 2017
I enjoyed this audiobook. Interesting characters, storyline, & plot. This story is packed with action from the start with surprising twists, interesting villains, treachery, & intriguing situations. The story would likely appeal to teens, young adults, or fans of superheroes.
Profile Image for Ben Langdon.
Author 8 books54 followers
August 5, 2016
Sensation, Kevin Hardman (I&H Recherche Publishing)

playing with new toys
a cast of thousands, bright sparks
aim too big, you miss

The first Kid Sensation book shows the author’s roots: the writing is okay but can’t really contain all of the ideas he has. The influences from comics are rich, but again, there are too many. Hardman has obviously spent a long time setting up the world, and with his expansive series available out there, I guess he does have a lot of material for his hero and the universe. However, I genuinely think there is too much in this story for it to read fluidly.

The sheer number of characters (whether they be given a sentence, a paragraph or even a chapter) actually detract from the central storyline. I understand the need to show how detailed the world building is, but I think a lot of the characters mentioned in passing could have been merged together – cut down the number of characters and it really doesn’t affect the outcome. What is their individual purpose?

The main character also suffers from a bit too much of everything. While most other supers have one or two powers, Kid Sensation has pretty much every conceivable standard power – except super strength. It’s clearly a case of Mary Sue, and he suffers a bit from being too confident, too snarky and overall too accomplished for the first book in a series about a teenage superhero. While I understand there’s clearly an over-use of newbie superheroes in books out there, there is room to write a character who isn’t too naive or too worldly-wise. I guess I’m hoping for some balance. With great power… there should be some kind of weakness. The Kid gets tricked a few times, but never seriously, and he always escapes with ease.

One of the things I love about superhero novels is the depiction of powers, and how a character’s powers can represent their personality or situation – to serve as a metaphor. Keeping the number of powers smaller, keeping them consistent and linked, allows a reader to imagine the character’s abilities and the extent to which they can or cannot do something. Kid Sensation has none of these boundaries. He can do anything.

Hardman is good at writing powers though. There are three great characters within these pages:

Braintrust – a collection of clones, with no real sense of a true body. “He’ reminded me of the blue-skinned clones from Giffen’s Legion of Super-Heroes – a comic I absolutely loved. Braintrust served brilliantly as the Kid’s ‘go to man’ and I’d liked to have read more of him.

Electra – a teenage girl who was raised by superheroes and has a healthy dose of teen-angst which manifests as a powerful sonic scream. Loved her first scene, and the description of her shout. She proved to be resourceful and intelligent. (If we forget her brief moment as a girl in distress, Electra is a pretty cool character).

Kid Sensation himself is a bit too powerful, too confident, to really make his way into my proverbial reader’s heart. I didn’t really care about him, even at the end when his family secret is revealed. I think it may be partly because of the narratorial style of writing – the Kid tells the story in a blow by blow way, not really ever touching on his feelings or reactions to things. Perhaps it would have been good to see his actions which were then contradicted by his thoughts.

Going back to my first comment, my first train of thought… I think this book is a good glimpse into Hardman’s early writing. He has written a lot since this book, and I am sure his style (like his character) has matured through each book. I’ll be checking out the later books to see how he goes because, really, he has managed to create a good superhero world.

Profile Image for S. Thomas.
Author 12 books71 followers
January 5, 2017
Kevin Hardman brings the often explored genre of superheroes into the world of novels and delivers a fast paced adventure with good storytelling in Sensation. Jim is a sixteen year old boy who has put off learning to drive, doesn’t have many friends, and deals with anger issues. What sets him apart from many who share those traits is that Jim has developed nearly every super power in the book!

I received a free copy of the audiobook initiated by my request, and I’m glad I sought it out! I used to read a lot of superhero comics as a kid and feel they influenced my tastes in reading and writing. Aside from the occasional Marvel or DC movie, it’s a genre I haven’t visited in better than fifteen years and it turned out to be fun.

We learn from flashbacks early on that two years before our tale begins, Jim blew his big opportunity to join the world’s foremost superhero team, the Alpha League. He now operates under a different alias with the help of his grandfather, a retired telepath, and Brain Trust, a hive mind of clones who want to know everything.

Under pressure from his mom and Grandpa to fit in with other kids, Jim attends a superhero teen football pick-up game where he become acquainted with some of the Alpha League’s junior members. The adventure unrolls in expected and well delivered comic book fashion.

Foreshadowing in this book was well done two pieces in particular played out exactly as I thought they might. No real surprises, but it’s a superhero book, so I didn’t expect a jack-knifing plot like in a suspense or thriller.

The first person storytelling allowed for the occasional info dump on some of the finer details of super powers. One example I enjoyed was when Jim finished a shower, he simply phased himself off from being solid matter, so water dropped away rather than needing to be toweled off.

I listened to the audiobook which was well narrated. Supporting characters had distinct voices or accents which always makes it a bit easier to keep the story straight during dialogue heavy scenes.
Like any good superhero adventure there are more opportunities for sequels sprinkled throughout the story than I can count and a quick look at Mr. Hardman’s Goodreads page confirms he’s made good on at least six of them.

I took off one star because I feel that Hardman introduced the reason for Jim’s freak out and voluntary two year seclusion without really explaining why Jim felt it wasn’t actually him that had such an anger problem. Then Jim continues to have anger issues later on, although to a lesser severity.
Profile Image for Steve Naylor.
1,802 reviews99 followers
May 19, 2021
Rating 3.0 stars

I am looking for a good superhero book and haven't been able to find one since the Super Powereds series. This one was okay. I am looking for a couple things in my story. Either great character interactions, great world building, or great powers with in-depth explanations and exploration of their uses. This one is like most others I have found in the genre. A little bland on everything. Yes there are some great powers but not much explanation about them or how they work. The world building was a little lacking. Character interactions were okay. The plan by the bad guys had me asking myself - "why?" I don't understand the stories where the bad guys want to take over the world. Who would want to deal with that headache? It is such a cliché thing for bad guys to do I get upset when I find out that is the goal. Overall it was just okay.
Profile Image for BookLoversLife.
1,803 reviews9 followers
November 23, 2016
How have I not heard of this before!! This book was so much fun and even though it's only about 5 and a half hours long, it's chock full of action, adventure and super powers!!

Jim was such an amazing hero. He has multiple powers, and more arriving every day, which prompts him to try out for the Alpha League. While some of his powers are useless, he still hopes to become a member of the greatest superheroes ever. It's during his try outs that things start to go badly wrong and Jim finds himself on the run from the super heroes. He has to use every available power he has to evade them but manages to, for 2 years anyway! When he is finally found, his life will change forever, whether it's for good or bad though, you will just have to read it to see!

As I said, Jim is such an awesome hero. Being a superhero, you can't exactly be called Jim, so he changes his name to Kid. He has a plethora of powers, with more coming every so often, and I loved that about him. He may have been "special" but he wasn't arrogant or egotistical about it. He felt like a normal teen, with extraordinary powers. He was also so nice! All he wanted was to do good, but when the son of the most powerful superhero ever decides he doesn't like him, Jim has to become a fugitive. Even then, he still tries to do good!

Plot wise, it was fairly fast paced. I loved the sheer amount of superheroes, powers and indeed supervillians, we have in this book. Some of the powers were freakin awesome!! The author has really created an amazing world, filled with adventure, magic and powers. It's a world I can't wait to dive into again!!! Well written and developed, this was a truly entertaining read.

In all, I listened to this in a few hours and didn't want it to end. While some of the twists were predictable and you could see it coming, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I have listened to many, many books narrated by Mikael Naramore and have enjoyed his narration in every one of them. He has a voice that is easy to listen to and a wide variety of tones, that make the book more enjoyable. He is one of the few narrators I always recommend!

I received a free copy of this and voluntarily reviewed it. this in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.
Profile Image for Mike.
Author 45 books161 followers
August 4, 2017
This is a good piece of YA superhero fiction. The moral lines are clear, which personally I like, and the main character is on the right side of them - though he's justifiably angry, and messes up believably in the way that inexperienced young people do.

He's overpowered. I prefer my heroes to be underpowered rather than overpowered, from a bias towards underdogs, but it is justified by the story that the author is telling, and the author does, at one point (albeit briefly), set it up so that the protagonist loses each power as he uses it. He has so many that it almost doesn't matter, and when it's crucial to the plot he doesn't lose one, but at least the attempt was made.

A couple of dangling modifiers, a few homonym errors, "alright" instead of "all right", and the inexcusable use of multiple question marks and exclamation marks (together) keep it off the "well-edited" shelf, but it's pretty clean apart from that.

I would have bought the next one, except that the subsequent books are all priced at $5.99. While it's good, it's not twice as good as plenty of books I can get for half that price, so I'll read those instead.
1,674 reviews
October 10, 2022
Once again Kevin Hardman writes a fun book about Kid Sensation. Jim's plan to have a nice quiet time and visit with his friend, goes pear shaped. And he's quickly embroiled in a murder mystery!
You'll find that listening to Michael Naramore is treat.
Profile Image for Carrie.
136 reviews
December 4, 2015
I didn't notice how short this was when I picked it up, but it was fun! I kept picturing the movie Sky High which I also liked.
Profile Image for Milan.
592 reviews12 followers
March 14, 2016
Easy to read and entertaining but quite obvious in some aspects. All in all a fun relaxing read.
Profile Image for Jonathan Pongratz.
Author 4 books179 followers
February 6, 2023

I had plenty of fun on this superhero adventure, though it wasn't without some highs and lows.

In a world full of popularized superheroes, Jim wants to be a hero, and he has the superpowered goods to back up his ambition. However, he's been hiding his powers for the past two years due to an unfortunate misunderstanding. When he gets a second chance at trying out for the Alpha League, he can't just let this chance go by. But as Jim soon discovers, there are threats out there that rival the paragons of good he wants to join, some that may threaten his very life and that of his family.

There were some really good elements to this novel. I love the alternate Earth this is set in. Superheroes and supervillains are aplenty, and there's this sense of adventure of magic that make my inner kid want to cry out. This world feels full of potential, and I enjoyed finding where Jim's journey took us while exploring some cool individuals with even cooler powers.

Jim as a character was decent, but I wanted a little more. He's something of a white knight, which made sense given his upbringing and the general state of the world, but I think he could've used some more complexity to his character. I also didn't like that he had so many powers. I figure that'll be explained in later books, but he just felt too overpowered, enough to where I would occasionally forget which powers he had because there were so many.

I also would've liked to see him struggle to use his powers a bit more. He has been trained by family how to use his preexisting gifts, but when he discovers a new one or new way to use a preexisting one he always gets things right on the first try. It's just a little too easy and lessened the sense of conflict overall.

The plot was pretty good. I liked how unpredictable it was. I thought things were going to go one way, then they went in the complete opposite direction. Good job keeping me on my toes!

Although I did have fun with this book, at this time I won't be continuing with the series. I just needed it to wow me a little bit more, though I think a teen with a love for superheroes would absolutely love this series.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,745 reviews37 followers
April 10, 2019
This was a very fun quick read. It’s reminds me of both Phipps’s Supervillainy series and of the modern TV show, The Flash. The Kid (aka Jim) is coming of age and he’s got all these powers. He’s living with his mom and his grandpa in a world where many people have some kind of super power. If you have one of these powers (or even more than one) you still have to pay rent. So many embellished humans work 8-5 jobs and generally have basic, boring lives.

Then there’s the academy, and it has tryouts. They only want the best of the best for their Alpha League! Alas, Jim isn’t one of those. So he uses his powers to go bounty hunting, hauling in the scum of the city for a reasonable paycheck. I loved the normal, mundane setting for theses extraordinary abilities.

Anyway, things get shook up a bit and Jim ends up working with the Alpha League to take out some more sensational bad guys – and perhaps one or more moles. It’s dangerous work that’s also put his family in danger. Turns out a relative has an anger management problem. Ooops!

My only complaint really is that it looks like The Kid Sensation is growing into multiple powers, so many that he’s nigh invincible. I generally like my superheroes to have weaknesses that they have to plan for or occasionally die from. For The Kid, this is balanced somewhat by his youth – lack of experience and a bit of naivety.

All told, it’s a great opening to what looks to be a promising series. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Michael Naramore is just a lot of fun to listen to. With clear diction and a range of voices, he’s got a good fit for all the characters. I loved his deeper voices (like for Alpha or Omen). He’s also got a teen voice for Jim and a grumpy old man voice for Jim’s grandad. His female voices are decent too, sounding feminine. The pacing was spot on and there were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sam Koumi.
63 reviews10 followers
December 29, 2019
[Note of disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, but I'll stay as unaffected as possible]

Sensation, book one in the Kid Sensation series by Kevin Hardman, narrated by Mikael Naramore, is my first experience reading a super hero novel, and it certainly made a good first impression.

Personally, I prefer stories with more morally questionable heroes, such as anti-heroes, so this story didn't take to my tastes 100% and had some of the same problems as Superman does, with the whole "too powerful main character" part.

Because the main character in this story IS incredibly powerful, which is good for some people, but to me, there are limits. It worked okay in this first volume, but it risks becoming stale if not done well.

That said, the book did manage to make me interested in listening to all of it and it was pretty good for the most part.

The world Hardman builds is very interesting. It has heroes of all levels, hero academies, super villains, powers of all kinds (including literal magic), the kind of smoergosboard that I feel classic super hero comics did the best.

I'd love to see more novels and/or comics set in this world.

The characters and character dynamics work. The main character have the people who trained him and his powers and the other characters work well as well, for a YA book. Some of them feel like they're there to fill a role (the nerdy friend, the main character's love interest, etc.). They don't feel too stale though, so I'll let it slide.

There are a few clichés, most of which are spoilers, so I won't say which ones, but that is to expect from a super hero story, so it's fine. The book even jokes about it at some so they're obviously supposed to be there.

The narration is really good. Naramore voice acts in a way that feels natural and he has a really nice voice.

Overall, I give this book a 6/10.
Profile Image for Emily Pennington.
17.4k reviews242 followers
July 18, 2019
Jim grew up wanting to be a superhero. And the fact is, he could easily accomplish that feat since superpowers kept manifesting in him – so far, all but the one of super-strength that he really was hoping for. His current role was to bring in criminals for the police. This time, however, he saw a “Wanted Poster” from the Alpha League looking for Kid Sensation – which was Jim’s superhero name. He pointed out that Kid Sensation was not a criminal and had done nothing wrong. He felt the picture should not be hung among the scum of the universe criminals! The officer shrugged and recommended he consider going after the reward for the Kid – the fame alone would make it worthwhile! When things get more complicated, Jim finds himself on the run from fellow superheroes and the action never slows down! Do they finally capture him? What fate would await him if they do? Who else would be able to save the world?

Full of action and snarky fun behavior, this was a really good book! The characters were very well-depicted and the story line was fast-moving and exciting. In the audiobook, the narrator (Mikael Naramore) was one of the best! He did the voices to perfection, his intonation immediately producing an image in the listener’s mind and an appropriate visceral response to whatever happened. In simpler terms, he made it real as if the reader were right in the middle of the action. It definitely enhanced the story! I highly recommend this well-written book, and most especially the audiobook version if you have the opportunity! Outstanding performance!
3,297 reviews8 followers
May 23, 2017
( Format : Audiobook )
""This is Kid Sensation.""
Meet John Indigo Morrison Carro, more usually known as Jim, a sixteen years old, normal teenager, well, almost normal. He does have a few abilities not usually found in the everyday teenager - like telekinesis, shape shifting, teleportation and being able to fly - plus a few other handy little attributes. But he is lonely, without a father, rejected by the League and there is a group of six Masters out to get him.

This is a nicely written, lightweight, fun story filled with colourful characters and unsubtle humour (like the name of the psychic, Claire Voyant), a brightly pictorial two dimensional tale of super hero struggles, from trying out for the football teams to saving the world. Written in the first person from Jim's perspective, It is a comic book of the written word.
Narrator, Mikael Naramore, is, as usual, superb breathing life into the characters as he gives distinctive voice to every one besides taking on the persona of Jim, Kid Sensation, himself. His reading is perfectly modulated throughout - with a touch of whiney teenage angst thrown in occasionally.

My thanks to the author for gifting me a copy of his book, Sensation. It was a fun romp, perfect for young adults but also pretty good for those of us that time has moved along.
Profile Image for Jim Hessin.
1 review
September 22, 2017
A great superhero novel to kick off a great superhero series. This series centers around a teenage super hero with a wide range of abilities (just about everything save for super strength). I believe the best things about this series are it's avoidance of foul language that seems to permeate the super hero genre today as well as the creativity behind the characters, and how they resolve conflicts.

Often times when reading a book you will say to yourself "Stupid character why don't you just do this." This book is no different except that the character will do exactly that or something even better.
Though teens are a major part of this series they do not behave like "TV" teens do with petty rivalries and arguments that go way to far (at least not the main characters) but tend to behave in a much more mature manner. I find this quite refreshing and honestly more believable than the super archetypes that polute the teen genre.

Overall I would definitely recommend this series to anyone looking for a feel-good superhero series with a little clean young romance mixed in to spice things up (though that doesn't really start until book 2).
Profile Image for Wyatt Smith.
257 reviews
March 6, 2020
Firstly, Mikael Narramore does a great job narrating the book. Its easy to follow and tell characters apart.

This is a young adult superhero novel and I'm not in the young adult market. Surprisingly this book wasn't as bad as some YA books can be with all the teenager angst, rebellion, idiotic behaviour, etc. As a matter of fact the main character was quite mature, which might have endeared me to the book more.

The plot line is that Kid Sensation has almost every super power (except super strength) and seems to be getting more powers all the time. He had a disastrous try-out for a spot on the premiere super hero team that resulted in him becoming almost a fugitive. For some reason, the adults in his life want him to try out again.

There are super villains, a love interest, frantically wanting to learn how to drive and other teen-related plot points. Some of it was very predictable, some less so.

This book would not be my first choice to take with me on the proverbial deserted island but it has tempted me to explore the other books in this series.

I received this book as a free audiobook and chose to write a review
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