Format: Kindle, 360 pages
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
The world says those with superpowers are either heroes or villains. But what if you’re both?Mathilda Brandt isn’t the angry, out-of-control teenager she was before she got out of jail. She’s hungry for a chance at a normal life, but when a gang threatens her sisters, she has no choice but to use her illegal superpower to protect them.
A secretive government agency gives her a choice: go back to prison for life, or infiltrate a notorious super-villain group in order to stop a psychotic Empowered. To save her city, her family, and herself, Mat must become the last thing she ever wanted to be again: a criminal.
Empowered: Agent is the first book in Dale Ivan Smith’s The Empowered urban fantasy series. This series actually begins 5 years from when this story picks up. There is a novella called Renegade that features a 16-year old Mathilda (Mat) Brandt. 16-year old Mat lives in a world where you must make a choice if you have powers. You can either join the Hero Council, or go Rogue. There are no third choices. If you are caught and are not registered with Hero Council, you may very well end up in prison for the rest of your life. Mat, after being captured, was sent away to a special corrections facility for those with powers.
As Empowered: Agent picks up, it is 5 years later. Now 21-year old Mathilda has been paroled from a special corrections and now has to find a job in order to support her family. In Renegade, readers got a chance to understand Mat's true powers. Powers she was just beginning to understand. In this story, Mat is now called a Botanical Catalyst because of her ability to control plants. Mat finds herself on the cusp of choosing which way her life is going to go after she is caught using her magic. She can remain clueless as to what is happening around her and end up back in prison, or she can take an undercover job with the Hero Council hunting down The Scourge, the most dangerous Rogues in the world.
With two sisters on the edge of getting themselves into deep trouble, and her grandmother slowly dying from a rare disease, Mat finds herself choosing between working undercover for Support in order to infiltrate a group known as the Scourge, or quickly returning to prison where she will no longer have access to her powers. What really sets this story straight with me is Mat's powers really grow by leaps and bounds from Renegade. Also, her situation with her family is no joke. There isn't anything that is pure black, or pure white. It is a mixed up world where Mat has to make the best choices without screwing up.
One could call this an alt-reality story since the author makes pains to twist history especially when it comes to Tricky Dick Nixon and the Cuba missile crisis. If you like heroes and villains, you’ll love this fast-paced, suspenseful read featuring a strong female hero.