Who wants a review longer than the story itself? Nobody! So here’s the bottom line for a brief tale…
Nutshell: A fine first taste of Bond’s upcoming novel that will introduce readers to a teenaged Lois Lane, Real Work of Art is a fun Nancy Drew-ish mystery with one or two fannish shout-outs that will have readers dying for more. The narrative is entertaining for all ages, but I wouldn’t be surprised if grownup Super-fans join in too. Grade: A-
Story: Bond introduces us to Lois Lane in this teaser short story. No, not the woman you think you know, but the Army brat teen that’s trying to pick up a new hobby. But let’s just say that art isn’t her strong suit.
Thoughts: This story felt like it was over before it began. And that’s no wonder, as it’s meant to be just a taste of what’s to come with Bond’s Fallout. I like the way Bond takes a teenaged Lane and brings her into the 21st Century, complete with apps that help with…studies, and long-distance IM’ing with “SmallvilleGuy”. I squee’d when I saw that handle, and I bet everyone else did too.
Bond obviously knows how to dole out the goods, and when to hold stuff back, and I look forward to more of the same when Fallout hits. Real Work of Art is easy to read, with a quick but not rushed pace, which is another thing I hope carries over into the novel. In Real Work of Art, there are hints at future possibilities, and seeing Lois as an Army brat who keeps herself at a distance from those around her (why invest in friendships if only to lose them?) is a breath of fresh air. Lois Lane is a character everyone thinks they know, or at least have a basic knowledge of. So getting a peek inside her head as she’s becoming the woman we all know? Very cool. In fact, the first person narrative here has just the right blend of travel weary teen and grownup-in-training. And Bond doesn’t dumb down the dialogue here, yet there’s still a hint of Nancy Drew innocence to keep the story firmly in YA land. And if the plot is wrapped up a little too quickly? Well, it’s a short story. Bound to happen.
YA fans and Superman aficionados will enjoy this quick read. If Fallout – the novel that this short story introduces – is just as good, this “new” Lois Lane will be worth getting to know.
[Note: I received an electronic ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review. I received nothing else, not even art lessons. And lemme tell you; looking at anything I draw, you can definitely tell.]