Ryan Thomason

A Once Crowded Sky, Book Review

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Let me tell you why you shouldn’t let this crowd your bookshelf.

Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh, how bout, if you find this book in the discount bin and you like superheroes you can determine what to do with the book yourself after you buy it.

I accepted a review copy based on the premise of this book by Tom King, A world where superheroes had lost all of their powers to save the world from a blue energy destroying foce and the villains all committed suicide. There is one person left with powers, PenUltimate, the former sidekick of Ultimate The Man with the Metal Face, who was the greatest hero of them all. Why does PenUltimate still have powers? He had retired from “The Game” and didn’t show up with everyone else when they gave up their powers. Ultimate had absorbed all the powers in a belt and then stopped the Blue Energy from destroying the world. Everyone gave up their powers but PenUltimate. So naturally, they all think PenUltimate is a coward for staying at home with his wife instead of showing up and sacrificing like they did. Things start to go wrong something is unleashing horrible attacks around the planet and PenUltimate finds himself being forced from retirement, forced to be a Hero again.

Now, that sounds pretty bad ass right? So where did I fall? I can’t put a finger on it to be honest. There was just something about when I finished, I had a feeling of “Thank Crom I finished this, after a month of reading.” I’m not a slow reader, it’s just that my time to read books is very, very limited between Family, Work and the usual WPR musings. I never got absorbed into all night readings with this book. I’m not going to say I hated the book, I didn’t, it was entertaining on a base level, but nothing about it blew me away enough to rave about it and demand you purchase it.

I felt Underwhelmed.

The heroes, and their lack of powers doesn’t really diminish from the book, it’s an interesting take into a world where all of these people were super heroes, and now, they have to get real jobs, move on with their lives, feel pain. Some die trying to still “save the day” some go to counseling, it’s very interesting but I never felt sucked in.

If you see this book and are expecting a comic book/graphic novel kind of immersion in a novel form, you might be disappointed, there is something about the Graphic, the art in comics that make superheroes fun. If you’re looking for a new take on the medium you should check this out, but I wouldn’t pay full price just yet.

Check it out yourself: PRINT

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