"Beyond postmodern, complex in conception ...relevant to the graphic-novel, videl-gaming generation."
"An original, assured debut . . . Impossible to put down.”
An exciting post-millennial conflict allegory, which echoes the terror of Alan Moores writing for Watchmen while sidestepping its shadow.
--The A.V. Club
One of the Best Graphic Novels of the Year. The mythology and backstories that author Tom King constructs and weaves together are done like only an old-school comic book fan could. For those who enjoyed the human drama contained in such hero-based series as Astro City and Watchmen, this is a book that's most definitely worth a read.
A Masterful Story About Humanity. The tale moves quickly and fluidly, making A Once Crowded Sky an incredible page-turner. It is Kings careful character development that drives the story. A Once Crowded Sky isn't just for comic book aficionados. Its message is universal and guaranteed to be appreciated by most readers.
--The Charleston Post and Courier
Everything we love about comics origin tales, a worthy villain, team-upsconspiracies, super technology, disgraced heroes, redeemed villains its all here; and its a fun read. There are surprises galore and I really didnt see them coming.
King gives us a rare glimpse into the spandex, muscle-bound, testosterone-driven world of Superheroes, written in a style that mirrors the sensibilities and style of comicbooks in such a way that glorifies the medium rather than diminishes it. Clearly King is a fan of the genre, and his love of the medium is reflected in not only his respect for the field, but his desire to add to the mythology rather than deride it. Ultimately, A Once Crowded Sky delivers to us a story that is not predictable as to its potential outcome, which makes it read much better than the comicbooks it purports to mirrorSo, if you are looking to read a new chapter in the mythology of superheroes, you would do yourself well to seek out and read, Tom Kings book, 5 Stars.
-- The Washington Examiner
In a summer swimming in comic book inspired blockbusters, perhaps the most visionary tale in a generation won't be found in either a multiplex or the local comic book shop but rather nestled in the shelves of your local book retailer.
A philoshpical gem on heroes, sacrifice, and the meaning of life in a corrupt world.
Masterfully developed, incorporating versions of the archetypal superhero into a fantastic modern prose story. I loved the authors entertaining writing, the occasional humor, and the connections to the myth, history and literature. I breezed through a lot of the book, not wanting to put down such a well-written, epic fantasy story. By the way, I dont think Ive ever read a comic book in my life.
Ultimately a story of wonder, and of redemption. At its core, this is a story about humanity, told from the perspective of simultaneously the most and least human of us all.
--Spencer Daily Reporter, IA
From the Author
(Excerpted from an interview with SFSignal.com)
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SFS: How did A Once Crowded Sky come about?
Tom King: I left the CIA shortly after my son was born. The type of career I wanted at the agency did not fit with the type of father I wanted to be. Prior to 9/11, I'd always wanted to be a writer, and after leaving the CIA, I decided to go back to my original plan. I wanted to write about my experience, not in terms of what I'd actually done, but in terms of the emotional and physical impact of such a life, a life spent in pursuit of an endless enemy--the joys, the frustrations, the moments of bravery and cowardice. I wanted to explore the virtues and follies of a world of violence.
The lives of comic book characters, lives dedicated quite literally to quests without ends, seemed like an obvious metaphor. The basic idea of Crowded Sky then is what happens when that quest ends, when all the powers and villains are taken from these heroes, how do they go on, how do they fall.