January 26, 2021
Mike Chen
Harlequin / MIRA
Fiction / Science Fiction
Hardcover, 336 pages
An extraordinary and emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks, and to buy coffee, cat food, and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.

"Chen delivers a fun, fast-moving superhero adventure."
-Publisher's Weekly

"Vivid, richly developed characters. The growth of these flawed but relatable super-people power this fast read."

Dear Reader, 

We Could Be Heroes is dedicated to “good friends,” and it feels like this is more important than ever before after the year we’ve been throug How do we connect with other people? How do we build the trust necessary to let people into our homes and our lives, to share our triumphs and collapses with them, to enjoy simple pleasures like a cup of coffee or a cheesy horror movie with them?
This book was born from those questions and the underlying idea that friendship matters. In our popular culture, there’s such an emphasis on every story needing a romance—which certainly has its place—but friendship, as I think we’ve all discovered through 2020 and beyond, is invaluable and often taken for granted. I wanted to tell a story about two people who shouldn’t be friends on paper, but form that bond without romance ever entering into the picture.
Of course, this is also a book about superheroes and supervillains! A terrible superhero and a reluctant supervillain, to be more precise, and there’s a certain joy in writing Jamie and Zoe as they banter over the course of their enemies-to-friends tale. As a lifelong comic reader, I was thrilled to twist traditional superhero tropes on their ear while focusing on the people that live under the capes and cowls.
All of that might sound like an unlikely combination, which is totally fitting for We Could Be Heroes. It’s a story of misfits, ill-fitting duos, and a friendship that somehow makes it to the finish line, even if they bicker most of the way.
Oh, and there’s a cat named Normal, who is based on my real cat named Nermal. Nermal meows a “thank you for reading.”
Mike Chen
Book Club Menu
A taco bar, with ground beef, chicken, pork carnitas, and carne asada. With fresh lettuce, pico de gallo, choices of cheeses, and (a personal favorite) fresh jalapenos. There's a reason why Zoe has the loveliest dream about flying amongst endless tacos: because tacos are the best.
Side dish
Garlic tater tots. Not only is there a bonding moment in We Could Be Heroes featuring tater tots, but a fun fact about me is also that the cafe where I write/work (pre-COVID, of course) has the best, a massive serving of tots for $4. On rough days, I'll indulge in just tots for lunch.
Coconut water. Jamie might be a supervillain but he is an extremely good cat owner. And every day he gives Normal a little post-meal treat of coconut water. Have a refreshing sip with your meal, or give some to your favorite furry pal (just a little sip so you don't upset their tummy).
Coffee. A pivotal moment early on in We Could Be Heroes happens when hero and villain try to figure out an industrial coffee machine. Coffee is basically my favorite thing in the world, and the coffee discussion in this book is basically an extension of my own inner monologue.

-Mike Chen
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