Download Epub Format É After the Golden Age (Golden Age, #1) PDF by º Carrie Vaughn Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.
com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally To call Carrie Vaughn s profoundly disappointing After the Golden Age a tired retread of ideas that have been almost entirely played out by now is to make an understatement because really, is there anyone even left besides lazy entertainment reporters who isn t aware by now of the darkly comedic subgenre regarding superheroes with mundane psychological problems It was groundbreaking when Frank Miller and Alan Moore did it unironically in the 80s, hilarious when The Specials and Mystery Men played it for laughs in the 90s, and still at least interesting when Pixar mainstreamed the concept in The Incredibles but in these days when there are even now weekly television shows based around the idea, it takes a lot to make this concept interesting any besides simply parking a caped crusader in a Muzak blaring psychiatrist s office and hoping that hijinx will ensue Unfortunately, though, this actually isn t the worst problem with the book that would be the fact that the nuances of the three act structure seem to be completely beyond Vaughn s comprehension, with some of the most awkward exposition I ve ever seen in a mainstream contemporary novel, and a bad habit of taking minor moments of conflict and trying to inflate them into drama that s bigger than they can handle, much like you might see in a Young Adult novel when a misinterpreted statement between one teen and another will literally be the main conflict driving an entire second act And indeed, I think it no coincidence that what Vaughn is mostly known for is the unending Kitty Norville series of teen girl werewolf love story actioners, a commercial juggernaut that I m sure is the reason she got a contract for this novel as well Beyond disappointing to make me actively angry that a book this badly written would get so much attention, needless to say that it does not come recommended today.
Out of 10 4.
6 I m on a bit of a superheroes kick since The Avengers came out and reminded me of a childhood spent breathlessly waiting for the next episode of Batman, or Spiderman, or Superman These days I m of a Marvel fan is it, uh, legal to admit that I watched the first ten minutes of Batman Begins and got bored but anyway, the point is, superheroes And Carrie Vaughan s After the Golden Age catered to that wonderfully.
I think the premise at its most basic isn t really anything new the child of two superheroes, who is powerless, rebels and gradually finds her own place in the world I liked that she was an accountant I liked that she got tired and frustrated and did things wrong, and that she second guessed her own motives.
Best I liked the romance It didn t turn out how I was expecting, and it was a pleasant surprise It was well built up and brought together.
Overall, the prose wasn t stunning but the pacing was good, and the moments of shock and pain reach through to the reader perfectly It s a quick read, and also the kind of read where you aren t conscious of the time that does pass in my experience, anyway.
Patti Smith After The Gold Rush Banga,A After The Gold Rush Is An original Song By Neil Youngincluded In The Patti Smith Album Banga, It Was Released In JuneHurry Up, Listen After The Golden Age Golden Age,by Carrie Jean Sex Happens In The Novel, But Vaughn Doesn T Describe It At All It Slike A Fade To Black And Next Thing You Know Their Hair Is Rumpled CrossFit After The Golden Age What Is Medicine For Dr Seamus O Mahony Began Studying Gastroenterology In The Mid S, A Time He Associates With The End Of The Golden Age Of Medicine, Which He Claims Began In The Mid S The Golden Hour After Birth, And Why You Should I Will Tell You Why It S Because It S The Absolute Best Thing For You And Your Baby To Understand The Importance Of This Golden Hour, You Must Understand What Is Happening In Your Little One And Why He Needs You To Be On His Team Advocating To Make The Transition To Life On The Outside A Smooth One After The Golden Age On Apple books PUBLISHERS WEEKLY FEB ,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 Up All Night After The Golden Globes WWD Please Contact Your Organization S Manager At If You Have Questions About Eligibility, Need Help Verifying Your Email Address Or Are Having Other Issues Logging In 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.
Posted on my blog here.
original review published on The Book Smugglers HEREFirst Impressions Ana What do I expect when picking up a book about superheroes to read I expect to be at the very least entertained I expect it to be fun Anything beyond that is added bonus After the Golden Age met my expectations right on the head I devoured this book More than that, it provided me food for thought on the nature of heroism which in this case, counts as the aforementioned added bonus Although it is not a perfect book, I did have a great time reading it.
Thea I m familiar with Carrie Vaughn s work, having read her Kitty Norville series and one of her YA offerings Steel Although I ve had varied experiences with these books, I ve been entertained by all of them, and so was very excited to see Ms Vaughn tackle the superhero world with After the Golden Age And you know what I liked it I really, truly liked it and found myself drawn into the story and unwilling to put the book down until I had finished the entire thing Although there are a few niggles and character issues that bothered me along the way, After the Golden Age is a wonderful homage to the superheroes of old, and a damn fun book at the same time.
On the Plot Ana Celia West is the only daughter of the world s greatest superheroes, the two leaders of the Olympiad the superteam that protects the citizens of Commerce City Having no superpowers of her own, Celia is an accountant who tries to lead her life as far away from her parents lifestyle as much as she can, but unfortunately the shadow of her estranged super parents follows her everywhere she goes When she is called by the DA s office to help prosecute the super villain The Destructor for tax fraud, Celia is pushed back into the life she wished she could leave behind and simply forget But then she stumbles upon a secret that could change everything.
The plot of After the Golden Age is two fold Part mystery, part coming of age The first relates a series of crimes affecting Commerce City with new villains coming into the game just as The Destructor seems to be taking a back seat or is he This new series of crimes is what leads Celia to start investigating the past and possible connections between The Destructor and The Olympiad and the mystery surrounding the very beginning of super powered beings Although the answer to the mystery was heavily telegraphed and easy to guess, the point was to actually inspire the discussion about whether superheroes are born or made This to me, is quite possibly the best aspect of the novel or any other novels about superheroes, really Although, I don t think this was explored with the depth it deserved, it still made for an interesting side aspect of the novel making it of a Watchmen like read than say, a JLA one.
The other main theme is Celia s role in all this and her coming of age Although it sounds weird to say that since she is of course, a woman and not a young girl it seemed that up to the point where the novel started, she had been living in a limbo of self denial, but on that later on.
Thea From a pure writing and storytelling standpoint, Carrie Vaughn is at the top of her game with After the Golden Age The pace of the story clips along quickly and adeptly, as Celia gradually puts the pieces together and figures out not only the mystery of the recent crime spree in her city, but also uncovers some old family history While I completely agree with Ana that the mystery was pretty transparent, and some of Celia s actions whilst uncovering the truth are headdeskingly frustrating, the storytelling is so even handed that none of that obviousness truly seemed to matter In many ways, After the Golden Age reads just like a traditional Urban Fantasy novel there s the same isolated heroine, the same peril facing some urban location that only the heroine can stop even though she doesn t want to get involved.
Now, while the storytelling is great, I enjoyed myself, and sped through the book like Breezeway one of the superheroes in the Olympiad , there were a few mechanical and thematic things that bothered me First, when Celia does all her research and discovers the truth of West Corporation s medical experiments at about halfway through the book and also draws a conclusion about an unlikely villain, instead of telling anyone about her earth shattering discoveries, she decides to keep it quiet because she doesn t have enough evidence Or something I really, really dislike these plot devices, wherein characters know things but choose not to tell them in order to build tension and ultimately result in calamity later, after which the character will look back in tear streaked regret screaming, If ONLY I told them , whilst shaking their fists dramatically at the sky Ahem.
This next part is a minor spoiler so if you don t want to know, look away The other problem I had with the story was in the revelation of a key emotion that can be engineered inspired that will stop criminals, end murder, and foster superheroes Besides the fact that this supermachine was haphazardly thrown into the story in the last 20 pages or so and felt very much like a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger villain device, super campy and cartoony in nature , I didn t really like the emotion that is singled out as the cause for superheroics It changes the whole slant of the story and the psychology of the characters, implying that they do what they do not just because they know it is right and good, but because somehow that has been engineered in their DNA That does not sit well with me at all.
On the Characters Ana Celia was an insufferable character walking around with a chip on her shoulder and for the majority of the book she complains and whines about her terrible childhood, how she wants to be independent and recognised as an individual rather than a member of the West family The thing is, I don t think she was supposed to be a likeable character at all but she was in my opinion a sympathetic and relatable one, despite all that.
Because you see, I understand her problems.
1 Can you imagine growing up in a family of super powered people, with everybody expecting YOU to become a super hero as well, all of your movements observed since early childhood to see if you develop super strength or the ability to fly and then when none of that happens, you are met with frustration and disappointment Not only from your parents but yours as well because of course, you want to be a super hero too That s Celia s childhood not to mention that her father is not exactly a good parent at all, being aggressive and distant So, there are some real issues there not to mention the worst case of Teen rebellion ever, when Celia joined forces with a super villain just to irritate her parents Although I don t think this was explored with the seriousness it deserved beyond Celia saying she regretted it half assedly.
All considered, I truly enjoyed her journey though to find a place in this world, a place that would be possible for her to help out and that the embodiment of what heroism truly means.
Another character I loved was and Thea will say of course you did, dear Ana Dr Mentis I won t spoil much about how fits in the overall story but I have this enormous sympathy for Telepaths This has got to be the worst, most problematic superpower that exists because of the ethical repercussions of using their powers I would have liked to see discussion about this ethical issue although I think I understand what made Celia SO comfortable with having her mind read all the time it just made it easier for her to be understood I guess Maybe.
Thea I began this book and immediately, Celia got on my nerves Yes, she s had to grow up with the pressure of her parents success pushing down on her, the fact that she has no superpowers, blah blah blah At the same time, she s a freaking multibillionaire, has inherited her mom s smoking hotness, and despite not having any superpowers, she s got a good head on her shoulders Poor little rich girl, indeed.
That said, I think Ana makes a great point Celia s not really supposed to be likable at least I don t think she is She s like the little sister cousin friend that still thinks and acts like a teenager, despite being in their twenties She s the kind of character that whines about not being taken seriously, when she even still refers to herself as a child and her parents and the Olympiad as grown ups She s the kind of character that refuses anyone watching her, despite the fact that she gets kidnapped on a regular basis, just because she wants her freedom 2In short, she s a huge freaking pain in the ass.
BUT She grows over the course of the book, finally gets her head out of her ass sort of and makes atonement for the mistakes of her past And that s kind of cool Celia is a frustrating character, but for however annoying, she was certainly fleshed out and believable I only wish that her parents were a little detailed in the book we never learn much about her father beyond his temper and superpowers, or about her mother beyond her weepiness and ability to cook a good marinara Celia s relationship with her family is so complex and layered, and I wish it could have been explored fully.
And as for the rest of the cast no one is really detailed in any of the same length as Celia, with the exception of Arthur Mentis And yes, Ana, OF COURSE you loved him I felt like the romance angle in this book was a bit rushed and lacked finesse, but I did like the match itself.
Final Thoughts, Observations Rating Ana As I said, I devoured this book like I usually devour a bag of crisps It was fun, it had some awesome moments there I loved the ending and despite its flaws, it was just a cool super hero book.
Thea After the Golden Age is a solid, quick read that does its job it entertains It s a fun book, like Ana says, and a good candidate for a quick road trip or poolside read.
Although I read this book in a single afternoon, I ended up feeling irritated and a bit cheated at the end An awful lot of the book is a prolonged whine by the main character, Celia West, who has a major issue with being the normal daughter of two super powered parents The book starts out all right and even has some decent humorous moments, but as it progresses it becomes and clear that Celia is a narcissistic idiot who really hasn t learned anything from her life experiences Her teenage rebellion is view spoiler an act of attempted terrorism and mass murder hide spoiler originally published at Reading RealityWhy did I wait so long to read this That s not a coherent review, but it was my first thought I poured through this in an afternoon, barely stopping for breath or meals After the Golden Age is awesome stuff.
It s a superhero story But really, it s a post superhero story It s the origin and the aftermath all rolled into one glorious exploding KA POW It also reminded me a little bit of The Incredibles What do the superheroes do when they aren t out there fighting crime How would they raise a non superpowered child How would you feel if you were the mundane child of the Fantastic Four If everyone around you had a secret identity, and you were just original recipe human It s pretty easy to walk in Celia West s shoes, and feel that every day would be a major blow to her self confidence If most people either emulate their parents or choose lives in reaction against them, well, without superpowers Celia s choices were limited Emulation was out.
She chose reaction Instead of a spandex uniform, she became a forensic accountant, a job most people consider the most boring option on the planet Of course, that was after a teenage rebellion where she tried the path of evil For two whole months.
After having been kidnapped Again Celia gets kidnapped a lot It happens so often she s a bit bored by the whole thing.
As an adult, Celia has tried to create a life that doesn t reflect the glow of her parents super shininess, no matter many assumptions people make about how wonderful it must have been to grow up in the Olympiads inner circle, or how often people try to use her to get close to her famous parents.
But then her boss asks her to bring her accounting skills to bear on the latest trial of the century There s always a trial of the century, haven t you noticed The world s greatest supervillain, The Destructor, has finally been called to account for his misdeeds, not for his heinous destruction, but for his financial chicanery This is classic, Al Capone was finally convicted for tax evasion But The Destructor is a combination of Kryptonite and Achilles Heel for both Celia and The Olympiad As Celia unravels the winding trail of his black ops funding, she finds an origin story she never expected to uncover And with it, the birth of a conspiracy theory that will bring down the foundation of everything that the good people of Commerce City have ever believed in.
But she will also discover the truth about herself.
Escape Rating A After the Golden Age is about the creation and destruction of legends We find it so easy to put people up on pedestals, and even easier to pull them down While it s amazing how quickly the population is manipulated to turn on their heroes, it s also easy to understand We ve seen it happen in real life.
Celia West is the main point of view character, a normal person in a family of supers She is still recovering, almost atoning, from one act of teenage rebellion She has had to define her own self worth from a perspective where nearly everyone, including her own parents, has always judged her as less than because she isn t super.
So many people have tried to use her to get close to her family she s accustomed to it But when her boss does it, her research deconstructs the legend Her process of discovery is meticulous without ever being dull, and it occurs on two layers For each scrap of history she uncovers, she also finds a bit of her own truth.
After the Golden Age reads like myth creation And like the best myths, it feels true.
This novel was utterly amazing and fantastic Vaughn clearly knows superhero literature, and her fondness for the genre allows her to write in it with respect while analyzing the tensions at the heart of superhero mythology.
Celia West is the famous daughter of Commerce City s two most famous superheros Captain Olympus and Spark, the founding members of the Olympiad They were not the city s first superheros a masked man called Hawk fought crime before they did Hawk had no powers, and he retired just as the Captain and Spark became proficient at their calling Celia has very little contact with her parents She cut all ties with them when she was a teenager They always placed the welfare of the city before their daughter, and while she could understand their priorities, she also found it difficult to bear Villains always assumed that Celia was a priority in her parents lives, and she was kidnapped several times six and counting in an attempt to control her parents It never worked.
Part of the distance between Celia and her parents stems from the fact that she s normal She has no powers and no common ground to share with them This distance as well as her relative fragility makes it difficult for them to relate to one another.
This is the situation as After the Golden Age opens Celia is working as a forensic accountant in a firm that consults for the DA After her most recent kidnapping attempt, the DA asks specifically for her to be assigned to what may be the case of the century a tax fraud prosecution of the Destructor, a notorious villain and her parents arch nemesis As Celia digs into the case, her complicated history resurfaces in such a way to cast doubt on her reliability Celia cannot bear the thought of being judged for her prior acts, and she digs deeper into the Destructor case to prove her worth She s also concerned because several new gangs are attempting to take control of Commerce City It s clear that there s a mastermind behind the recent attacks, but it s not clear just who that might be The Destructor is locked away, and someone new seems to have stepped up to fill the vacuum Alternately funny and shocking and heart rending, After the Golden Age questions one city s reliance on its heroes as saviors Moving between Celia s past and present, the novel explores the complicated relationship between our childhood and our adulthood as the parents we both love and despise shape us to become like them.
Vaughn is not a stylist Her prose is clean and serviceable, establishing the points she s making with a minimum of description or purple prose All the same, her quiet observations of characters make this novel the powerful story that it is When I first heard about this book, I knew that I wanted to read it Once it was available, I bought it almost immediately and read it almost all the way through in one day This is a fast paced story, one that gets you to care about characters and the City where they live.
I believe I said this about Carrie Vaughn s other standalone novel, Discord s Apple, and I ll repeat myself here I do not want Vaughn to write a sequel to this book After the Golden Age is a fantastic story from beginning to end, and I don t want to see that perfection weakened in a series.
It seems like so many of these superhero novels are written by people who, don t have fond memories of the original superheros I m not sure Carrie Vaughn feels that way she seems to me to fall into the nobody could REALLY be that much of a hero slot as her book sets out to prove.
Celia West is the grown normal read non super powered daughter of the Worlds Greatest Super Hero Couple Sky High did it better We get treated to her misery at having had to grow up with her angry dad and super competent as well as super mother AND we get the story of her rebellious teen age years , all not her fault and completely understandable of course because her life with her parents was just sooooooo unbearable Pardon me as I gag.
Of course as we discovernothing is what it seemed or what anyone thought it was.
Yes, yes, we ve been there, done that got the T shirt Enjoy it if it s your cup of tea I didn t hate itmuch, but I didn t like it either Not for me I almost went with 2 stars but then I thought, why kid myself There are books I ve rated 2 stars I liked far betterso, maybe 1.
3, or maybe.
5 Oh well.
So it seems that this book was destined to help me make up for lost time I absolutely could not put this book down once I started it And I have to say that I was completely surprised by this book It was so much better than I ever thought it would be It starts out feeling a little comicbookish, a little cartoony I mean, it s about super heroes, for goodness sake And that aspect of the story is very comicbookish not that that is a bad thing If that was all there was to the story, I d have still liked it, but it would have been a 3 star like, rather than a 5 star love But there was so much to this story than a good vs bad, superhero vs villain story This was a really interesting and innovative twist on the story that sucked me right in and kept me glued to the pages until there weren t any of them And now I feel a bit sad that it s over I was very surprised at how emotional this book was I completely identified with the main character s feelings of isolation and desperation and despair and frustration and everything in the situation that she was in In fact, I thought she handled the situation infinitely better than I would have I would have probably shut down and closed up shop and said screw it, then I have to give Celia credit for not doing that, and not giving up I really loved this book, and as an introduction to Carrie Vaughn s writing, it was amazing Now my only concern is that her other books might not live up to this one.