Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: After the Golden Age

Most people dream of having superheroes for parents, but not Celia West. The only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the world's greatest champions, she has no powers of her own, and the most exciting thing she's ever done is win a silver medal in a high school swim meet. Meanwhile, she's the favorite hostage of every crime boss and supervillain in Commerce City. She doesn't have a code name, but if she did, it would probably be Bait Girl, the Captive Wonder.

Rejecting her famous family and its legacy, Celia has worked hard to create a life for herself beyond the shadow of their capes, becoming a skilled forensic accountant. But when her parents' archenemy, the Destructor, faces justice in the "Trial of the Century," Celia finds herself sucked back into the more-than-mortal world of Captain Olympus—and forced to confront a secret that she hoped would stay buried forever.

I'd heard of Carrie Vaughn, but had never read anything by her. I decided to change that. Her Kitty Norville novels are pretty popular, so she probably knows what she's doing. I’ll get around to reading those one day, too. I swear I could have an entire year dedicated to urban fantasy… Anyway, After the Golden Age sounds like a fun read. I doubt it will be anything too spectacular (the premise is really Sky High-y). I just hope the main character, Celia, isn't annoying, and there will be a decent romantic arc. I could use a little romance. Ahh, romance…

If I had to define this book in one word, I'd choose "average". It was entertaining, but there was something about it that felt... flat. I don't know how to describe it. The characters were fine, the plot was fine (only slightly predictable) and the romance was fine. I guess that's the problem. It was all just "fine". It was missing "the spark". I’ll admit I read the entire book in one day, but not because I frantically wanted to know how it was going to end. Mainly because I didn’t really have anything else to do (well, that’s a lie. I always have something to do).

How could After the Golden Age find its spark? Beats me. There wasn't anything horrible dragging this book down. It just... wasn't. I hope Vaughn's other books have more… life, I guess. I have a bunch of titles by her on my to-read list. But this was a disappointing introduction to the author. I won't be rushing to read the sequel about Celia's daughter, Anna. Though, I do want to know if Typhoon stays in retirement forever. Which, in retrospect, is sad because Typhoon wasn’t a main character. She only appeared in 40% of the book. But I care more about her future than Celia’s.

What to give After the Golden Age? I want to give it 4 stars because I was engaged and enjoying my time reading it. But that seems too high. So... 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn't excellent, it wasn't horrible, it was just "fine".

Next week I'll be reviewing... Pure by Julianna Baggott