I've been trying to finish this since September -- thankfully, today being A. Lee Martinez Appreciation Day gave me the motivation.
"I didn't think you believed in jinxes," said Tia.
But she wasn't so sure that jinxes didn't believe in her, and they'd had a long, long time to build a grudge.
I go in to a Martinez book assuming I'll like it, this one took less time than usual for me to know I liked it. Lines like that are just part of why.
Thanks to a gift from a fairy godmother, since she was 7, Constance Verity has been saving the world as she goes on unbelievable adventure after unbelievable adventure -- she travels the galaxy, time, alternate realities and all over (and under) the Earth. She's run into demons, aliens, wizards, killer robots, mad scientists and many more threats -- and overcome them all. A couple of decades later, she's starting to think that she's missing out on something despite all the excitement. She's missing out on being ordinary.
Haven't you saved the world on multiple occasions?"
"That's what people tell me, but I'm beginning to think that the world isn't as fragile as all that. The universe got along just fine for billions of years without me. I don't think it needs me to save it. I think it all works out about the same in the end. Sometimes, I like to think of myself with a dead-end job that I dislike, a husband who is letting himself go, and some ungrateful kids I take to soccer practice. It sounds dreary, but at least it would be my life."
Connie doesn't stop to consider if she's really cut out for ordinary, but if anyone can rise to the challenge of normality, it's Constance Verity.
So she and her sidekick best-friend, Tia, head out to get that normal life for her. Step 1: Kill her fairly godmother.
I really don't know what to say about the book beyond this without getting into more details than I ought. I guess I could say a few things about character. Connie is a great character, for someone who's lived a superhuman life, she's really human. Tia is incredible -- wise, funny, caring, a real good friend. The relationship between the two is almost perfect.
This is a typical Martinez -- a strange combination of loony and thoughtful. You can laugh and then be struck by a profound thought within a couple of pages. This is a fun adventure (a handful, really), and a bit of a commentary on heroes, villains, tropes and themes in SF stories (particularly the pulp-ier variety).
This is the first installment in a series -- which is something Martinez hasn't done before -- I have no clue how he'll pull this off, the book ends like I'd expect a Martinez stand-alone to end, so I have no idea how he's going to follow this up. But I cannot wait to see.