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After the Golden Age Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Vaughn (Discord's Apple) delivers a loving homage to classic superheroes, throwing in layers of darkness and realism while avoiding the cynical satire and deconstruction common in contemporary comics. Forensic accountant Celia West is the powerless and estranged daughter of two of Commerce City's great heroes, Captain Olympus and Spark. When the city prosecutes the evil Destructor for tax evasion, Celia gets pulled in to track down evidence. As a new crime spree creates tension between the city's heroes and the police force, Celia's investigation uncovers long-buried secrets about her family and the city. Vaughn throws in elements of romance and humor, but the drama between Celia and her father really drives the story. The story is very accessible to readers who have never picked up a comic book while boasting plenty of clever in-jokes for fans of golden age superheroics. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Brilliantly structured, beautifully written…. Vaughn brings together mythology, fairy tales, and very human lives, immersing readers in the stories these complex characters tell themselves to make sense of their war-torn worlds.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Discord’s Apple
“Carrie Vaughn weaves a gorgeous tapestry of the human condition in a postapocalyptic world filled with mystery, magic, and immortals. Her world-building is masterful!” ―L. A. Banks, New York Times bestselling author of The Thirteenth, on Discord’s Apple
“Carrie Vaughn masterfully weaves together comic books, Greek gods, King Arthur, and a world on the brink of nuclear war. Discord's Apple is phenomenal!” ―Jackie Kessler, co-author of Shades of Gray, on Discord’s Apple
“Enough excitement, astonishment, pathos, and victory to satisfy any reader.” ―Charlaine Harris on Kitty and the Midnight Hour
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Top customer reviews
Other characters in the novel were well done as well and the love interest arc for once surprised me as I did not expect the storyline to develop the way it did. Still the characters there developed very nicely indeed and I quite enjoyed the burgeoning relationships as they felt natural and not overly ham-fisted. Still the second relationship Celia developed did feel slightly rushed and likely would've been better explored had this been a prolonged series. In fact most of the novels shortcomings seem to stem from this same 'not a series' issue. Throughout the first three quarters of the book I truly expected the book to end on a cliffhanger and to expect a resolution and further adventures later. Seemingly the author expected this as well, or was quite bad at pacing, and then rushed through what likely could have been the first half to another novel. Then the Epilogue killed all hopes of further stories in this universe, or at least not necessarily with these characters. Quite sad really as there were quite a few places I could have seen Vaughn taking these characters over a few more novels. Perhaps this is just Vaughn's experience with writing the Norville novels shining through but if this is just a one shot I would've liked to see the Epilogue expanded a bit further.
Overall regardless of its shortcomings this was a great book. I couldn't put it down for more than a few minutes and read it through pretty much continuously. It's definitely worth a purchase and a read, I just wish more in this universe was coming and that does not seem to be the case.
Not really, but in many ways I found this story to have two diametrically opposed sections.
The start and first half of the tale are quite good. Celia, the powerless "Bait Girl" who has two of Commerce Cities most beloved heroes as parents and is regularly kidnapped seems to be a fun character. She comes across as intelligent, calm and perhaps a little emotionally damaged. Her relationships and challenges are interesting and fun, and the writing of one of her kidnappings should generate laughter from just about any reader.
*** warning spoilers - I wanted to keep them out, but I can't explain the rest without revealing a bit ***
Unfortunately, as the main mystery starts to unfold I found myself thinking "Wall, meet Kindle". The story and the character of Celia take a turn and its not a good one. The character who was interesting and intelligent turned into an angst filled, moron who uncovered clue after clue, but refuses to tell anyone that she's found things out.
Worse, Carrie has a telepath character in this story who at one point should have clearly picked up some of the secrets and realized their significance, but he sits like a lump and allows Celia to continue to take a ride down the road paced by so many urban fantasy heroines who have less brains than a snail.
when the ending finally came I was disappointed, not in how it ended but in the fact that Celia survived. I absolutely hated her by the end of this tale and I ended up hating the book. The mystery was overdone, and only works if you believe that no one in the city looked into a number of rather obvious clues and patterns until it was far too late.
TL & DR - Angst ridden and apparently brain dead heroine combined with a overwritten mystery ruined some great writing.
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