“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.
Most people dream of having superheroes for parents, but not Celia West. The only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the world’s greatest champions, she has no powers of her own, and the most exciting thing she’s ever done is win a silver medal in a high school swim meet. Meanwhile, she’s the favorite hostage of every crime boss and supervillain in Commerce City. She doesn’t have a code name, but if she did, it would probably be Bait Girl, the Captive Wonder.
Rejecting her famous family and its legacy, Celia has worked hard to create a life for herself beyond the shadow of their capes, becoming a skilled forensic accountant. But when her parents’ archenemy, the Destructor, faces justice in the “Trial of the Century,” Celia finds herself sucked back into the more-than-mortal world of Captain Olympus—and forced to confront a secret that she hoped would stay buried forever.
I have been meaning to read this book for over a year now, and I’m so glad that I finally did! How does an ordinary girl grow up when she has superheroes for parents? Not easily, that’s for sure. Now an adult, Celia West is finally reconciling with her parents and figuring out how she fits into their world of crime-fighting, where the city’s needs come first and Celia is always a distant second. Meanwhile, Celia’s secrets from her teen years have resurfaced in a most unpleasant way, and the consequences of this exposure are upsetting, to say the least.
After the Golden Age is much more heart-felt than I’d expected. Despite the urban fantasy setting, Celia deals with real emotions and crises, and her struggle to find her place in the world and figure out how she can possibly make peace with her parents has a universal feel to it. There’s romance, intrigue, and adventure, and despite the often desperate throes, also plenty of snarky humor. I knew I was in for a treat when, in the first chapter, Celia’s response to being kidnapped is:
Damn, not again.
I really enjoyed After the Golden Age. The fantasy elements work well as a framework, but it’s the main character and her friends and family that make the book come alive. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!
Title: After the Golden Age
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publication date: April 12, 2011
Length: 304 pages