Heroes fans looking for more Sci Fi adventure while their favorite show is on hiatus will not find it in the new Heroes novel by Aury Wallington. Instead “Heroes: Saving Charlie” is a story of lust – I mean love.
Unlike the online graphic novels, this novel offers no clues or tidbits to the overall mythology of the Heroes series. In fact, “Saving Charlie” does nothing to answer those burning questions we all have about Heroes. Instead this novel, delves into a side story of Hiro’s attraction to a doomed small town waitress that offers little to the overall plot of the TV series.
However, on its own “Saving Charlie” is not a bad read, provided that you don’t mind already knowing how the story ends. After all, we have seen the beginning and end of the story in Season 1 of Heroes. Readers will have seen the beginning of the tale in Chapter 8 “Seven Minutes to Midnight” when Hiro and Ando stop at a diner in Midland, Texas on their way to ‘Save the Cheerleader’ in Odessa and the end in Chapter 10 “Six Months Ago” when a defeated Hiro returns to the Burnt Toast Diner.
“Saving Charlie” is a sweet tale of the budding romance between Hiro and Charlie, the friendly waitress at the Burnt Toast Diner that has a knack for learning and retaining information with ease. But as the plaque in Hiro’s dad’s office says in Chapter 5, “This is not a Fairy Tale.”
The beginning of the book was very hard to get into. The first six chapters are almost verbatim from “Seven Minutes to Midnight.” And while Chapter 1 sounds like the Hiro we’ve come to know and love, the Hiro described in Chapter 2 on the journey to Midland was whiny and grumpy.
But after Hiro travels back into time, the story of his mission to save Charlie is complimented with the charming tale of his courtship with her that reminds us all of how fun, magical and exciting it was to fall in love for the first time. When else would a guy go through all the trouble of making 1000 origami cranes but when he woos her?
We are treated to a few flashbacks throughout the story that give us more insight into Hiro’s past and his relationship with his father, Kaito.
But the most interesting details are regarding Hiro’s development of his power to freeze time and space, or lack there of. Although Hiro seems to have full control of his powers when he attempts to prove them to Charlie and when he uses them to romance her, he seems to lose complete control over them when he gets emotional. More than once he’s teleported through time or space during very awkward moments – or at least they are awkward when he’s suddenly no longer there.
There’s even a point in the novel when Hiro travels through time in a Quantum Leap fashion jumping in and out of time erratically put gleaning a new piece of information at each new place in time until Hiro loses complete control of his powers.
Unlike in the TV series, Hiro’s ability to travel through time and space in the novel (at least towards the end) no longer seems like a gift – a power he controls – but more like something that controls him.
The end was a bit weak too. But it must be hard to ease into an ending that everyone already knows. Or maybe I’m just disappointed that it couldn’t have a happy ending. After all, “Saving Charlie” was an adorable tale of young love, but it was no fairy tale.