rating: 4 of 5 stars
After a long time away (I don't know that I read the last couple of books), I was drawn back to Wild Cards by the promise of an updated universe and my interest in George R.R. Martin thanks to Game of Thrones.
I was very pleased with the results. As with all of the "mosaic novels," there are chapters, writers and characters who are not as strong as the rest, but the American Hero reality show and its varying contestants make up a pretty strong group, as diverse and interesting as the original Wild Cards (and I see that Holy Roller, mentioned in the GURPS Wild Cards book, made it into the universe he helped create after all). I was particularly taken with Jonathan Hive and the blog post entry style used to convey his writing, but I also really liked Curveball, Drummer Boy and the British spy, whose identity and powers I can't really talk about without giving away one of the cooler surprises of the book.
The story transitions nicely from the manufactured TV drama of American Hero to the more serious politically-infused drama in Egypt, without making either story feel like a waste of time. I'd love to see it adapted to comics, because there are a lot of cool visual moments in the writing, but even as a standalone novel about superheroes, it shows why the Wild Cards universe captured my attention way back when and sort of makes me long to reread them all. Except that I don't own them anymore, and I definitely don't have time for such a mass re-reading.
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