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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault / James Alan Gardner

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault: A Novel - James Alan Gardner

Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.

Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don't think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.

Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.

Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks--and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities--and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.

Turns out that "accident" was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius's latest diabolical scheme. Now it's up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team's name should be!


4.2567891 stars

This was a truly fun book and I am so glad that I will get a chance to hear the author speak next month! I confess that I had never heard of him until he became a keynote speaker for the When Words Collide conference here in Calgary. I am so glad to have discovered him and his Dark/Spark series.

I am a great fan of fantasy, but when I originally read the blurb for this book, I had my doubts whether it was really for me. Once again, I am shown that I shouldn’t judge a book by [what is written on] the cover. I was only a paragraph or two into the novel when I realized that it was going to be a bunch of fun.

I especially appreciated the dialog--both between Kim/Zircon and her compatriots and her inner monologue. Then, there were things like vampires buying blood from human donors--not wanting to call it “blood money,” it becomes known as “trickle down.” Take that Ronald Reagan! So many things made me grin like a looney!

That’s the biggest reason, I think, that I enjoyed this book so thoroughly--I often struggle with written humour, but in this book I just GOT it. Maybe because the author is also Canadian, but I was amused by so many details. Because of course one Canadian hero is going to be a super hockey player and name herself after Wayne Gretzky. Ninety Nine became my favourite character and I am excited to see that she will have a starring role in the next book. And, yes, I have already requested it from the library and hope to have it in my hot little hands next week.

I am so pleased to have discovered this author! I can hardly wait to hear what he has to tell about his creations and his process. Just a month away!