Fat queer superhero origin story? YES PLEASE. That’s all I knew going into Faith: Taking Flight and it was enough to make me fall head over heels. It’s a story with tons of heart. About friendship, family, and figuring out our place in the world, Faith is charming and emotional.
Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she’s volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.
So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there’s also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly….
When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith’s reality as the show relocates to her town, she can’t believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.
But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren’t enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I’ve been reading Julie Murphy’s books for a while and what I consistently love are the characters. They are not only detailed and unique, but complex. They always feel genuine, multi-faceted, and I love watching them evolve on the pages. Faith feels different than the other Murphy books, even while at the core it feels familiar. If you are searching for a superhero book, Faith may not be what you’re expecting. It’s a story about Faith navigating her superhero abilities, her family issues, her new friends, and trying to stay true to herself.
The Heart of Faith!
I loved the geek-iness of the book – we love a MC who loves comic books and fandom. Throughout the course Faith deals with some fatphobia and her own feelings regarding her queer identity. But the core of Faith: Taking Flight is Faith’s experiences with friendship, ethics, and family. What happens when we meet our heroes? When we aren’t truthful to those closest to us? When we let our feelings neglect our friends?
While I was initially attracted by the superhero aspect, I ended up loving Faith: Taking Flight for its character of Faith. There are certainly questions of super abilities, of the ethics of experimentation, and of whether we should use our power. So for those searching for superhero themes, they are definitely there, but at the same time, there’s also Faith just trying to figure out her sexuality, navigate her own fears, and struggle to be a good friend. And, for me, those took center stage, especially as Faith still is trying to figure out where she fits as a ‘superhero’.
There are a few different levels of action in Faith: Taking Flight, and while I wish that some were given a bit more time, it is a fabulous series opener. Introducing threads, events, and characters for the future I am eagerly waiting for the next book. It has all the heart I associate with a Julie Murphy book and added all these layers of superheros.