Book Review: Alter Ego by Kate Sheeran Swed

Remember Jem and the Holograms animated show from the eighties? This book felt like that. I couldn’t shake the feeling away. Strong women in the center of the stage, trying to save the world with their badassery and technical skills. As a child, I was obsessed with Jem, could watch it from video repeatedly.

The main protagonist of the book is Mary, a wealthy Hollywood socialite, and a vigilante with a tragic past. She doesn’t have superpowers like the others in the group she belongs to, but that doesn’t stop her. I would say this book is about Mary finding out who she is through her past and present, having the face what has made her. Mary is relatable despite her status. She is tough, quirky, broken, strong, and intelligent.

Kate knows how to write. The book is easy to read, the story is fast and light, and every character has their cross to bear. Yet while the book is enjoyable, like those Hollywood X-Men and Batman (the lighter ones) movies, this is not a book I would typically read. The whole Hollywood and superhero scene feels disinteresting, not because it is poorly written, quite the opposite, but because of the rich high-life feels like a nightmare to me. Who would like that? Are we so superficial that we think that is something to look up to? Kate brings out the downside of being a celebrity well, and I love she does that. Maybe the ending promises a darker sequel away from all the clamor.

Thank you for reading!

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