Power Play Book Review

Power Play Book Review

Power Play
Published: 2021
Greetings! Welcome to my review for Power Play by H.L. Burke!
4.8Overall Score

Power Play

Greetings! Welcome to my review for Power Play by H.L. Burke!

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Pacing
  • Setting
  • Themes

Greetings and welcome to my first review of 2022!

H.L. Burke is steadily becoming one of my favorite authors for superhero and science fiction reads, so I jumped at the chance to read Power Play this past November.


It’s dangerous to go alone. Even for superheroes.

Laleh Ashe has found her first real friends at Camp Sable, a refuge for at-risk superpowered teens, but her politically ambitious mother has other plans. Mrs. Ashe is determined to send Laleh to a fancy, overseas boarding school—far from her friends and the life she’s come to love. To drown her sorrows, Laleh agrees to a table top role playing game with her friends, Marco and Jake, as well as the new girl at camp—shy, withdrawn Rian. Too bad no one warned her about Rian’s reality bending superpowers.

Sucked into a fantasy world created by Rian’s imagination, Laleh and her friends must scramble to master their magical new surroundings and complete their quest if they are to have any hope of getting home again.

This magical world is less fun than it sounds, but as Laleh and her friends face the various challenges, Laleh can’t help but remember that all that waits for her in the real world is separation from her friends and a life under the thumb of her overbearing mom. Maybe going home is seriously overrated.

Superheroes meet Portal Fantasy in this second book of the Supervillain Rescue Project Young Adult Series.

Personal Review:

This series is nailing the character development, and watching the main characters work through their pasts and flaws has made each book a page-turner for me. In this installment especially, the kids are coming together as a team, which is so fun to watch!

The themes of family and sacrifice are deftly woven into the story as the characters journey through a strange reality.

The fandom references have always been one of my favorite parts of H.L. Burke’s writing, and this book is no exception. It’s packed with RPG and The Hobbit references that bring a smile to my nerdy heart.

Even though this book is YA and focuses on the teenage characters, I appreciated how the adults aren’t left out either! Fade and Lucia are still prominent characters, and I enjoyed watching them grow as well. I’m looking forward to Fade’s spiritual journey in the coming books as well as he wrestles with his faith. Tying in previous books is another aspect that H.L. Burke has mastered, and the cameo from two major characters from the New Adult series was one of my favorite scenes.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Power On is the uniqueness of the RPG-turned-reality concept. It was unlike anything I’ve read before, and the execution was fantastic.

The teenagers are imperfect, and their flaws are realistic, a refreshing facet in a YA read.

One of my few quibbles with this addition to the series is the inclusion of some light innuendo/comments. It’s less than what’s in her New Adult books, but it didn’t really fit the YA tone at times. However, while this series may not be the absolute cleanest, it has significantly less content than your average Marvel movie.

I’ve enjoyed watching the author’s growth as I continue reading her series, and the Supervillain Rescue Project may be her best yet!

Content Review:

Language: a–, d–n, h—, etc.


– A few mildly inappropriate jokes about gropes, twerking, etc.

– A reference to Fade having a procedure to ensure he and Lucia don’t have kids anytime soon


– Many spells are cast in the RPG-reality a la DND

– Fade wants to pray, but he thinks it’ll have more influence coming from Prism; he’s beginning to unpack Christianity and how it affects him personally

– Speaking of which, Fade and Prism are married even though they’re not both Christians


I received a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Power On, check out the review here:

Power On Blog Tour/Book Review

And check out her adult series, the Supervillain Rehabilitation Project, beginning with Reformed here:

Reformed Book Review

Reviews for books 2-4 are coming soon!


Upcoming reviews:

  • The Winter Charlatan by Victoria McCombs
  • Oath of the Brotherhood by Carla Laureano
  • Peaceweaver by Evelyn Howard
  • A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

If you’d like me to review a specific book (or your own!), feel free to use the Contact page to get in touch!