Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Early Review - After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn (4/5 stars)

After the Golden AgeReading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: April 12, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0765325556
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: From Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars

I am a fan of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series and have read all of the other books that she has written and enjoyed them.  When I heard that she had written a new book, with super heroes I was stoked.  I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program.  This was an interesting and very solid book, I enjoyed reading it.

Celia West is the daughter of two very famous super heroes but doesn't have any super powers herself.  As such, she is frequently kidnapped (to the point where is it almost boring) to be used against her parents.  She has tried very hard to lead a life of her own and has been fairly successful at it.  When an old foe of her parents', The Destructor, is up for trial she gets pulled into the whole mess again as she is called both to help with the trial through her work and to testify.  Celia did something when she was younger, something that was wrong, and she has been atoning for it her whole life.  Now with crime on the rise again and the Destructor's trial coming up; it looks like Celia will be in the thick of it all again...no matter how hard she tries to stay out of it.

This was a very well done book.  The characters are likable and easy to relate too.  Celia is very down to earth, yet determined to do what's right.  I was impressed with her determination and steadfastness.  The side characters in the book are well done, if not exceptional, and make for a good story.

The plot of the book was well done and has some great twists in it.  This ends up being more of a mystery than anything.  I did like how the plot has some focus around what happens to super heroes as they decline and I liked how there was also focus around how you can be a super hero without powers.

The story gets a bit cliched at points, for example using the old "radiation gave us our powers" plot device, but for this story it works. My only other issue is that at times the writing style comes across as a bit too straight-forward and simplistic for me; but that is a small quip since I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The story wraps up nicely and I doubt we will see more books featuring Celia; although I wouldn't rule out more books set in this world.  I have been finding that Vaughn always writes very solid books that are enjoyable reads.  They are never exceptional and never blow me away; but they are always a solid read and I am always glad I took the time to read them.

Overall an excellent read.  Loved the super hero plot elements and how Celia deals with everything even though she is powerless (so to speak).  Some nice plot twists, the characters are well done and likable.  If you like super heroes, or like reading about a normal person struggling in a world of powerful people this is the book for you.  I will definitely be reading Vaughn's future books.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge

After the Golden Age 

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