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Review: Fallout (Lois Lane #1) by Gwenda Bond

Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite comic book characters, right up there with the Princess of Themyscira aka Wonder Woman. It is safe to say I fangirled extremely hard while reading this.

As a fan of the Superman mythos, it was very exciting to see Lois Lane at the center. And I appreciate that other iconic characters, like Superman, were not given the spotlight. It was interesting to see Lois navigate through the mystery and be the star. She is an interesting character, and also someone who would stop at nothing to find the truth.

And I also appreciated that the story added key elements from the comics, such as the Daily Planet and Smallville. I really enjoyed the book. The mystery was good, and I thought that it was well done. The pacing was very nice, and it kept me guessing.

I really adored the spin that the author took on it. For example, I was wary of how the author was going to incorporate a virtual game into it without it feeling out of place or overwhelming, but I thought that aspect was intriguing. She did a great job of providing details for how the game worked and also surrounding a story around it without disappointing the reader.

I was also afraid that she was going to keep the story entirely grounded and realistic. So when it started taking a science fiction turn, I was thrilled because it makes it easier to accept this as canon in the Superman universe.

What I mean is, that it makes it possible for a reader to accept this story as Lois’ backstory; and accept that the universe that this story takes place in could potentially be a universe with the Justice League.

Those who are not non-comic book readers and have a limited or no knowledge about Lois Lane would not be confused by this book. It does a great job of establishing the character and giving background information. But if you are a hardcore fan, the tiny details that the author does slip in- such as Lois’ violet eyes and Clark’s dog Shelby, will leave you with a huge smile.

After reading, I’m interested to see Bond’s take on other iconic comic characters. It would be great to see a novel dedicated to younger versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, and others incorporated into this universe.

Characters

There have been many incarnations of the intrepid reporter; the one thing that stays the same is her personality. Lois is a very bold, sassy, intelligent, and lovable woman, and it was great to see Bond keep the characterization of the iconic character, while also adding her own traits. So that it made it easier to accept that this character is Lois Lane, although she is younger and has a few differences.

I couldn’t help but imagine Erica Durance’s (CW’s Smallville’s Lois Lane) voice as I read Lois’ internal monologue.

One thing I will say about this book’s Lois is that she was very tame in comparisons to the other. Which is understandable, because this book is very tamed and is something that could be read by a younger audience.

We did not really learn much about Lois during this novel. She was very focused on getting the work done that her emotional state and tiny details were never explored. If those tiny details or random facts had been included, I think that I would have felt more connected to her. I know her more like an acquaintance, rather than a friend.

Most of the supporting characters were Bond’s own original characters, with exclusion of Perry White and Lois’ internet friend, SmallvilleGuy. Before I dive into Perry and SmallvilleGuy, I want to touch on the original characters. I liked them. They were nice and all were important to the story. And I liked how Bond incorporated her own characters, with their own unique personalities. For example, the backstory of Maddy’s band t-shirts was awesome.

I know Perry White, and I’m aware of his role in the comics; however, he’s not someone I have great knowledge about. Although, I did like his character as somewhat of a mentor to Lois in this book.

My enjoyment of the book mainly came from my adoration of Lois and SmallvilleGuy. You only get to know him through the virtual reality game and his chat conversations with Lois, so his character is a mystery to the reader and also Lois.

She does not know his real name, what his face looks like, and many other details. They’ve been friends way before she moved to Metropolis, and he is not ready to share his secrets with her. Again bringing up Lois’ emotions, I would have liked to see her frustrations or other emotions because of his hesitation to reveal himself. That would added a little more insight to her feelings toward him. She does struggle with whether he is a friend or if there is something more with him. However, the emotional side of it was lacking.

We did get to see a strong friendship between SmallvilleGuy and Lois, which was wonderful, because they really complement each other well. I especially loved them working together to solve this mystery. From what I gathered, SmallvilleGuy is a sweetheart and does trust Lois; however, something is holding him back. So it would be interesting to see them continuing to build trust and what eventually leads him to reveal his secret.

Although there are not many hints, I’m quite positive that SmallvilleGuy is Clark Kent. And I’m interested to see Bond’s take on his character and his powers. Right now, there this side mystery of this “Flying Man” that Lois and Clark frequently talk about. They actually met on an online message board about the “Flying Man”. I’m curious, if this mystery man is actually Clark or related to him. Because of the vague backstory of SmallvilleGuy, we are not even sure if he has powers. We just know he lives on a farm in Smallville, is a teenager, and has a dog named Shelby.

Final Analysis

Fallout has Lois Lane front in center like the star that she is. The plot is intriguing, and the author stays true to the iconic character while also added her own twist to the character.

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