Review: A Once Crowded Sky, by Tom King

I was approached by Simon and Schuster about reviewing A Once Crowded Sky, by Tom King. After reading the description, which, "...fuses bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction..."I knew it wasn't up my alley.  However, I married a man that has been glued to every comic book movie ever made and knew it would tickle my hubby's fancy.  I've summed up my husband's thoughts on the book, which are largely positive.  He really enjoyed the book.

A devastating force called the Blue attacks all, superheroes and villains alike.  The Blue causes supervillains to commit suicide, leaving only the heroes left.  In order for the superheroes to defeat it, all superheroes but one to sacrificed their powers to defeat the Blue.  The world is left with left with powerless superheroes trying to cope with being normal, save one, a hero named Pentultimate, superhero Ultimate's former sidekick.  (The play on words makes me giggle.)

The Good:
  • Overall story telling was great.
  • Great twist on superheroes.
  • Not entirely predictable-the only predictable parts came from making fun of or using comic book cliches.
  • He dumped superheroes into what they'd be like in the real world.  Many weren't coping very well without their powers.
The Bad:
  • He spent a great deal of time inside the characters' heads, and at times the monologuing was a bit much.
  • Tended to drill a point to death instead of realizing the audience had gotten the idea several paragraphs ago.

The Ugly:
  • No ugly.  It was a really great take on comic book heroes, though it would probably not appeal to folks who don't care for comics.


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