Fallout – review

fallout1Since writing Electrigirl, I’ve become more and more into comics and superheroes (you might think I was into them before, and I was a bit, but now more so!) and so when I was offered a copy of FALLOUT by Gwenda Bond (what a fantastic name!), I practically snatched it out of the publicist’s hands…because this is a novel about Lois Lane, as a teenager. Gosh, I thought, as I opened the book for the first time, I really hope this is damn good, because Lois deserves it, and so do all the other superhero girlfriends throughout the decades…

Well, it is. It’s brilliant. Gripping and exciting and bang up-to-date with technology, and Lois herself is a vivid and shining character. She’s starting a new high school (having been kicked out of way too many already) and on her very first day she confronts the head teacher about a case of bullying happening right under his nose. See, Lois is not passive – oh no. This Lois doesn’t do screaming and falling off things. This Lois causes the screaming and other people falling off things. She’s got a nose for injustice, and so when it’s clear there’s a bunch of scary kids – the Warheads – terrorising a girl at school, she’s not going to stand idly by. Seeing her in action, Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet (yay! Lots of nice links in with the Superman world, but not enough to require previous knowledge), offers her a job on a junior section of the paper.

fallout2The action is fast and exciting and just-on-the-edge of terrifying, as Lois realises that the Warheads aren’t your ordinary bullies; these bullies are like something out of the X Files with their weird synchronised thoughts and their psychic abilities. And once she’s made herself a pain, they turn their attention to her…

But this is more than an action adventure; this is a proper well-written, well-imagined and realised book about Lois herself. Being an outspoken, impetuous and assertive girl is not welcome in a man’s world (sigh). And because Lois has spent her life being told off and then moved on, it’s taken a psychological toll. She finds it hard to make friends; she finds it hard to trust. The only person she trusts is a boy she’s never met in person, only online, a mysterious boy with the handle SmallvilleGuy

Squee! Yep, it’s obvious exactly who’s messaging Lois, and if you’re like me, you love knowing something the characters don’t. It’s through these online chats we see more of Lois’s vulnerability, and her secret crush on the boy she’s never met. He keeps hinting at a secret that he can’t tell her…and how does he really feel about her?

This book has everything. I’d have devoured it as a teen. Er, and I just did as a recently-turned-40 adult (sob). There will be more, yes? YES????

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