Cover of The Enemy Delusion, featuring two white characters running from looming buildings, rubble, and smoke in the air

About the Book

Title: The Enemy Delusion (The House of El #2)
Published: 2022
Series: House of El
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Run Boy Run
BFF Charms: Eventually x2
Talky Talk: Gray Area
Arty Art: Action Packed
Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book Blues
Relationship Status: Sticking Around

Red alert! The Enemy Delusion is the second book in the House of El graphic novel series. If you have not read the first book (The Shadow Threat) or the rest of the books in this universe, man your battle stations turn away now, as there might be spoilers in this review. If you’re caught up, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Run Boy Run

OK, so this section would more appropriately be titled “Run, Boy and Girl, Run,” but I wanted you to enjoy the earworm as much as I do. 

I really like how this cover escalates the anxious feeling of the first book’s cover. Where that one had some stealthy “we’re hiding” vibes, this one goes full-out “we’re running for our lives.” I’m afraid to see what the third book will bring. Explosions and utter catastrophe? Only time will tell.

The Deal: 

After undergoing the experiments of Jor-El and Lara, Sera-Ur notices that she’s changing. She’s becoming more than what she was, but her fellow lower-class soldiers are noticing, too, and not in a good way. Sera likes what she’s becoming, but what it means for her life—and her relationship with Zahn-Re—she just can’t predict.

Zahn, too, doesn’t know what the future holds, especially when he gets more involved with Midnight, the rebel faction, and realizes that there’s something about the leader that doesn’t add up.

BFF Charms: Eventually x2

BFF Charm with a sweatband on

I’m still trying to decide what I think about Sera and Zahn. The Enemy Delusion didn’t really help me get to know them much better than the first book; they’re both so wrapped up in the situations they’re in that they have little time for anything else, much less spending quality time with friends. (Their actual friends are getting kind of sick of it, too.) But I do really appreciate that they both care a lot about their world and making it a better place for everyone who lives there, not just the rich folk. I just … know what’s going to happen? And I’m not sure that there’s time to truly get to know each other well enough to warrant a BF charm?

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

The swoon goes up, slightly, in this book thanks to a kiss and the promise of more. Get on it, you two! You only have so much time!

Talky Talk: Gray Area

Gray continues to excel at expanding the history and story of Krypton, the ill-fated home planet of Superman (a.k.a. Clark Kent a.k.a. Kal-El) in The Enemy Delusion. It’s fascinating to read about the culture that was there, as much as it’s frustrating to read about folks who have their heads stuck in the sand and aren’t willing to look at the larger picture—a picture that could have led to their planet having a very different future. Unfortunately, although Kryptons aren’t human, it seems like people are people regardless of the planet that they’re from (i.e., they’re oblivious and terrible and can’t see past the nose on their faces). Gray pulls no punches at pointing out the idiocy of the whole situation.

Arty Art: Action Packed

Page via DC Comics

Zawadski packs SO much into each page and panel of The Enemy Delusion, but the busyness of what’s going on never detracts from the main focus. It’s quite a skill. I applaud his use of color, too. The emphasis on muted blues with punches of orange makes the art feel otherworldly—appropriate for a book about another planet.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book Blues

A stone bridge over a still pond in a forest

Very little plot progression happens in The Enemy Delusion. A few reveals add to the story, and I’m glad that Sera and Zahn finally got their smooch on, but I’m concerned that—like I’ve mentioned a few times previously—time is of the essence. I’m assuming Gray and Zawadski aren’t going to drastically change how this all shakes out, but I’d like a bit more substance before we reach the end.

Relationship Status: Sticking Around

You’re still being a tease, Book, but I gotta know how this all shakes out. So I’ll be here for a while yet, hoping that our relationship will turn into something more—or, at the very least, I’ll finally get the answers that I’m looking for.

Literary Matchmaking

Superman Smashes the Klan

Although Superman won’t really make an appearance in this series, you can read a great one-off story about him in Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru’s graphic novel.

Fallout (Lois Lane #1)

If you want more Clark Kent-adjacent stories, check out Gwenda Bond’s novel about a teenage Lois Lane.

Leia, Princess of Alderaan

Read more of Gray’s prowess with known IP in this book about Princess Leia pre-Star Wars.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from DC Comics, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. The Enemy Delusion is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.