Like every teen, Anna has secrets. Unlike every teen, Anna has a telepath for a father and Commerce City's most powerful businessperson for a mother. She’s also the granddaughter of the city’s two most famous superheroes, the former leaders of the legendary Olympiad, and the company car drops her off at the gate of her exclusive high school every morning. Privacy is one luxury she doesn’t have. Hiding her burgeoning superpowers from her parents is hard enough; how’s she supposed to keep them from finding out that her friends have powers, too? Or that she and the others are meeting late at night, honing their skills and dreaming of becoming Commerce City’s next great team of masked vigilantes? Like every mother, Celia worries about her daughter. Unlike every mother, Celia has the means to send Anna to the best schools and keep a close watch on her, every second of every day. At least Celia doesn’t have to worry about Anna becoming a target for every gang with masks and an agenda, like Celia was at Anna’s age. As far as Celia knows, Anna isn't anything other than a normal teen. Still, just in case, Celia has secretly awarded scholarships at Anna’s private high school to the descendants of the city’s other superpowered humans. Maybe, just maybe, these teens could one day fill the gap left by the dissolution of The Olympiad.... Dreams of the Golden Age is the stunning sequel to Carrie Vaughn's groundbreaking superhero novel, After the Golden Age
Dreams of the Golden Age (Golden Age #2)Featured
I was actually really excited when an announcement happened that the standalone After the Golden Age would have a sequel. Of course, Dreams of the Golden Age is somewhere between a companion and a sequel, with a new crop of characters, but it’s still a bit hypocritical of me. What matters, though, is that Dreams of the Golden Age is good, well worth the wait.
Where After the Golden Age was an adult novel without question – though maybe new adult by the new reckonings? -, Dreams of the Golden Age works well as a YA crossover. Celia West, the heroine of After the Golden Age is now the matriarch of the West clan, running West Corp and raising her two teenage daughters. The focus is split between Celia and her eldest daughter, Anna. YA readers will definitely enjoy this one, and, if you’re not anal like I am about series, you could read just Dreams of the Golden Age without being confused, though I still recommend both.
Generally, when a character I loved appears in a later book as a much older person, I’m concerned. Children and middle age are so not interesting to me. However, Celia remains every bit as awesome as she was in After the Golden Age. She’s a good mom, a clever CEO, and still markedly has that rebellious and stubborn streak she exhibited in her youth.
Celia has been orchestrating all the teens who might have powers into a single school. In Dreams of the Golden Age, this next generation develops their powers and embarks on the vigilante journey of their parents and grandparents before them. The novel starts out quite light-hearted, with a lot of teenage rebellion and first attempts at being a vigilante, but gets quite dark by the end.
Vaughn has created a large cast of characters in Dreams of the Golden Age, many of them new, but some of them 20 years older than when I knew them before. In theory, this could be really tricky to pull off, but I loved all the characters right off the bat. The adults remain themselves, albeit more mature and the teens feel realistic and are all interesting. Also, I love the diversity of the cast in Dreams of the Golden Age. There is some romance, but it’s really minor, though adorable.
The Final Verdict:
Sequels that take a long time coming have a history of being flops with me, but Carrie Vaughn’s sequel is precisely what I wanted. She’s left the door open for potentially more books set in Commerce City, and I would be totally amenable to such an occurrence. Dreams of the Golden Age is an excellent superhero novel for teen or adult readers, whether they’re new to the series or coming back for more!