I reviewed book 1, Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, last year and you can read my review here.
It was a beautiful September afternoon in the sleepy little town Isley, California (population 840, on a good day when no one had decided to drive up to Sacramento for some big city thrills).
Like with the first book and Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts this book is very much metafictional and it has so much love for the superhero genre. Both Roberts and McGuire understand that loving something allows you to look at something critical without that diminishing your love for it. The best satire always comes from a place of passion – because it requires a great amount of passion to acquire the level of knowledge it requires to really highlight the most funny and problematic areas of what you love. The Velveteen stories does just that.
In my first review I did a one word review, I don’t think I can make it quite as short, but I can do a three words review: Freaking Loved It
Unlike the first book this wasn’t as bleak, because Velveteen has gotten out of the clutches of Marketing. That is not to say that the story does not have sad and dark moments, but it is a more hopeful book. A bit like a good scone with bits of dark bitter chocolate inside – making it all the more tasty.
I am not in as lit-crit mood as I was when I wrote the review of the last book (so see that if you want to know all the meta stuff that is going on). I have however read a lot more superhero comics since I read the first book and a lot of the humor just get funnier for that. To me it was also a happier book with more strait funny moments. A lot of the humor is very meta and that is lovely.
Velvetine has to make some hard choices in this book and has to push though some nasty bits. She is however (unlike in the first book) always surrounded by friends. And lets talk a little bit about those friends because the secondary cast is awesome! Princess who is everyones idea of what a fairytale princess should be. The frost girl (sorry can’t remember her name) who is living in the North Pole and is playing a major role in the story as a force for good, even though she do not see herself as one of the good guys – she pretty much save everyone. Victory Anna who is a steampunk lesbian woman from another dimension with a huge gun – who is wonderful and awesome and so frank it hurt sometimes – but in a very polite way. Sparkle Bright, Velveteen’s former teammate and best friend/enemy – who turns out to be really lovely as well. And then there of course is Tag, Velveteen’s boyfriend who is also rather cool and very supporting. The cast really makes the story. It is very much a story about friendship and loyalty. Not the fake loyalty that Marketing demands, but the loyalty of true friends.
I very much enjoyed the book. I laughed and I sniffled just a little bit as well. Recommend it!
Published: 2013 by ISFiC Press
Read: August 18 to 23, 2014
The author: Female, white, USA
The protagonist: Velma Martinez, female, superhuman, straight, able-bodied.