Book Review: Becoming Brooklyn by Amanda Deich @AmandaDeich @XpressoTours


Title: Becoming Brooklyn
Author: Amanda Deich
Publisher: Park Bench Publishing
Publication date: January 5, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble  // Indiebound // Amazon


Becoming Brooklyn
Amanda Deich
Park Bench Publishing, January 2021
ISBN 978-1-7361601-1-4

From the publisher—

Eighteen-year-old Brooklyn never knew her father. Rex Blackburn died in the 9/11 attacks four months before she was born.

And even though she never met him, she always dreamed about what he must have been like before he died. In her mind, he was a hero.

Little did she know.

After an attack at a 9/11 memorial gala, Brooklyn learns her father had been a member of an elite, anti-terrorism, military task force, made up of a very select group of people who had superhuman abilities. On the day the towers fell, he died using his power to save people.

The Army believes she inherited his gift, and Brooklyn is invited to train at West Point in order to hone her skills. Knowing deep down she is different than anyone else her age and wanting to learn more about a father she never knew, she readily agrees to become a cadet at the prestigious military academy.

She and five other 9/11 babies strengthen their superhuman abilities and spend weeks preparing themselves for their future in the army, fighting terrorists at home and abroad. And in the process of training, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could.

Brooklyn knows she’ll go to war someday, but when terrorists find out about the group’s gifts, they don’t bother to wait.

They bring the war to West Point.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, a couple of good things came out of the pandemic and one, for me, was the cessation of the endless stream of superhero entertainment, especially movies but really all forms. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it all but, heavens, it seemed as though a new adventure was coming out every month. That’s what I call oversaturation of the market so, yes, I welcomed the break. Then came the second Wonder Woman and I was ready for more by that time but it was sadly disappointing.

Then I heard about Becoming Brooklyn and, once again, I was excited and hopeful and, lo and behold, the joy is back! This book is refreshing in its concept and execution and, while there are flaws, the storyline is as enjoyable as I could have hoped.

Imagine finding out that the dad you never knew was a real life superhero AND that you just might be one, too. Brooklyn is excited to find out more and get the training that’s offered at West Point and, when that venerable institution and the cadets become the focus of terrorists, well, she and her fellow students have to react much sooner than they anticipated. Mayhem ensues, as it always does in the world of superheroes and this reader had a high old time enjoying the adventure 😄.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2021.

About the Author

Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, CO. In her non-writer life, she is a teacher and coach to hundreds of kids, and she is a mama to two. If you meet her, she’ll talk Jesus and identity like no one’s business.

Get in touch with Amanda:

Website / Facebook /

Twitter / Instagram


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Book Review: London Eye by Tim Lebbon

London EyeLondon Eye
Toxic City, Book One
Tim Lebbon
Pyr/ Prometheus Books, October 2012
ISBN 9781616146801

The date is the 28th of July, 2019. London has just been attacked by a series of explosions, firstly at the London Eye attraction. Hospitals are on alert, the UK threat level is critical and the city is in lock down. No one can get in or out. Thousands are dead, the survivors are shadows of their former selves. Two years later, a small group of teenagers follow a strange woman into the exclusion zone in a desperate attempt to find their families. Danger awaits them at every turn but the truth is worth the risk. Family is worth dying for, right?

London Eye is a well written book, the first presumably in a series called Toxic City. In this volume, a small group of teenagers travel into the exclusion zone that has been set up surrounding London after a biological attack that has decimated the population in the city. Desperate to find news of their family members the group makes a perilous journey into the depths of London, now resembling a savage wilderness overrun with wild dogs and leftover zoo animals. Government agents transect the city picking up survivors and taking them away for experimentation since the survivors seem to have new-found powers that the government is keen to explore. This is a dystopian novel, full of interesting characters and plots that would be appealing to young adults. In a way, it definitely reminded me of I Am Legend only without the crazy zombie-like danger. For me, I enjoyed reading about familiar areas and streets in London being portrayed in a post-apocalyptic state. Being familiar with the city only helped spur my interest in this book.

The characters are well developed with relationships that are both believable and well formed. I think that they are characters that younger readers will empathise with and relate well to.  There is evidence of the usual tentativeness of burgeoning relationships, strong bonds between both friends and siblings and the awkwardness that comes when relationships change is covered in an accurate and sensitive way. One character comes to realize that his relationship really only came together through necessity rather than an actual attraction and this maturity adds an overall sense of authenticity to the book.

Ultimately, I enjoyed reading London Eye. Being a regular visitor to the city of London, it was both exciting and scary seeing it portrayed in such a devastating way. The ending was left open, obviously to signal that another book will be forthcoming. I would definitely be interested in reading the next installment of the Toxic City series and in the meantime would recommend it to others.

A great read for anyone interested in dystopian fiction.

Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, December 2012.