This was a very pleasant surprise! It appealed to me because out was not only a superhero novel, but the lead is a woman. Thus I was pulled into a firThis was a very pleasant surprise! It appealed to me because out was not only a superhero novel, but the lead is a woman. Thus I was pulled into a first-rate cosmic tale of an alternate reality, multiple styles of storytelling and a heroine funnier than Buffy (which I consider high praise).
This focuses on an alternate reality work superheroes, diverging exponentially from WWII, and has several characters reminiscent of (but not copies of) classic comic and pulp heroes. The beginning especially had me laughing (the humor slows down as the story develops and becomes more serious).
There are sequels which I am downloading, and I plan to look at other books by the author.
Recommended for superhero fans and fans of able female protagonists....more
This book was anonymously "written" by an editorial collective. Unfortunately, it wasn't actually composed as a manuscript and never edited. It readsThis book was anonymously "written" by an editorial collective. Unfortunately, it wasn't actually composed as a manuscript and never edited. It reads as a series of note cards constantly reshuffled, with many cards repeated several times.
However, if you can push through the repetition, poor composition, and typos, there is some good information here, and the photos are wonderful. Nothing new, but it's nice to have then in one place....more
Journalists, superheroes, teenagers - people in general - have secrets and want to find out other's secrets. It's human nature, I suppose. The thing iJournalists, superheroes, teenagers - people in general - have secrets and want to find out other's secrets. It's human nature, I suppose. The thing is, who do you trust to share your secrets with? Who do you trust even though you know there are unshared secrets between you? And, what secrets have to be exposed, no matter the fallout?
In Double Down, Lois is still traversing the tricky and (for her) unfamiliar terrain of the friendships that developed in Fallout. Connecting to other people is more important than ever to this teenager, and those connections include family, friends, and romance. The family connections explored are between friends (the family you choose), parent & child, and sisters (including twins, with a twist that I can't discuss because spoilers).
Metropolis itself becomes a character here, with a darkside cleverly explored in contrast to the larger city of hope that it is. (Sidenote: Gotham City has always been a thriving character for Batman, but this is the first time I can recall - or have seen - that Metropolis has truly been placed on an equal-but-opposite footing with Bruce Wayne's home.) "The wrong side of the tracks" here is more startling for all of that, and is so very well done by Ms. Bond. Gwenda is not simply another curator of the canon, she's truly building something here that should (one hopes) resonate throughout other media interpretations. AND Gwenda pays homage to a comics industry legend (spoilers) in several thematic threads that had me squeeing! (It is so a word.)
Almost everyone in the novel has a hidden part of themselves that they don't want others to know, whether good or bad, whether simply embarassing and difficult, or illegal and evil. Lois tenaciously sorts through these secrets - including her own - and unlike many her age (or even older, alas!), intuitively understands that some secrets are destructive, some painful, some benign, and some are secret for good cause. She does not have a binary view that secret = bad, which may seem contradictory in an already ace reporter.
Silence is in itself a secret, potentially more frustrating as communication isn't possible rather than denied. There are some nerve-wracking examples of this with Lois and SmallvilleGuy, as well as many wonderful scenes between two close more-than-friends who've never actually met. Gwenda Bond doesn't simply get Lois, she fully understands the relationship between her and "SmallvilleGuy," which has nothing to do with dependence and everything to do with respect and personal admiration. (Obviously they're both kind of hot, too.)
But Lois and her friends do come to realize that where some mid-level secrets lie, surviving day to day is not enough. When a secret is detrimental, there are moral imperatives urging (careful) revelation. There are nuances here that fold neatly, perfectly into each character's personality and individual story that they are in no way a checklist of exploration. They are as real as fiction gets, and this is extraordinarily impressive.
This probably reads like a broad outline for a thesis rather than a straight review, but believe me, this is as intensely emotional as well as subtly cerebral.
I'm still reminded of old junior fare like Nancy Drew or Alfred Hitchcock's Three Investigators, but it's also got hi-octane fast-paced pulp adventure, too, strong characters and angsty romance. I'm greedy, I want one of these a month. Could we chain Gwenda Bond to her computer? ...more
Stephen King is a much better writer today than he was 40 years ago. I devoured his first dozen or so books within a few months while in high school,Stephen King is a much better writer today than he was 40 years ago. I devoured his first dozen or so books within a few months while in high school, his complete canon at the time. Loved his books overall, but it seems like I care about his protagonists so much more these days. Even peripheral characters are more real to me.
Confession: I was never a huge fan of The Shining. I liked it, but couldn't connect with it. And the topiary creatures seemed (and still seem) silly to me rather than scary.
I reread The Shining in preparation for Doctor Sleep, and my 30-some odd year opinion holds. Good, but not great.
I definitely enjoyed Doctor Sleep more than the original tale it follows. There were thrills, tragedy, danger and fear of a different sort: fear of characters' survival, which moves me more than any boogeyman.
Daniel Torrance is a good but flawed man. Abra Stone is a charming girl coming to terms with the same abilities Dan had but in vastly different circumstances. That's what engaged me.
Doctor Sleep is a very good book. Great? Perhaps not, but for me, more enjoyable than The Shining. So I call King's first direct sequel (not counting the Dark Tower series) a success. Bravo!...more