Stronger by Michael Carroll took the Kelly Clarkson song ‘Stronger’ to the next level. Stronger has as much action as in a comicbook, and as much emotion as pages can handle. Written four years ago, Carroll links his two series together The New Heroes and Superhuman in a excellent tie-in. The protagonist, Brawn, is a thirteen foot tall, blue hairless monster, or so everyone thinks.
Flipping between two elegantly constructed and heart wrenching storylines, the readers are in Brawn’s mind at pivotal years of his life. Starting when Brawn is twelve years old, scared and imprisoned; betrayal closing in on him more than the walls. In the other timeline where all superpowers are eliminated, Brawn is protecting his fellow inmates in a mining prison. Brawn spends most of his excuse for a life in prison because the world cannot accept him or he is on the run from those who wish to use him for their own cause.
From the many novels that I have held close to my heart, I have never read a masterpiece this agonizingly beautiful. My heart was broken and mended in the characters and in the writing style Carroll artfully creates. Carroll’s use of writing devices and plot twists put any other storyteller to shame, making him my favorite author. I trust Brawn in a deeper and more intimate way than I have with any other character before. Stronger is more than just exercise of imagination, but a true test of what the human spirit is capable of, even if it takes a superhuman to realize that.
If giant blue anti-heroes and mis-judged evil masterminds are not your forte, then read it for a crushing example of human nature. Though this book might seem like it is written for young adults; however, anyone with a heart should read it. Carroll took me into a new universe that I do not want to live in, but visit occasionally. I met new friends that intrigued me as well causing me cower, making Stronger my favorite novel of all time.