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Author: Kevin J. Anderson
The Last Days of Krypton is a science fiction/fantasy tale of the history and past of the iconic superhero, Superman. The story starts before his parents find each other and before General Zod and his two faithful followers are sent to the phantom zone. The planet Krypton thrives with a society of complacent citizens and a government that is lax in helping their own people when the moment arises to do so. The story tells of strong characters trying to do the right thing when all forces are playing against them. The author captures the action, the emotion and the story of what makes the story of Superman so great.
The cover jumps out from the page in a flashing 3-D effect of the infamous symbol of Superman. Its green kryptonite design explodes from the cover as Krypton explodes among the stars. The author jumps right into the story on an issue that is plaguing the main character Jor-El and the possible problem to his home planet, which pulls you in immediately.
There are two main conflicts in The Last Days of Krypton and they intertwine with each other. One of the conflicts involves Jor-El, who is constantly on the defense with the council, when it comes to his experiments and his views on the universe and Krypton's place in it. The other conflict arises from Zod who wants more power than is given to him. Zod finds every opportunity to grow his power and manipulate people into doing what he wants, making them believe it is for the greater good. Jor-El is among the people who gets sucked into Zod's warped delusion of his own greatness and how he plays a part in Krypton's future.
It's fascinating to read the history of how the three most reputable villains of Krypton are formed. It makes me furious the way Zod made people believe he is the savior just so he eventually can turn on the people.
You absorb yourself in the story, especially when the council refuses to react on any of the problems in the society. You want to ring the necks of the ignorant, inactive members of the council. You want them to get a backbone and make decisions before it is accidentally made for them. I can understand why Zod was so popular but he took things way too far as he manipulates everyone around him. The writer makes you react and get involved as I found myself shouting warnings to the other characters.
The author puts this story together to give insight into Superman's past. Many stories skim over what his family was like or what they stood for, but The Last Days of Krypton, tells an engrossing tale of his people and his family.
The story of Jor-El and Lara, Superman's parents is an amazing story of heart and unification. The story explains the history of Kal-El's name and Jor-El's position on the useless council. It goes into the fall of Zod's fictional empire and the coming together of the people of Krypton, although the planet are faced with destruction.
The setting is so descriptive that you have no doubt you are on the planet Krypton. The distinguishing crystals, the red sun, the character's names and the description of Jor-El's white hair and character, make Krypton jump off the page. For any fan of Superman, you will not be disappointed since the author links the history of the hero into his modern science fiction/fantasy story. I know I was reading about the infamous Superman and I was excited to delve into the history.
The characters come alive to me. The three villains, Zod, Aethyr and Nam-Ek are truly heinous and you grow to dislike them so much that when the good characters come to light, you applaud their strength and morality. You find out that Lara has a distinct personality wrapped around her love of art and history, you find out that Jor-El has a passion and genius for science that surpasses any other character on Krypton and his strong conviction in using his knowledge to save his planet.
The dialogue is perfect for the story. The words are understandable and make sense. The speech patterns are different from the characters so you know who is speaking. Their actions are distinct to their personalities and you get involved in the success or the failure of their actions.
The society and the people of Krypton are very descriptive. You felt the anger of Jor-El at the inactivity of the council, you sensed the power hungry passion of Zod and you understood the loss emanating from the people of Krypton while they knew the imminent doom of their planet.
Superman is one of DC Comics legendary superheroes. Tales are told of how brave he is and how he longs to be as human as the people he lives amongst. It's about time when an author can write of Superman's origins so that his fans can delve more into the man behind the muscle and superhuman strength. The story gives you insight into the family he lost and allows for a little more depth to the character. The Last Days of Krypton is unlike any story that I've read and it is a great addition to your library of favorite novels.
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