nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Carrie Vaughn's _After the Golden Age_, Rachel Caine's _Working Stiff_

After the Golden Age is about the non-superpowered daughter of superheroes. She's repeatedly kidnapped to put pressure on them, has a very unhappy relationship with them (and the public-- everyone wants to know what it's like to have Captain Olympus for a father, and it's *not* something she wants to talk about), and in general it's a complicated family story, plus politics and a super-villain.

I liked it a lot, and one reason I liked it relates to this discussion of seeing people like yourself in the fiction you read as a child or a teenager. I don't think I was the only one who let the question spread out into more recent reading. In any case "like yourself" has a lot of possibilities.

Cecilia West, the main character in After the Golden Age, has an emotional mess of a family, but her father is a fairly ordinary high-dominance asshole, not an egregious abuser. While the specifics of the family dynamics are nothing like what I grew up with, the general pattern of emotional mess combined with good physical care is what I had, and not terribly common in the fiction I read.

Thematically, I'd say it's about the triumph of good sense over trying to maximize power and/or intensity, while granting that some power and intensity are natural parts of living.

With a little luck, there won't be a series-- the story is very complete.

As with Rachel Caine's Working Stiff, the main character is courageous and capable, but has only plausible fighting abilities. I wonder if it's a trend.

Working Stiff has the worst first day at work in the history of bad first days at work.

Other than that, it's a nanotech zombie novel (do not expect scientific plausibility), with strong elements of being trapped and of paranoia. The romance is weak (the man never comes into focus), but if you're in the mood for a non-standard zombie novel that doesn't revel in grossness, I recommend it.

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