James's Reviews > The Last Days of Krypton

The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
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Jan 15, 10

bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy

Despite the mixed reviews, I thought Kevin J. Anderson did a good job portraying life on Krypton. I have often wondered, if Krypton were so much more advanced than Earth, why didn't they explore new worlds? Why when the planet exploded, there were no Kryptonians around except those that barely escaped? Anderson answers these and more in a thick book about the rise and fall of Krypton.

Krypton is like Rome was in its waning days of the Empire. Fat from its long, proud history, there is little creativity amongst the people. There are a few who stand out but their potential is squashed. The civilization on Krypton is old, decadent and very conservative.

Jor-El, his brother Zor-El and Jor-El's wife, Lara, are the triangle that keeps the story flowing. Zod, who wants Jor-El's technology for himself, is playing like he is following Council's orders to suppress all "dangerous" tech. The Council represents Krypton's ruling class and they're not about to repeat history and let their planet again go to war or fight the alien threat that may come from space, or from their own backyard. Keep the status quo very status'd and very 'quo'd.

It's a story about taking chances, about doing what you think is right and about fighting back against suppression. It's also about learning and taking advantage of what you could know (Jor-El's adventure with an alien who lands on Krypton and tells him marvels is such an event).

Overall, I was happy with the book. A bit over-long in going over Zod's megalomanic plans. The Braniac scene where Kandor gets sucked out of the planet and what's left is a black scar on the surface and how Zod takes advantage is great. You just want to strangle the old Council for being so backward and stupid. And you want to kick people for letting Zod take control.

Clearly the book takes a lot of its material of crystal technology from the original Superman film -- there are many allusions to it throughout the novel. Recommended for the Superman fan.
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