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Wonder City Stories Paperback – November 18, 2015
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About the Author
Jude McLaughlin is an author of speculative fiction web serials, novels, and short fiction. Raised in a town in Delaware whose name no two people pronounce the same way, she now lives and writes in a town in Massachusetts whose name no one from out of state can pronounce. In addition to her fiction writing, she is a technical, medical, and science writer and her work has been known to appear in the occasional tabletop roleplaying game book and videogame. She lives with a pair of furry overlords and her wife in a large old house with enough character to populate its own series of novels.
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Top customer reviews
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Most of all, the main characters are ones usually relegated to side characters or tokens in other 'verses: people of color, LBGTQ+ of nearly every stripe, old and middle-aged and disabled, people with body types you won't see on the covers of most comics to this day, black and Hispanic and Asian and other so-called minorities. A majority are women. So. Superheroes for the rest of us. Although for the most part, the protagonists are "paranormals" who eschew the superhero schtick and are just trying to get on with their lives.
The first volume of Wonder City Stories is episodic, reflecting its roots. I first encountered it as posts on a web blog, which have now been edited, polished, and turned into chapters. Relationships, or at least character dynamics and personalities, drive the story forward. It's not always clear how all their different lives and plot threads are connected. But by the end, the various threads come together in an overarching plot with an epic showdown.
I started the book this morning and meant to put it down at some point. Never got around to doing so until I'd finished it.
The superpowers are a mix of regular superpowers as well as fantasy-inspired ones, but there are always some twists and turns, and I love that it tackles the question of whether superheroes are aware of the different timelines that are so common in comics. It's really character-driven, and that goes for the main plot as well, which I really, really loved. And in the end, most questions are answered, but some remain, and it is made very obvious that though the story is over, the characters' lives and journeys aren't.
The only thing I would criticize is that the physical appearance of Megan's ex is quite sudden and I wish there had been a little more build-up to it.
However, as I said, I forgot the time, I loved the characters and the world-building, and I finished it in a day, so five stars seem more than fair!
The first book suffers a little from the need to set up all of the characters and a number of intricate plotlines. With that out of the way, I'm very much looking forward to what comes next. Th author does to a great job painting pictures -- I can visualize many of the characters and locations. More please!
And won't someone please pick up the film rights? I would love to see a skilled director take Wonder City off the page and make it come alive!
I can't wait to read the next installment!
I can't recommend this enough, particularly for those who are looking for more interesting and more real representations of characters in books. Inclusive, creative and fun!