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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

They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded / John Alan Gardner

They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded - James Alan Gardner

Only days have passed since a freak accident granted four college students superhuman powers. Now Jools and her friends (who haven't even picked out a name for their superhero team yet) get caught up in the hunt for a Mad Genius's misplaced super-weapon.

But when Jools falls in with a modern-day Robin Hood and his band of super-powered Merry Men, she finds it hard to sort out the Good Guys from the Bad Guys--and to figure out which side she truly belongs on.

Especially since nobody knows exactly what the Gun does . . . .


A fond homage to the comic book superhero. The books feature four young women who have accidentally acquired super-powers. The first book featured Kim/K/Zircon and this second book is all Jools/Ninety Nine. I loved Jools in the first book, so this one was a treat.

Jools is the jock who had been drinking too much and flunking out of university up to this point. Now she has some kind of mental link to the internet and mad inventor skilz. Previously, her main aims in life are to play hockey and absorb booze. Now, Jools must find out what her life as a Spark is going to look like. I really like her snarky humour and her outlook on both her old and new lives.

”My family lives in Edmonton and I went to see them for Christmas. Ten days of R&R with my father and four snoopy sisters. Fortunately, their questions were all “Do you have an actual boyfriend yet?” rather than “Have you accidentally acquired superpowers?”

“‘Invie’ is short for ‘The Inventor’; what he invents are gadgets above and beyond physics. They’re what we call ‘Cape Tech’ because ‘Mad Genius crap that defies the laws of God’ sounds judgy.

“I’m fine now,” I say. “I could model for Elle. Or at least Horse and Rider.”

A handful of super-smart inventor types have managed to stay sane, but dozens of others spend their time prancing about in jackboots and building armines of giant zombie dinosaurs. Whenever I tell myself I’m strong enough to resist that temptation, a voice in my head says, “You can’t resist Cheezies. You think you’re gonna resist going evil?”

Maybe I’ll make a fanny pack with useful odds and ends. Or a utility belt! I could build a utility belt! Cuz nothing says “super” like someone whose belt weights ninety-five pounds and sags down to show her butt crack.

I could just go on quoting--there are too many scenes where Jools has something amusing to say.

I am assuming that the remaining two room-mates will get their own books soon. At least I hope so. I am very much looking forward to hearing this author speak at When Words Collide next month!