In Fallout, the first book in the series, teenage Lois Lane moves to Metropolis, where her family is finally putting down roots. Lois is determined to fit in and make friends, but life in her new high school doesn’t seem easy. A group named Warheads is harassing another girl through a video game they all play and somehow messing with her mind. With her wits, her new job as a reporter and the help of her online friend SmallvilleGuy Lois is determined to help that girl and uncover this mystery.
The sequel, Double Down, finds Lois still in Metropolis with a solid group of friends, a challenging job and a growing online friendship with SmallvilleGuy. When her friend Maddy’s twin sister collapses in a part of town she shouldn’t have been in, Lois finds herself facing another dangerous mystery leading her closer to the dirty underbelly of the city.
By the third installment, Triple Threat, Lois has everything she wants. But when another mystery starts to unfold, she must take down a mad scientist and a group of mutant teens, while protecting a secret and navigating her relationships.
In Gwenda Bond’s trilogy (hopefully there’s more) we meet Lois Lane as a teenager, long before she becomes the greatest (fictional) reporter of all time. The author masterfully weaves suspenseful mysteries for her to solve in each book that – despite not being on par with great mystery novels- had me hooked. The stories narrated in this trilogy feel like they’ve been pulled directly out of DC’s comic books.
Cheesy at times, especially when our favourite supercouple is involved, the writing has a great flow that just pulls you in. It’s not the bad kind of cheese, but the delicious one that makes you want to fill your mouth with it and move to a cheese factory, steadily increasing your cholesterol numbers day by day. And if you know anything about Lois and Clark’s relationship, you know that’s the right amount of cheese. And when it wasn’t like that, the writing was simple yet suspenseful, conjuring all kinds of feelings and emotions and keeping the pages turning. I found it extremely hard to put down all three books.
The thing that stood out to me the most was the way the author has captured Lois’ voice. She just gets her. Bond manages to capture all sides of the character perfectly, even the ones contradicting each other. Her Lois, perfectly in accordance to her comic book counterpart, is an army brat through and through, but not a complete tomboy. She’s bossy, confident and witty when it comes to her job, but nervous and awkward when it comes to relationships, be them familial, friendly or romantic. Teenage Lois is as much a nerd and as much driven and hungry to uncover and report the truth as the adult self we’re familiar with in other media. Long before she becomes the Pulitzer prize winning reporter, we see her beginning steps in fighting both for the truth and to protect everything and everyone she holds dear.
This accuracy to the comics is not limited to Lois’ character. Every character Bond pulls from DC’s universe feels like they jumped from the comic book pages into her novel. Ella, Lucy and General Sam Lane, Perry White, a few surprise appearances, and of course, Clark Kent (he’s perfect) and their respective relationships to the titular character are very well written and whatever liberties the author takes to adjust them to her story feel authentic. It’s truly like reading the novelisation of a comic book.
As you can imagine, Bond didn’t rely solely to DC’s abundance of characters to tell her story but also created some of her own to play friends and foes of Lois Lane. Adults and teenagers, heroes, evildoers and victims, all have distinct motives and personalities adding to both the unfolding of the narrative and the development of Lois as a character. And they’re all well written. The adults act like adults and they are present and active but not front and centre in the story- it’s not one of those YA books where the parents or employers are barely mentioned. The teenagers, on the other hand, act and feel like actual teens. They don’t act or speak like adults. On the contrary, Bond seems to have captured teen life perfectly and her characters face the eternal teenage struggles: school, hobbies, future careers and relationships.
Speaking of relationships, we come to my absolute favourite thing in the world: Lois and Clark. In these books their story starts differently than we know. They don’t meet as adults in the Planet but as teens in an online game. Their relationship starts awkwardly and blossoms from a distance, but they’re still as dorky and adorable as the adult couple we’re familiar with. Once again, Gwenda Bond just gets them. I spent a big amount of all three books just squealing and aw-ing at the pages. If you’ve seen Smallville (aka the only good superhero show the CW has produced), the couple’s interactions in the book will remind you of their early days on the show when they were still in high school (not only because of the setting).
To sum up, Gwenda Bond in this trilogy does a stellar job in imagining the planet’s greatest reporter as a teenager and adjusting the rest of the DC universe to this parameter. If you’re a fan of Lois Lane, make sure to pick it up. If you’re unfamiliar with her, read these books and I guarantee you’ll end up loving her. If you’re one of those people who love Superman but do not like Lois, explain to me how and then pick it up too- they’ll change your mind. If you like neither Lois or Superman, my condolences… (Read them too actually, they might change your mind!)
If you’ve read any of the books in this trilogy, what’s your opinion? Do you like superhero novels?