Christian - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
364 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

It’s not that we have too many superhero movies and novels these days; it’s how they are told through fancy costumes and downright commercialism that makes most of us crave something different. Thankfully, Allen Steadham’s Mindfire answers the call by delivering a superheroic tale with observant realism. This is a multi-generational story of a family of superheroes. At the heart of it is Leia Hamilton, who is gifted with the combined power of telekinesis and pyrokinesis. As you witness her powers come to fruition, you also witness her family’s superhero lineage and the outcomes of their crusading exploits, and the ramifications that reverberate to the next generation. Leia is about to face a deadly nemesis called Malevolence, deadly in the sense that this psychotic villain, according to her Aunt Dana, is somehow related to Leia, unraveling many sins of the past.

Allen Steadham is skilled in character development. He involves us in the private lives of his characters, both heroes and villains alike. The theme of the story is well-guarded even if it appears to be in plain sight. You don’t know how Leia will deal with Malevolence. In that way, it becomes a difficult moral choice between family and moral responsibility. This reinforces the thought that power alone does not make a hero or villain. There is violence and death in this book, but it is also a fresh and welcoming storyline that explores family relationships and crises of conscience. As for the ending, I’m happy that it doesn’t appear forced or arbitrary. Mindfire is a superhero story that I would be happy to declare a must-read for its absorbing storyline.

K.C. Finn

Mindfire is a work of fiction in the science fiction and fantasy sub-genre and was penned by author Allen Steadham. The work is suitable for the general adult reading audience due to the presence of some violent content and references to death. Centered on Christian themes, the story follows central protagonist Leia Hamilton in a world where superheroes are not only real, but some of them have tried to put those days long behind them. Leia’s parents are two such heroes, but when their daughter begins to move things with her mind and set things on fire, a new chain of events will lead Leia into the fight of her life.

One of the features I enjoyed most about Allen Steadham’s new take on the superhero genre was its solid grounding in morality and spirituality. Mindfire certainly has all the fantastic action sequences and cinematically described scenarios that a reader might expect from this sub-genre, but Steadham also weaves in Christian themes and faith-based ideas that fit perfectly with Leia’s character development and add a new layer of reality and meaning to the story world. I also found Leia’s overall character arc to be well thought out and emotionally resonant, with dialogue that characterized her youthfulness but also showed her psychological and spiritual growth. The plot pacing starts off with a gradual introduction to the overall concept of the world, and once the action really gets going, readers are in for an exciting ride. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Mindfire to fans of the superhero genre and well-penned science fiction, but especially those seeking a refreshing new direction in this kind of storytelling.

Rabia Tanveer

Mindfire by Allen Steadham is a superhero story with a twist. On the surface, Leia is your average college student who has a boyfriend, a job, and a family she loves dearly. However, that all changes when Leia discovers that she has the power to move things and control fire. Surprised and a little scared, Leia does some research and finds out that many people in her family (including her father and stepmother) were superheroes a couple of decades ago. Before she knows it, Leia has to take control of her abilities, figure out why her father and his fellow superheroes abandoned their duty, and why she and the next generation of superheroes must fight their old battles. In the meantime, Leia has to figure herself out, understand her abilities, and come to terms with why she is a superhero.

Mindfire is focused more on Leia’s journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance than fighting the villains. While there is action in the story, this is more like a hero origin story than a classic battle between good and evil. Leia’s character is humble, thirsty for information, and looking for a way to understand what her life has become. There is no white and black in this story, there are shades of grey, and Leia has to find a way to find the perfect balance. Allen Steadham gives readers an insight into the mind of a superhero, the moral battle inside their heart, and the emotional upheaval they go through every single day. There are memorable characters, there is emotional overload, and reality that will make you feel like a part of the story.