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Lois Lane: Fallout

Lois Lane Superman

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#1 Virgil Vox

Virgil Vox
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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:53 PM

Lois Lane: Fallout is a YA novel by Gwenda Bond that sees a 16 year old Lois move to Metropolis with her family. Her military general father has finally decided to put down roots, and Lois sees this as an opportunity to make friends and not get in trouble like she usually does. Unfortunately, she discovers that a bright young student at her new high school is being bullied by a clique called the Warheads, and the principal seems complicit in it. To make matters worse, there seems to be something off about the Warheads, like they all have a hive mind and seem to have psychic abilities. Lois decides to investigate and enlists the help of another teenager she only knows from online, a guy who goes by the screen name SmallvilleGuy.

This is a really good book and hopefully the first in a series of novels. Bond really captures the essence of Lois Lane and what makes her tick. Lois is a woman that can't see injustice going on without doing something about it. She's tenacious, intelligent, brave, and a little reckless. Basically, everything we would want from a Lois Lane. The fact that she's 16 doesn't fundamentally change her character. She's just not quite the brilliant reporter that we all know she will become.

I do want to get my criticisms out of the way first. They mainly center around the beginning and ending of the book. Both parts feel really rushed. In the first few pages we're introduced to Lois who arrives at her new high school (naturally painted in red and blue), meets the Warheads, meets the girl being bullied, meets the principal who isn't doing anything about the bullying, and meets Perry White who on the spot gives her a job at his teen run online newspaper the Daily Scoop. It's a lot to take in in a very short amount of time. However, once the set-up is out of the way the book flows much better.

The ending has basically the same problem. Without spoiling anything Lois basically exposes a big conspiracy involving a corporation and basically wrecks the major project they were working on and then the book ends a few pages later. It seemed way too tidy of an ending. I'm guessing Bond is going to use the corporation and the fallout from Lois's actions in future sequels. Still, a few more pages at the end would have been appreciated.

The book has a good cast of characters. Besides Lois, there are three other teens working at the Daily Scoop. Devin probably gets the most development. He's a hipster who has a secret love of fantasy novels and in the Worlds War III game that is central to the plot of the novel, he's a king with a giant kingdom. Maddy is more of an outcast who loves indie music and has a crush on James, the other teen working for the newspaper, but he only has eyes for her twin sister. James is also the son of the disgraced former mayor and the one that Lois least likes. Perry has a small role in the novel, same as Lois's parents and younger sister Lucy.

Then there's SmallvilleGuy who is obviously Clark Kent. Lois only knows him from online but considers him to be her best friend even if he's secretive about who he really is and where exactly in Smallville he lives. He doesn't steal the novel away from Lois. This is her book, and he's a supporting character. Still, Bond shows why these two will inevitably fall in love. I also like that there is no love triangle going on here. Lois has feelings for Clark and hopes he reciprocates those feelings but the romance takes a backseat to the bullying plotline.

The world that Lois inhabits is much like ours, but with more advanced technology and the stirrings of people that have powers beyond normal men. The biggest piece of technology is the new gaming device. It's basically a headset that surrounds the player in a highly realistic virtual reality world. The Warheads display psychic powers and of course there was that time when Lois and her family was driving through Kansas and she swore she saw someone flying.

The book is new reader friendly. You don't have to have any prior knowledge of DC or Superman to enjoy the book. This novel introduces Lois and her supporting cast as if they were brand new. Aside from Metropolis and Smallville, the only other DC city that gets name checked is Coast City and it's a one sentence reference. Bond doesn't really pepper the book with a lot of nods and winks to long time fans that new readers wouldn't get. Aside from Lois, her family, Perry, and Clark, there are no other Superman related characters.

Fallout was a really enjoyable book that probably could have done with a few more pages at the beginning and the end to smooth things out a little. Other than that, if you're a fan of Superman or Lois Lane, definitely check this novel out.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

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