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Smallville: Strange Vistors (Smallville (Warner)) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the first novel spun off from the new TV series, Smallville, a mysterious faith healer and lecturer who possesses some Kryptonite comes to Smallville. Donald Jacobi drags his reluctant business partner, James Wolfe, to the small Kansas town after he reads about the strange happenings there. Jacobi draws to his first lecture a crowd that includes Clark Kent and his friends. Clark is suspicious of Jacobi, especially after he spots Jacobi's Kryptonite. His friend Chloe, a reporter for the high-school newspaper, is gratified to see that people may finally be putting stock in her theories about the decade-old meteor shower and the unexplained phenomena that are common in Smallville. Meanwhile, Lana Lang is concerned about her aunt Nell's growing fascination with Jacobi and his theories, and Clark worries that Jacobi's claims will give false hope to the family of a dying teenager. Stern's tale will please Smallville fans because he captures the feel of the show by focusing as much on the relationships among the characters as on the plot. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Smallville (Warner) (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Aspect (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446612138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446612135
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me first say that I was really looking forward to this book's release, as I am a huge fan of the "Smallville" television series, and wanted more than my once-a-week "Smallville" fix. I was hoping that Roger Stern's "Strange Visitors" would be a thrilling, page-turner that I would find hard to put down. Unfortunately, my experience reading the book left me feeling just the opposite.
I would rather not get into the plot of the book too much, as you can read the blurb for yourself from Amazon.com's book synopsis. Unfortunately, the plot isn't a very interesting one anyway. I can sum it up this way: a spiritual guru and his partner try to sell kryptonite encased meteor rocks to brain-washed followers of his cult-like organization to improve their health, while sponsoring snake-oil salesmen type revivals, attracting Smallville citizens to become followers and contribute to the pair's evangelistic-type money making scheme. WHEW!
Of course, there is a little bit more to it than that,though unfortunately, not much. The book really seems to drag boringly by until about the last forty (out of 281) pages. Also, author Roger Stern seems to write into the book a lot of very uninteresting scenes that seem totally unimportant to the plot, and in some cases, out of the complete "Smallville" context. It's almost as if Stern had to fill some kind of word quota, for which he just created several dull filler scenes, for which this reader could only wonder why.
Stern does a fair job with characterization, most notably with the characters Chloe of Lex Luthor. Readers may want to take note that the novel is written to take place between two of season one's episodes, so last season's characters feature most prominently.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After watching all 10 seasons of Smallville this summer from DVD, I did a search for books, hoping to find more to extend my enjoyment and I did find more. I have ordered 10 books and will probably get the rest of them as well. This book is the 3rd one I have read in the series. These books are by multiple authors, so they are all written a little differently. The first two I read were quick reads but this one is a little more detailed and drawn out.

There was a little bit of an inconsistency in this book compared to the TV series. In this book, Clark is able to pick up a meteor rock that is on him and toss it far enough away to regain some of his strength. In the other stories, even the tiny meteor rock on Lana's necklace makes him too weak to do something like that.

There were a few "reruns" in this book, where we get to hear the same story again that we have heard in other stories, but if this was the first or only Smallville book someone ever read, they would be important.

I like being able to hear the thoughts in Clark's head which we can't do when we watch the TV show but we can when reading a book. It makes his character easier to understand.

I am a huge fan of Smallville and will take it any way I can get it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Notes: This story takes place between season 1 episodes "Zero" and "Nicodemus" (the second book, Dragon, takes place before the events of this story, fyi). It was printed in October 2002, which means it went on sale in the early part of Season 2. As Stern reveals in his introduction, he was brought in to help fill in some gaps in season 1, and at the same time, put little hints to where Season's 2 main storyline would go. He writes that he had a discussion with the Producers of the show and they revealed to him what the season 2 storyarc. Though they told him what he could not put into his story, they also left the door a little open for him to tease at what'st to come in Season two. I believe knowing this context can help one better appreciate the story.

I think the best thing about the book is that one can back and watch Season 1 and look at Lex Luthor and see the beginings of season 6's 33.1 storyline. This book gives us more scenes of Lex Luthor and his trying to research the meteors. It is revealed that one of his main reasons he is actually staying in Smallville is so that he can research the meators (later on in the show we will learn it is also research Clark). I also like how the book medium provides us the chance to hear inside Clarks thoughts (as the TV show doesn't allow that, nor does the Season 11 comic book).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Smallville," in the course of its first season, became one of my favorite shows on TV. In part, this is because I've been a Superman fan as long as I can remember, but that wasn't enough to keep me around for "Lois and Clark." No, this is a series that does Clark Kent RIGHT -- this is a series that really has the FEEL of Superman, and that's why it's a tad disappointing that this first novel in the inevitable spin-off series is just okay.
"Strange Visitors," by longtime Superman scribe Roger Stern, is about a couple of 21st century snake oil salesmen who come to Smallville pitching the green meteorites that torment Clark as a potential magical cure-all. Clark and his friends, of course, investigate, and the situation gets worse when one of their classmates, a cancer sufferer, gets mixed up in the con men's schemes.
Stern is one of the best Superman writers the comic books ever saw and his novel "The Death and Life of Superman" is a great adaptation of nearly a year of comic book continuity, so the problem with this book isn't in the writing or the story, but in an inherent problem with the medium. Everything from Star Trek to Buffy to the X-Files suffers when people try to translate it to other medium because -- as the television series is still the primary medium -- the creators simply aren't allowed to make many changes to the status quo or develop the characters. The most you can hope for is a little undisclosed backstory, which this book does provide. (For instance, did you know that Pete's mother is a judge?)
It's an okay book by a great writer and worth it for "Smallville" fans... just don't expect anything mindblowing.
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