Bookbed reviews: ‘Heart and Hero’ by Gianne Rabena

by Nitoy Gonzales


BOOK 1 in the New Heroes Series a Young Adult Superhero story set in an Alternate Modern Philippines!

KARLA has always loved superheroes. Always watching the news on local crime fighters who fly around the capital and save the day. Now if they were only inspiring enough to help her power through her first year at New Hero University, a mysterious school no one seems to know about, tucked away in a city by a mountain.

What Karla didn’t count on was that she enrolled in a school exclusively for superhumans–care of an elaborate scheme made by the country’s superhuman government, The Organization. Suddenly, Karla is caught between being the girl of a prophecy meant to either bridge the secret world of superhumans with the non-supers, or be a threat of destruction to all. But she doesn’t even have any powers yet. As if all that wasn’t hard enough, she’s a fumbling mess in the presence of her crush, Andre.

ANDRE already expected that at the very least his Junior year at New Hero University will be anything but static. After being appointed stand-in leader of Blue Team and getting dumped by his long-time girlfriend, he’s at an all-time low. But when a new mission involves protecting the prophecy girl and ensuring she doesn’t discover the truth of why she’s there, he finds out he’s the last person anyone should trust near someone that important. Especially with his difficulty controlling electric abilities.

But Karla seems to have this strange tendency to wander into his corner. Soon a significant connection between the two leads the Head of the Organization to believe that maybe Andre had something important to do with the prophecy of Heroes as well.


Together, they must work to ensure the safety of all worlds, super or not.

Perfect for fans of Sailor Moon, Young Justice and My Hero Academia. Available here


If you’re part of a barkada with this chatty comic book nerd that everyone listens to because of the fascinating stories they share, I dare say that’s someone like Gianne Rabena. And you better be listening (or reading)! This author translates her fangirling into this book so well that it delivers such a solid read for a fellow comic book nerd like me. Heart and Hero is full to the brim with fandoms, Filipino references, love, and action. Reading it felt like reading a graphic novel without the artwork. The story will make anybody’s imagination fly! 

The mini reveals in every chapter were satisfyingly good. The narrative did not feel rushed and the author knew how to hook the readers.


The book can be a long read for some readers. I myself had to give myself time to absorb everything; for example, there are scenes in the book with Zack Snyder-style slow motion storytelling (like the cell phone incident). If you’re a binge reader, this is a story that’s better read chapter by chapter. 


A YA book that pays homage to superheroes and Filipino culture with a mix of college romance and a whole lot of geekiness, Heart and Hero is a satisfying read that will leave any fantasy reader wanting for the rest of the series. 

Bookbed received a digital copy from the author in exchange for honest thoughts. Read our Review Policy here.


One response to “Bookbed reviews: ‘Heart and Hero’ by Gianne Rabena”

  1. […] my review of a YA book by a Filipina author that hails from our province. You can find the review here. Yes, I do review secular fiction books once in a while and I’m planning to submit more […]


Anything to share? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: