Between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Americans are thoroughly dissatisfied with following the career paths their parents have tread. So it's no surprise that when Carrie Vaughn turns her attention to a modern superhero family, that their daughter wants nothing to do with following in mom and dad's footsteps.
But viewing this as a novel about superheroes is to miss the story completely. After the Golden Age is an at times touching story about parents and children, and how we come to live alongside our parents as adults and understand them . . . unfortunately those two events don't often occur at the same time.
Because I've watched too many movies, I eagerly watched for signs of Celia's late-blooming superpower. Instead she continues to impress the reader by being smart and courageous. Not stupidly fearless, but earnestly brave. And constantly underestimated by a city of people used to mutant heroes in spandex.
"No one was afraid of her; she didn't have any powers. But she wouldn't flinch. That was her talent. That, and recognizing people under their masks."
When I initially heard of this book, I thought it would be YA; superheroes' teenage daughter rebels. But that part of the story is actually told through flashback. Instead, After the Golden Age picks up with Celia at age 25 while she's working as a CPA and her total estrangement with her parents has become a still tense, but lighter estrangement.
An easy but artfully rendered and engaging read.