The Official Description: Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams, but with new heroes arriving in Nova City it’s up to Nick and his friends to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous. Which is a lot to handle for a guy who just wants to finish his self-insert bakery AU fanfic.
Just the facts: Superheroes, diverse, queer, funny, original
My thoughts bit: Flash Fire is book two in TJ’s Extraordinaries series. This is a YA series, but I would argue that anyone would enjoy this series regardless of age. Klune’s writing is unique. The overwhelming themes in this series continue in “Flash Fire”: be yourself, found family, hilarity.
Nick is back in the second installment of The Extraordinaries. He has a boyfriend…an extraordinary boyfriend named Seth. He has great friends: Gibby and Jazz who help fill out Team Pyro Storm He still has ADHD which is both challenging and hilarious. And he still has enemies to face.
Nick is a lovely character. It is an absolute joy to read a character living with ADHD. Nick’s voice (both inside and out) is so amazing… funny, challenging, and authentic. Nick is very much an “Own voices” character and he’s Klune’s favorite.
My fave is Nick because he’s an obsessive boy with ADHD, like me. I never got to see neurodivergent queer kids in books when I was growing up, so I wanted to give a voice to people like me so they can point to a character and say, “Hey, finally someone like me.” – TJ Klune on Twitter.
Nick’s struggle is real! He can’t always say the things he wants to and sometimes he says things he shouldn’t say out loud. He’s sweet and fierce and often finds himself in tricky situations. There’s no one more devoted as a friend/boyfriend and family member than nick and all of his relationships are challenged in book two.
No spoilers here! (Never spoilers for a Klune novel!) But things are definitely more complex in Book two. Nick and Seth and their cohorts are faced with more than just their arch enemy, Simon Burke who runs the evil drug company. There are other extraordinaries on the horizon… and some may be “good”, some may be “bad”, but Nick and Seth are on it.
My favorite relationship in this book is between Nick and his father. They have the most hilarious, loving bond. There is a scene involving dental dams that made me laugh so hard that I cried. But… there is trouble brewing. Even though Nick and his father love each other without question, that doesn’t mean that they can’t make mistakes. Sometimes, when we love someone, we make the wrong choices and then are faced with having to deal with the consequences. Klune handles this family relationship with great care… it’s funny, loving, and challenging.
Nick and Seth are a great representation of a young queer relationship. They are friends first and the way that Seth embraces who Nick is – makes my heart melt. I love their friendship, their flirting, the way they fiercely defend one another, and the slow burn of their relationship. It’s fun, real, and heart-warming while still keeping that signature Klune hilarity and realness.
There are some wonderful reveals in this book that you won’t see coming… some will leave you guessing, and some will make you want to get the next book immediately! But, if you’re familiar with TJ Klune’s writing then you know a couple of things: There are always cliff-hangers… TJ always resolves those dangling plot threads. I can quite honestly say that I have never been disappointed in anything that Klune has penned.
Klune is an award-winning author who has written a lot of wonderful books. This series is special in that the main character is neurodiverse and queer. There are kids out there who need to read a book like this and thanks to Klune… they have it. I am definitely looking forward to book three in this series.
I received an ARC of Flash Fire by TJ Klune from Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.