We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

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.

TITLE: We Could Be Heroes
AUTHOR: Mike Chen
PUBLISHER: Mira Books (Imprint of Harlequin Books)
YEAR: 2021
LENGTH: 400 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Superheroes, Science Fiction
RECOMMENDED: Highly

*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. 

Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Main Character(s).

“A superhero and a supervillain meet in AA and decide to team up” is a remarkably simple and excellent premise, brilliantly told and nearly flawlessly executed in WE COULD BE HEROES. Their changing relationship feels really natural, with a lot of give-and-take of trust and information, slowly building into a finale where I was on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen. 

Above all else this book is fun. Yes, there’s danger (sometimes a lot of danger), and the stakes are really huge for the characters, but watching them was an adventure. The way they went about their heroics and their villainy totally fit their personalities and helped tell me more about them, long before they were explaining themselves to each other. It’s heartfelt and earnest without being sappy. The main characters are vibrant and very distinct from each other, they have totally different ways of seeing the world and it was really easy to track who was who. I liked the way their individual goals fit into their eventual shared goal without feeling like either of them completely changed just to suit the plot. 

I love this and I’d happily read more in this setting if it ever gets a sequel, but it’s very satisfying as a stand-alone superhero story.

CW for drug use (backstory), alcoholism, blood, gun violence, violence, major character death, death.

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Two city skylines, one on each side of the book. "We Could Be Heroes" is in large text across the book, and two small figures hang off of the letter "B" in "Be", one holding on to the other as they dangle in the air.


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