A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel by Tom King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I read the cover blurb for this, it sounded like something I would really like--an examination of super heroes, power, failure and redemption along the lines of Watchmen, but in prose. It is all that. But it takes a while to get there. And the reader is required to put in some effort to jump into a story in progress and hold onto the disparate story threads until they are woven into something more coherent.
The writing is good, if at times a little stylized, written in the present tense like a comic book. This keeps things moving. The characters are many and varied and have realistic, for the story world, reactions to things.
What ultimately disappoints is that the story feels like it wants to be epic. The characters and setting demand and imply it. But it's not. It's a little thin and repetitive where it should be dense and action packed.
I think comic book fans will be intrigued enough by the premise to push through and enjoy this book. Fans of literature might also be interested enough to see how this experiment turns out. I doubt that others will find enough here to captivate them through the end.
[Disclosure: I received a free copy for review.]
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