Review – After the Golden Age

Cover of After the Golden Age by Carrie VaughnAfter the Golden Age, Carrie Vaughn

It’s been a while since I read this the first time, so I felt I should revisit it before I read the second book, even though I gather that follows the next generation. I was right that I needed to do that: a lot goes on that I’d forgotten the details of. I think this was the first superhero novel I read, possibly before I got into comics; it’s made me eager to read as many other superhero novels as I could, though so far I’ve just got to the point of collecting them all up, not actually reading them yet…

Anyway, this is a fun story; actually, it’s not exactly a superhero story in the traditional sense, because while the main character is the daughter of superheroes, she doesn’t have any powers of her own, unless you count being a kickass accountant. I guess on a second read you can see that it’s a little bit predictable, that the characters are not all developed… it’s a little bit tropey: I can see that same parental relationship problem as there is in Perry Moore’s Hero, for example. It’s a fairly predictable problem to have if your parents are really famous, let alone if they have superpowers. Worse if you don’t have superpowers.

I did like, though, that there was a certain ambivalence about Warren. He’s a hero, sure, and he’s learned to control things. And his daughter is important to him. But then he’s also thinking mad things like dropping his daughter off a roof to see if her power is flight, and nearly attacking her because she doesn’t go his way… And then again, on the flip side of that, he’s doing his best to rein himself in and reconcile. And they don’t quite reconcile, it’s not quite that easy, but they make some moves in that direction. Celia herself is a little ambivalent: she feels like she could flip and go with the supervillains, she has spent time with her father’s main adversary primarily to split from her parents and rile him up.

The relationship with Arthur Mentis could be problematic, but they kind of deal with the fact that he knew her as a child, and the story definitely deals with the way his mindreading affects the relationship.

All in all, it’s still really enjoyable, at least to my mind, and I’m looking forward to fiiiinally reading the sequel.

Rating: 4/5

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