Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson


Everybody knows the story of Superman, right? He came to Earth in a capsule to land in a field. Jonathan and Martha Kent found him and raised him as their own. The concept is simple enough. However, questions remain.

Kevin J. Anderson attempts to provide clarity in his book Last Days of Krypton. Whether or not he succeeded is up to readers. Some will be convinced of everything which takes place. Others may take issue with a word, sentence, or paragraph and refuse to believe any of it. Science Fiction allows for doubt, and invites exploration.

The Man of Steel legend aside, this work focuses on his parents and how they faced one of the most difficult decisions imaginable. First things first though. When talking about characters, readers have to be properly introduced. The clarity is appreciated.

Lara first met Jor-El when her family was hired to work on Jor-El's house. As artists, they have both the eye and the skill to make an ordinary building into a masterpiece. Little did they know how much of an impact would be made to future events.

Can you imagine, seeing your future husband trapped in an alternative reality? I have to hand it to Lara, she stayed with the situation although she has the creative gene rather than the scientific one. The pair was required to become a team in order to set Jor-El free. However, this was also mild compared to the political mess brewing from outside.

Superman devotees will recognize Commander Zod, the bureaucrat whose inexhuastible need for power is greater than ethical considerations. Talk about a compelling character. He schemes without regard for implications down the road. What happens if somebody else catches wind of the destruction he plans? Put it this way, it's not pretty. The man has no conscience or morals. All he wants is to be a ruler over everything. Forget leading by example, Zod is nothing to live up to.

Continuing with the villian lineup, Brainiac also makes an appearance. Anderson takes the character and shows a different side. A robot? Yes, although not quite what one would expect. Remember, Clark Kent and his super powers have yet to arrive on Earth. The novel is the stuff prior, which sent Superman on his journey downward into Jonathan and Martha Kent's arms.

Obviously, the Justice League is not part of this picture. The story is about one man and how he came to be. I should warn readers, it's over four hundred pages long. Not an item which can be completed in one sitting.

Perhaps even more compelling than the story itself is the front cover. Right smack in the middle is a glowing green "S". Due to scientific genius, this is a holgram! The capital letter jumps off the page and appears to be breaking up just a bit.

also published on blogcritics.