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After the Golden Age

(Golden Age #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,493 ratings  ·  607 reviews
Can an accountant defeat a supervillain? Celia West, only daughter of the heroic leaders of the superpowered Olympiad, has spent the past few years estranged from her parents and their high-powered lifestyle. She's had enough of masks and heroics, and wants only to live her own quiet life out from under the shadow of West Plaza and her rich and famous parents.

Then she i
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Tor Books
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Jean Sex happens in the novel, but Vaughn doesn't describe it at all. It's more like a fade to black and next thing you know their hair is rumpled. There's…moreSex happens in the novel, but Vaughn doesn't describe it at all. It's more like a fade to black and next thing you know their hair is rumpled. There's isn't a lot of profanity that I can remember, so I'd say high school should be able to handle this book. (less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Tamora Pierce
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya-yr
It's one thing to believe your parents are perfect, and another to know they are. Celia's parents are super heroes, and she has spent ten years trying to escape their shadow. Unfortunately, her biggest teenaged rebellion resulted in their unmasking, which turned her into every criminal's favorite hostage. Now she's working as an accountant on the case that will put away her family's biggest foe--but will her own mistake be exposed?

It's a multi-layered book. I couldn't help but read Celia's super
Mike (the Paladin)
May 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
It seems like so many of these "superhero novels" are written by people who, don't have fond memories of the original superheros. I'm not sure Carrie Vaughn feels that way... she seems to me to fall into the "nobody could REALLY be that much of a hero" slot as her book sets out to prove.

Celia West is the grown "normal" (read non-super powered) daughter of the "Worlds Greatest Super Hero Couple" (Sky High did it better). We get treated to her misery at having had to grow up with her angry dad and
So it seems that this book was destined to help me make up for lost time! I absolutely could not put this book down once I started it. And I have to say that I was completely surprised by this book. It was so much better than I ever thought it would be.

It starts out feeling a little comicbookish, a little cartoony. I mean, it's about super heroes, for goodness sake. And that aspect of the story is very comicbookish - not that that is a bad thing. If that was all there was to the story, I'd have
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It’s been a while since I read this the first time, so I felt I should revisit it before I read the second book, even though I gather that follows the next generation. I was right that I needed to do that: a lot goes on that I’d forgotten the details of. I think this was the first superhero novel I read, possibly before I got into comics; it’s made me eager to read as many other superhero novels as I could, though so far I’ve just got to the point of collecting them all up, not actually reading ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
I'm on a bit of a superheroes kick since The Avengers came out and reminded me of a childhood spent breathlessly waiting for the next episode of Batman, or Spiderman, or Superman. These days I'm more of a Marvel fan -- is it, uh, legal to admit that I watched the first ten minutes of Batman Begins and got bored? -- but anyway, the point is, superheroes! And Carrie Vaughan's After the Golden Age catered to that wonderfully.

I think the premise at its most basic isn't really anything new: the child
Mar 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Although I read this book in a single afternoon, I ended up feeling irritated and a bit cheated at the end. An awful lot of the book is a prolonged whine by the main character, Celia West, who has a major issue with being the normal daughter of two super-powered parents.

The book starts out all right and even has some decent humorous moments, but as it progresses it becomes more and more clear that Celia is a narcissistic idiot who really hasn't learned anything from her life experiences. Her "t
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Original review published on The Book Smugglers: HERE

First Impressions:

Ana: What do I expect when picking up a book about superheroes to read? I expect to be at the very least entertained; I expect it to be fun. Anything beyond that is added bonus. After the Golden Age met my expectations right on the head: I devoured this book. More than that, it provided me food for thought on the nature of heroism which in this case, counts as the aforementioned added bonus. Although it is not a perfect book,
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Angie Thompson
This novel was utterly amazing and fantastic. Vaughn clearly knows superhero literature, and her fondness for the genre allows her to write in it with respect while analyzing the tensions at the heart of superhero mythology.

Celia West is the famous daughter of Commerce City's two most famous superheros--Captain Olympus and Spark, the founding members of the Olympiad. They were not the city's first superheros--a masked man called Hawk fought crime before they did. Hawk had no powers, and he retir
Jessica Strider
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Pros: interesting take on the superhero lifestyle, protagonist has a fascinating back story and bitter streak, quick read

Cons: climax was a let down, predictable

Celia West is the daughter of two of Commerce City's quartet of superpowered defenders, Captain Olympus and Spark. Having grown up a disappointment to them, her only power is being kidnapped by every two-bit criminal who wants to avoid her parents' interference in their affairs. Starting with Simon Sito, the Destructor, the man who expos
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, comics
The daughter of the world's greatest superheroes has no superpowers, and just wants to be left alone to have a nice, normal life as an accountant. But then she's kidnapped yet again, and then her parents' arch-nemesis is put on trial for tax evasion--and she's called as a star witness.

Modern stories about superheroes usually go one of two routes: as grim and depressing as they can get (ex: Watchmen, anything by Frank Miller...) or wry and ironic, like the genre is a joke and they're above it.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

Why did I wait so long to read this?

That’s not a coherent review, but it was my first thought. I poured through this in an afternoon, barely stopping for breath or meals. After the Golden Age is awesome stuff.

It’s a superhero story. But really, it’s a post-superhero story. It’s the origin and the aftermath all rolled into one glorious exploding KA-POW!

It also reminded me a little bit of The Incredibles. What do the superheroes do when they aren’t out there
Jason Pettus
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: funny, contemporary
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

To call Carrie Vaughn's profoundly disappointing After the Golden Age a tired retread of ideas that have been almost entirely played out by now is to make an understatement; because really, is there anyone even left besides lazy entertainment reporters who isn't aware by now of the darkly comedic subgenre
Melissa McShane
When I reviewed (elsewhere) Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand last year, I said I felt Carrie Vaughn was writing down to her audience just a little--that she had more literary ability in her than was on display in that book, or series. (Don't misunderstand; I like the Kitty Norville series a lot and I think it's one of the best in the urban fantasy subgenre. There are just moments where Vaughn makes comments, either as narrator or in dialogue, that are a lot more intellectually elevated than everyth ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is exactly what I would want in a novel about superheroes. It's not a parody or takedown of the form--it's a genuine exploration of themes in greater detail but with fewer big set pieces than you would get in a comic book series, but with a self-awareness that doesn't play everything perfectly straight. It's using the strengths of a different storytelling medium to their greatest effect. And it's a well-paced, emotionally compelling, plain-old-good-read.

Celia is a forensic accountant, and a
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Mom's Review: If you're into superhero comics, this book may be for you. If you can enjoy a comic book without the artwork that makes the story come alive, that is. You may be wondering why I ordered this book? Two reasons: I love the author's Kitty Norville series, and I thought this was the sequel to her novel "Discord's Apple," which I did enjoy. It isn't - it's a stand alone YA novel.

The plot is predictable to most readers who are familiar with DC and Marvel comics and their wonderful, fully
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: superheroes, accountants
This was a pretty decent novel for what it was: a Silver Age superhero story trying to be a prose comic book.

Celia West is the daughter of Spark and Captain Olympus, who lead the Olympiad, Commerce City's greatest superhero team. Much to her parents' disappointment, Celia didn't inherit any of their superpowers. After going through a very dire teenage rebellion phase, Celia went to college and became an accountant. Yes, the main character in this superhero novel is an accountant. Carrie Vaugh ge
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I waffled between three and four stars, but finally I gave it four because I had a rough time putting it down. In fact, I actually stayed up later than I intended to just to finish the book, something I haven't wanted to do in a long time. Celia West is a woman that felt as though she wasn't enough her entire childhood, mostly because her parents are superheros and she doesn't have any powers. Also, her dad has bordering-on-abusive tendencies because he apparently has a temper. While trying to m ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
What a ride! I had such a hard time putting this down once I started it. And not just for the action, though there was certainly a lot of it. Celia was such a great character with depth beyond the initial gimmick. What would it be like growing up normal as the child of the two most powerful superheroes the city has ever seen? Or to be victim to yet another kidnapping—an occurrence so frequent as to be almost passé? But those are only the obvious questions. Celia is so much deeper than that—so mu ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, thriller
A fun breezy read--very reminiscent of The Incredibles, so if you liked that movie, you'll probably enjoy this book. Although not a short book (like 350 pages), it reads very fast and the hero, Celia West, daughter of 2 super-heroes, is good at two things. Her job as an accountant, and getting kidnapped, which happens with regularity. I'll have to check out the next one.
Shae McDaniel
Eh. Like a poor man's Rook mixed with Steelheart. It was okay. I'd rather reread Rook. 2.5 stars.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, sci-fi, superhero
An unusual story set in a superhero word. 3.5 stars

Celia West is the daughter of the world's greatest superheroes Captain Olympus and Spark. And that's not an easy position to be in. Not having powers of her own, she is essentially defenceless each and every time her parents enemies take her hostage. To escape from all this she has build her own life separate from theirs and all the madness. Now however the trial of the century is about to start. The Destructor, her parents greatest enemy, is on
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelves
Recently, I discovered Carrie Vaughn via a dystopian anthology and then I read her new teen novel, Steel. Her YA effort was okay, but not stellar. At first, I thought After the Golden Age would be the same, as it had a slow beginning, but as I hit the midway point, it really took off (pardon the superhero-y pun).

Celia starts out as a somewhat annoying heroine. She is 25, but retains her teenage mistrust and irritation with her parents, because growing up with superheroes for parents is not as ma
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
When she was born, Celia's superhero parents had high hopes for her. Those hopes quickly turned to disappointment when they realised she had no super human powers, and then to disapproval when, as a rebellious teenager, she joined with super villain, The Destructor.

Now she is all grown up, her brush with villainy has been put behind her and she lives the quiet life of an accountant. Sure, every now and then she gets kidnapped and held hostage in some evil plot but overall, her life is just very
May 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I love Carrie Vaughn's Kitty werewolf series, but I also know that just because I like one of an author's series, it doesn't mean I'll like that author's other books. For example, I love Jim Butcher's Dresden series, but couldn't get into his other sci-fi series. Love Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, but her other books are too sugary. Couldn't get enough Hitchhiker's Guide, but Dirk Gently isn't quite as magical.

AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE (dumb title, by the way) started pretty cool, with Celia West getti
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was so much fun - even for me, somewhat superhero-lit-challenged as I am. It seems as if it would be quite difficult to merge the comic book style of character while giving them enough depth to work for novel-length, but the effort didn't show here at all. Celia was a wonderful character - her reaction to the pretty horrendous childhood with the city's most powerful & famous superheroes was impressive.

Some of the revelations weren't incredibly surprising (actual romantic hero, for example)
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much it hurts. That hasn't happened to me in a while, and it is not exactly a pleasant feeling. It's the same feeling I get when I think about how long I have to wait until the next Doctor Who episode. It's separation anxiety and I don't like it.

I'm not really a comic book fan. That's my little brother. He is an encyclopedia of comic book knowledge and he loves talking about it, and is amusing when he does, so I've learned important information, like Superman was a Superjerk
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Prelim Review: I grew up adoring superheroes. Barry Allen (Silver Age Flash) was my absolute hands down favorite of them all. I idolized him like most people idolized movie stars. He was Silver Age (50's/60's/70's) of comics, in the 90's, when I began branching out I stumbled upon Alex Ross and Mark Waid's epic Kingdom Come.

It changed how I viewed heroes rather profoundly.

This too has changed how I view certain aspects of being a hero. I read very 'hero' books in which the characters have a kid
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will start by saying I think this is One of Carrie Vaughn’s best work. It has a vintage cheesy superhero vibe and that’s part of what makes it great. Celia is pretty amazing. She’s not perfect, she’s not super powered but she’s somehow likeable. I dislike whiny rich kids but Vaughn made it work. A great redemption story if I ever read one.
I gave it 3 stars because I liked it soooo much more than I liked her other non-Kitty books, but it was a low 3 or maybe a 2.5. It was fine. It was an easy read, generally entertaining, I didn't skip too much. I liked Celia, she was spunky and relatable. There was still a lack of immediacy, a weird distance, that I've found in all of Vaughn's books other than those about Kitty, but this was much better than the others. It just wasn't nearly as deep as she clearly thought she was being, and the r ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, funny
This was definitely one of those "judged a book by its cover" reads and I'm three-quarters glad that I did. Why only 3/4ths? Because the book was great for that long. Then she somehow lost it right at the end - don't you just hate that? BUT, because the first 3/4ths of the book was still really compelling, I'm going to blog it and recommend it anyway.

Celia West is the daughter of superheros. Captain Olympiad and Spark are actually Dad and Mom - beyond-wealthy socialites with a conscience who for
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Carrie Vaughn is the author more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories. She's best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. In 2018, she won the Philip K. Dick Award for Bannerless, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery. Next up for her: two collections connected to the ...more

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Golden Age (2 books)
  • Dreams of the Golden Age (Golden Age, #2)

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