Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book 26: After the Golden Age

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn takes the impossible task of writing a novel about superheroes without making it cheesy and holds the joy of reading a comic book. It’s definitely one of the toughest tasks to take on by a writer since it’s so easy to get into the really campy.

I love Carrie Vaughn. For the past couple years, she’s my favorite author that still currently writes. I get more joy out of her Kitty the Werewolf Series. Everything I’ve read from her was just a joy. So when I learned about After the Golden Age, I was excited especially when I read the preview chapter, I realized she was doing what I so seldomly see-a well written book that takes on the essence of a comic book without using any graphic arts. And it never disappointed.

The book immediately captures you and takes you into a rare view at a superhero-being an adult child to the city’s favorite superheros. Celia West is the daughter of Warren and Suzanne West or better known as Captain Olympus and Spark (two of the founding members of the Olympiad). Celia knows all about her parent’s vocation and the other members of the Olympiad (Dr. Mentis and Bullet). In many ways, it was like what if Batman and Wonder Woman had a child and she grew up in the Justice League headquarters. I loved it.

Plus I really enjoyed how hard it was for Celia to pull her life together. She didn’t have the super powers like her parents. She was just an accountant although a good one. At one point, she let her teenage angst and need to fight her parents to join up with the Destructor (the supervillian). Celia was never at ease around her parents especially her dad. They had this monumental following since they were saving the city on a regular basis but they had flaws like any other human being. You could tell she was at the age where she wasn’t hurt or really that mad at her parents for being them, but at the same time, there was that residual feelings that last a lot longer and takes longer to reconcile fully.

There was one complaint I had with the book, there was occasional point of view shifts that were kind of weird. The narrative voice would get muddled or seem to switch. It wasn’t a big problem. But at times, I would have to reread what was going on. Because of those occasional point of view shifts, a busy schedule and trying to savor the book; this was the first Carrie Vaughn book I didn't read in a day.

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