WE COULD BE HEROES by Mike Chen

Jack Swyteck Novel, Book 17

From the publisher:

An extraordinary and emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.


Our story opens as a young man is holding up a bank. Not with a gun mind you, but by controlling the minds of the bank personnel and the people currently at the bank intending to do the normal business one does while there. A woman he has just mind controlled falls down and our hero Jamie begins to fret about what happened to her to cause her collapse. Just then, Zoe, a part-time deliverer of meals and a woman possessed of super strength and the ability to fly jumping off tall buildings with a single bound, appears on the scene with the obvious intent of capturing Jamie and delivering him to the police. In the melee occurring with the robbery and the fainting of the woman, Jamie escapes and Zoe goes back to delivering the meal she is carrying.     

Shortly after, the dynamic duo quite unexpectedly meets in a memory loss support group that both have been attending. You see superman and wonder woman each have the same experience. Their memories only go back two years when they awoke in an apartment and began trying to resurrect a past that is beyond them while coming to grips with the superpowers they have. The bright idea of teaming up to work on recuperating their memories hits them both and so they begin. Hard to tell if Chen is writing a comedy or attempting to begin stories of super heroes but both our leading characters turn out to be more than a little neurotic. 

Their search for their roots and subsequent falling in love is entertaining and charming. What happens to them and the results of their search is documented in a plot grounded in science fiction and the description of two flawed characters seeking out their roots while handling a really diverse world not too friendly to them. An attractive book and one conducive to cause readers to look for more of the same in future novels.

3/2021 Paul Lane

WE COULD BE HEROES by Mike Chen. MIRA; Original edition (January 26, 2021). ISBN: 978-0778331391. 336 pages.

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