Book Reviews - "Smallville" Titles
Smallville: DragonWriter: Alan Grant
Cover Design: Don Puckey
Book Design: L&G McRee
Published by: Aspect and Warner Books (November 2002)
Reviewed by: Aaron Thall
Ray Dansk, a paroled killer, is released and returns home to Smallville. A reformed member of the Smallville Dragons, Ray wants nothing more than to make amends and start a new life. However, he finds no refuge and no work, and is forced to sleep in a remote cave. Unfortunately, the Kryptonite-laced water in the cave seems to like Ray's tattoo.
Meanwhile, Lana is having second thoughts about Whitney. After visiting a gift shop, she suddenly finds herself forgetting about Whitney and focusing on a new relationship with Clark. Clark welcomes this sudden change in Lana, but he is distracted by the sudden, brutal murder of one of his teachers.
In the cave, Ray awakens to see the teacher's head staring at him lifelessly. But the longer Ray remains in the cave, the more it changes him, and the more angry and violent he becomes.
Soon, Lex, after dealing with Lionel's latest subtle test, prepares to throw a massive party for the teenagers of the town, but just prior to it, his chef is attacked by a strange lizard creature. Clark fends it off, but is weakened, for the creature is contaminated with Kryptonite.
Clark goes to the gift shop to find a gift for Lana, and soon, he forgets he has powers... and doesn't even realize he's lost them. And it's the worst time possible as well, for the Dansk creature's final intended victim is... Lana's Aunt Nell!
Can the Kents restore Clark's powers and memory? And even if they can, what can Clark hope to do against a creature whose mere presence is lethal to him?
Story - 2: I want to rate this high. I really do. But things in this novel really don't work if you think about them.
First, Dansk becoming a lizard creature. Just what everyone wants. Superman fighting Stegron the Dinosaur Man. Oh, I'm sorry. A RADIOACTIVE STEGRON. The creature itself isn't the problem. The logic behind it is. Dansk was a member of the Dragons and has a dragon tattoo. It's suppositioned in the text that he transforms because of the tattoo. That is blatantly ridiculous. The Kryptonite MIGHT... MIGHT interact with the ink, but to affect him based on the pattern and his gang name? I don't buy it. If he'd been bitten by an infected gecko or something, I'd have bought it. But not a tattoo. Ugh.
Second, the selective amnesia. It comes almost out of left field and adds nothing to the story save for pages. It's worthless. It also ends abruptly. Clark suddenly remembers his powers and magically gets them back. Ummm... No. Not buying it.
Third, Jonathan is constantly hard on Lex because of the Luthor hate he has going. And yet, when faced with brutal murders, after having seen the most likely suspect IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA, Jonathan does a 180 and gives Dansk the benefit of the doubt, going so far as to withhold the info of Dansk's presence from the police.
ARGH! CONSISTENCY, JONATHAN! Sure, Clark's rich friend? Diss him. But a convicted murderer? Free pass! Come on in, the slaughter's fine! BAKA! (smacks Alan Grant)
Worst of all, it's patently obvious that this isn't really a plot, but two smaller stories tied together on the flimsiest of strings. The amnesia/relationship plot would make a fine novel on its own. Same with the Dansk story. However, together, they are remarkably less than the whole should be. It just feels like the amnesia was thrown in to add pages.
Still, for all its faults, Dansk's descent into madness and mutation is worth reading, as is Pete's moment of heroism. Oh, and Lex in the kitchen. Fun mental image.
Cover Art - 1: Smallville novel covers are incredibly dull. Just a picture from the show that never has anything to do with the story. Come on, you cheapskates!!! The Buffy novels made magic with promo shots just by adding in computer graphics and paintings! Learn from them!
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