Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
|Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Second outing for Bond's enjoyable take on Lois Lane, still a high schooler but cutting her teeth as a cub reporter. In this outing, Lois chases down weird science and corruption.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: September 2016|
|Publisher: Curious Fox|
|External links: Author's website|
Lois Lane is doing pretty well in Metropolis. The oppositional, trouble-seeking army brat we first met in Fallout has made some friends, got a job as a cub reporter on The Daily Scoop and even exposed a scandal at her school. Her online relationship with the mysterious Smallville Guy is also going pretty well. But her army general father and her school principal are both still keeping a weather eye on Lois. And newspaper editor Perry White is putting her under pressure for a new story...
... and, as we all know, Lois has a nose for a story. When she spots her friend Maddie's twin sister Melody passing out in the street, it doesn't take Lois long to uncover some weird science goings-on. And then James's father, the disgraced ex-mayor of Metropolis is released from prison after serving a sentence for corruption. But is it possible that he was set up? And by who? And if two mysteries to solve weren't enough, things also go squiffy in Lois's online life. A new poster appears at the forum she visits with Smallville Guy, threatening to expose the Flying Man and users who interact with this poster start to report interrogations by shadowy government task forces.
Can Lois make sense of all this? And can she keep under the radar of both school principal and strict father while she does?
There is a lot going on in this second outing for Gwenda Bond's version of the iconic Lois Lane. Juggling three mysteries, overall arc advancement and character development is a tricky business but I must say Bond doesn't just manage it; she manages it with style and a real sense of enthusiasm. I'm not the brightest spark when it comes to mysteries - always the last to latch on to what's going on - but each of the three subplots was clear in my mind even though I was reading at the speed of light. Because Double Down is also a successful page-turner. So I thank Bond for both clarity and complexity.
The character of Lois herself is fleshed out a little more. She's spiky and ambitious and obstinate. She also lacks social graces but she understands this and tries to rectify it. Her slightly confused attempts to be a good friend to Maddy invite the reader's sympathy, as does her burgeoning crush on Smallville Guy. It's obvious to us that he returns her affections but it isn't to Lois. We also see some depth added to the supporting cast - Maddie's struggles with sibling rivalry; James's elite snobbery concealing family tragedy.
Double Down is smart and pacy and fun. And it's on the way to realising an interesting and fresh version of the Superman universe with a central character that readers will be able to root for. Roll on, book three!
You could also look at The Summoning (Darkest Powers 1) by Kelley Armstrong, a YA series set in the same fantasyverse as Armstrong's Otherworld series.
You can read more book reviews or buy Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond at Amazon.com.
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