Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Library Post, 8/22/2011, plus remedial review

Two today, both YA.

Trisha Telep, Ed - Corsets and Clockwork

13 Steampunk romances. It looked promising. Mind you, I didn't actually read the last teen steampunk romance that I brought home (my lovely wife did, and proclaimed it entirely too fluffy, and I never quite got to it before it was due back.) We shall see.

Michael Carroll - Super Human

Superhero fiction - I like superhero fiction, as it happens. The villain is an immortal Assyrian, and the beginning was quite promising (I started it while at the library, as I often do.)

That reminds me, did I actually review After the Golden Age? I read it. It seems I never reviewed it. I will correct that lapse now:

Carrie Vaughn - After the Golden Age

This is a surprisingly deep story of  the non-superpowered child of super heroes. Vaughn has put a lot of thought into the story. What happens to a city when there are super heroes present? How do the police react, when some flying person, or someone faster than sight, or someone who can throw flames, or whathaveyou is likely to show up? More, how can mortal cops handle the possibility of supervillains? Some nice moral dilemmas. Like Watchmen, but much much less depressing.

The protagonist is Celia West. She is heiress to the West family fortune and business, and the daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark - the Olympiad. Captain Olympus is Superman, basically, and Spark can manipulate fire and heat. Celia ... Celia is a forensic accountant. She can do accounting.

The Olympiad (which includes, in addition to Captain Olympus and Spark, Dr. Mentis [telepath] and Bullet [speedster]) has fought for many years against the machinations of Destructor - a supervillain who enjoys destroying things. One of the things he has destroyed is the secret identity of The Olympiad - everyone knows who they are. He has recently been arrested for tax evasion. Celia is asked to help with the accounting by the District Attorney. There are some obvious complications as a result.

In the midst of the trial, a series of odd thefts take place - rare musical instruments; rare koi - and the police are baffled. The thefts correspond with attempts to kidnap Celia, which means that the Olympiad are distracted. This further complicates things.

Anyway. It's a nice book, with a sufficiently twisty plot. There's a certain amount of flashback narrative, but it's done well. Celia learns things about her family and about herself that she didn't know, and that's all to the good. It has a nice, satisfying ending (although I doubt it would be difficult to revisit the setting), good character development, a believable villain with a suitably twisty motive ... it's a good book. I recommend it.