Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Three Diverse Heroes Battle Evil In Young Adult Novel, Revengers


The slippery slope of retribution is a universally human device translated in every form of communication. Its persistence and fascination lies in its truth even when presented as fiction. A fantasy of cathartic action that rarely, if ever, feels wrong. Revenge is a tale that will never go out of fashion. A theme that demands our attention beginning at our closest proximity to birth because the device is an awareness we have long before we understand its consequences. Further complicating the matter of recent are three teenagers that have intimate ties to dimensions beyond the living, a conquest from author David Valdes Greenwood. He's titled this series simply, Revengers.

Ama, Mark, and Justin are dealing with the aftermath of being witnesses to separate brutal homicides where the victim was not granted postmortem justice. Plagued with anger, their dreams are used as a conduit for a powerful spirit known as Fury. As lore insists, 'Halloween time' is the thinnest barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead, so Fury seizes this opportunity to enable Ama, Mark, and Justin with the ability to avenge the crimes. But all of this power and protection comes with rules, moral dilemmas, time restraints, and a messy realization that their contract with such omnipotence has a regrettable endgame. Can these three find self empowerment in an ancient, cosmic game of fate?

A woman of color and former student of David's once told him that "making risky choices thoughtlessly shows privilege, because it means you always know you're going to be okay anyway, and that this was something white men especially could rely on"; she could not. This was partial inspiration for Ama, Revenger's Black female lead. Mark and Justin round out the inclusive trio as one is straight and Chinese-American, the other gay and white.

David himself is the son of a Cuban immigrant. With his experience raising a Black daughter, he is committed to writing books and plays that showcase the intersections of the diverse world that we live in. With Revengers, David has implemented ways in which to develop relatable, compassionate, and whole characters that are still under represented as protagonists.

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