Book Reviews - "Smallville" Titles
Smallville: CurseWriter: Alan Grant
Cover Design: Don Puckey
Book Design: L&G McRee
Published by: Aspect and Warner Books (January 2004)
Reviewed by: Aaron Thall
While tending to the graves, the caretaker of Smallville's†cemetery stumbles upon an old grave containing a journal, a journal telling the harrowing tale of pioneers crossing the country to get to California at the height of the gold rush. However, as the journal is examined, events in Smallville begin to mirror those of the pioneers' journey.
At the same time, as Lex begins to examine a new philosophy, Pete begins acting strangely. It soon becomes clear that Pete's in danger, taking a dangerous kryptonite based berry that increases strength, but also acts like a drug. Clark, concerned for Pete, tries to help, but each attempt just pushes Pete further away.
Soon, Chloe learns of the journal and makes the connection, and fears of a curse spread through the town and make statewide news.
But is there really a curse, or are the meteor rocks somehow bringing the journal's events to reality? And can Pete be saved from his own actions, before they get Clark killed?
Story - 4: This novel deftly explores the difficulties Pete had keeping Clark's secret. It makes sense that Pete would want to be stronger, if only so he wouldn't be in Clark's shadow. At the same time, Lex using his new outlook to†combat the idea of a curse is fun, although it's, at best, little more than a footnote. Clark's desperation to save Pete from himself rings true, as does Pete's resistance to being saved. Ultimately, the resolution of the story shows that†Pete is no second banana, and can take care of himself.
The spreading of the curse rumors is actually fairly amusing. It shows how quickly something can be blown out of proportion, but it also allows Chloe, for once, have a Wall of Weird story get serious attention and not have it just dismissed out of hand.
However, the true threat itself is groan inducing. It's an†inherent weakness of the show's setup, so I'll excuse it for the most part, but the sheer oddity of it all knocks my rating down a point.
Cover Art - 5: Someone obviously started trying harder, because, once again, we have a cover that actually has something to do with the story. Since it's impossible to find an image involving an obscure curse, the book designer instead has an image of Pete and Clark arguing, accurately depicting an event in the novel. Bravo.
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