Thursday, August 4, 2016
Review: A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl
Summary from Goodreads:
“A Kavalier & Clay for the Comic-Con Age, this is a bighearted, inventive, exuberant debut.” —Eleanor Henderson, author ofTen Thousand SaintsValerie Torrey took her son Alex and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way.
As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a lesbian comics writer to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.
A literary-meets-genre pleasure from an exciting new writer, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is a tribute to the fierce and complicated love between a mother and son—and to the way the stories we create come to shape us.
I was a little nervous about reading this because the last book I picked up about fans and comic cons was bad. However, this debut novel that focuses on the other side, the writers/artists/tv stars at comic cons was so much better than I was expecting.
The characters and the relationships between them were the center of the novel and brought depth and emotion to the story. The povs were from Alex (a 9 year old), his mother Valerie (a tv star), Brett (artist), and Gail a comic book writer.
Despite the main focus on the relationship between Valerie and her son Alex it also dove into the comic book world and talked about issues like the lack of women comic book writers/artists.
I enjoyed the writing style but it lost part of a star for the confusing comic book characters/companies that seemed to be made up, and the intersected chapters in italics that I had a hard time following.
I recommend checking this out if you want to read about the other side of comic cons and enjoy relationship/character central fiction. :)
4.5 Stars out of 5