I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Man of Steel
Published by Stone Arch Books on January 1, 2013
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Thousands of aliens have targeted Earth. The MAN OF STEEL battles them in back into orbit, and opens the armor of one of the soldiers. Inside is DOOMSDAY! Superman breaks open more armor. All the soldiers are DOOMSDAY clones thousands and thousands of clones! One Doomsday is bad enough, but now there are infinite Doomsdays!
There are some children’s books that are really fun to read, have a great plot and captivating writing that is still at the right level for the reader. Then there are some that are okay, where the plot is interesting and the writing has obviously been toned down for the younger reader. Unfortunately, this is one of the latter. And here’s a secret, kids are smart and they seem to be able to pick up on when they’re being talked down to. Or at least my kid does (Do any other parents notice this? Chime in and let me know!).
In this story, Superman needs to save the earth from an alien invasion. The aliens look a lot like snails, and when they send out their army Superman quickly learns that these are clones of Doomsday. Luckily, they’re a weakened version of Doomsday so we don’t have to worry!
There are good things in this book. I love that there is an explanation about who Doomsday is. As a parent who was into Superman long before I had my son I already know who Doomsday is and what kind of havoc he can wreak, but my son? He didn’t know who he was or why Superman should be worried, which I think is to be expected. after all, the Superman canon has been around for a very long time, and even if it’s always changing, sometimes by a lot (Infinite Crisis, I’m looking at you!), there are a lot of things that just haven’t been introduced to the younger audience. But Sutton went beyond that and even, dare I say it, humanized Doomsday. I think it makes for a great lesson to kids and shows that they can change their attitude if they want to.
The plot, while contrived and now the most original, worked well. There are no major surprises here, and that’s effective with younger readers. They’re usually more focused on putting the words together than trying to figure out why things have suddenly shifted, after all. And since most boys are more than happy to read about their favourite superheroes then this one is easy enough to recommend and catch their attention. After all, it’s Superman! (Although, do kids call him The Man of Steel? I know mine don’t…)
To be honest, the only part that really bugged me (and it bugged me a lot) was how the word choices and language made it seem like this was talking down to the readers. Yes, they’re kids, but they still need interesting stories that are told in an interesting and engaging manner. And my son picked up very quickly on the way this book was written and didn’t want to read it, unfortunately.