Review: After the Golden Age

Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy
304 pages
Chapter 1

Can an accountant defeat a supervillain? Celia West, only daughter of the heroic leaders of the superpowered Olympiad, has spent the past few years estranged from her parents and their high-powered lifestyle. She’s had enough of masks and heroics, and wants only to live her own quiet life out from under the shadow of West Plaza and her rich and famous parents.

Then she is called into her boss’ office and told that as the city’s top forensic accountant, Celia is the best chance the prosecution has to catch notorious supervillain the Destructor for tax fraud. In the course of the trial, Celia’s troubled past comes to light and family secrets are revealed as the rift between Celia and her parents grows deeper. Cut off from friends and family, Celia must come to terms with the fact that she might just be Commerce City’s only hope.

I've had a version of a similar story in my head for a couple years now and I'm so happy that After the Golden Age was everything I hoped it could be; even though I'm sure Ms. Vaughn is invading my dreams.
You wouldn't necessarily think so, but Celia West is an easy character to relate to. Her parents are superheros and she's not.  "Every kid wanted to get out of their parents' shadow.  Her problem was, for her that shadow was just so big." Isn't it easy to imagine how crappy that must feel? Even after escaping to University and completely cutting the chord with her parents, Celia is being kidnapped {in sake of getting her superhero parents' attention} so often it's become a joke to her; making it impossible to truly dissolve in to society. She takes it all in stride though and for the most part she isn't bitter about her luck -or disluck- in life.  Her struggles are universal, from her teenage rebellion come back to bite her in the ass later in life, to the life-long struggle of feeling "enough." I really enjoying spending a couple days in her shoes.

The story unfolds steady enough, and the endless parade of masked capers and their evil doings keep the action and adventure scale tipped.  Honestly the story has it all, from action and romance, to life lessons learned, to self-actualization. Also, I had forgotten how great a stand alone novel can be.  The author does a great job of giving you enough history and backstory of the characters to draw your interest, but doesn't drop bombshells in the story-line unless she plans to resolve them.  I found it a refreshing escape from the series-itis I tend to suffer from.  

Bottom Line: The perfect comic book for non-comic book readers. 

4 stars


  1. Thanks for reviewing this book Jess. It's been on my radar for a while but, I was hesitant to pick it up. Definitely going to give it a try.

  2. This one's sitting in my TBR, and I'm a huge Carrie Vaughn fan, so I'm sure I'll get to it soon! Glad to see you liked it!

  3. Jen: It's great. Enjoy!

    Kristin: This was my first Carrie Vaughn, now I really wanna read her Kitty books :)

  4. Huh. I am DEVOURING her Kitty series - omg it is so good. And now this has definitely captured my attention. Adding to my TBR.

  5. Hmm...I must say that I honestly don't care for the cover. It just doesn't stand out for me. I don't think if I saw this at Target I would stop to pick it up and read about it. Now you're reviw on the other hand makes me want to check it out. I'll have to place it on my TBR list for a check out at a later date book! :-D Great review Jess, I'm so happy you enjoyed it and it's so crazy that you felt like the author had visited your dreams for the idea of the book. :-P