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A Reader of Fictions: Hold On - Jet

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hold On - Jet

After the Golden Age

Carrie Vaughn
Pages: 304
Publisher: Tor

Brief Summary:
A man with a gun kidnaps Celia West from off of the bus. This is rather irritating, but not all that scary for Celia. It's something she's used to, what with being the daughter of Commerce City's two most famous superheroes, Spark and Captain Olympus. As soon as their identities were revealed, she became a prime kidnapping target. This is the seventh time. At least, she meets a cute cop afterward. Celia has always wanted nothing more than to separate herself from her parent's double life (once she realized she did not inherit their powers anyway), but it doesn't take a telepath (like Dr. Mentis, another member of the Olympiad, her parent's superhero team) to figure out that Celia is only going to get more embroiled in Commerce City's troubles.

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 magical as everyone else thinks it should be. She doesn't really trust anyone actually. Her saving grace is that, although she is a continual victim of supervillain wannabes, she does not act like a victim (well, except when her family's considered). As the story goes on, Celia's able to deal with many of her demons, which allows her to accentuate the positive elements of her personality and someone I liked much more.

The romance was well done. I was somewhat worried that I was shipping the wrong person, but I was not, so yay! There's nothing worse than when you believe someone else is perfect for her, but the main character determinedly goes for the lame, stupid, obvious one. I definitely shipped her with the guy, right from the beginning and through to the end.

After the Golden Age reminded me most strongly of the Astro City graphic novel series, with the portrayal of both superheroes, ordinary folk and those who know who the masked heroes are and have to deal with that. For anyone who likes reading about superheroes, After the Golden Age is definitely worth checking out.

"You tried so hard to be someone
That you forgot who you are
You tried to fill some emptiness
‘Til all you had spilled over
Now everything’s so far away
That you don’t know where you are, you are"

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