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Smallville: Temptation

Smallville: Temptation

Writer: Susan Colon

Published by: Little, Brown, and Company (February 2004)

Reviewed by: Aaron Thall

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During a baseball game, Clark discovers a chunk of Red Kryptonite. Immediately tempted by it, he nonetheless buries it.

Meanwhile, a french exchange student, Jamie, is proving to be popular with the ladies, including Lana and Chloe. Soon, Clark is experiencing jealousy and, in a desperate attempt to gain the confidence he needs to regain Lana's attention, Clark recovers the Red K.

Reasoning that as long as he limits his exposure, he won't go homicidal, Clark lets Red Clark out to play... But the longer he becomes Red Clark, the harder it becomes for him to stop.

But Clark's not the only one becoming addicted to power: Jamie soon reveals a problem he has with self-combustion... A problem which he must steal breath... killing the doner in the process... to stave off.

But as the bodiespile up, it remains a question as to whether the real threat is Jamie... or Clark.

4Story - 4: Honestly, I'm amazed that a young adult novel like this one would even BEGIN to touch upon the topic of addiction; granted, it isn't drugs, but for both Jamie and Clark, what they're addicted to gives them the exact same rush.

The story itself is rather obvious, almost pedestrian at times, but it finds new angles in the Red Clark cliche to prove worthwhile. Seeing Clark rationalize the use of Red K as only being short doses is sad, because the reader can see as he falls further into the inevitable madness that comes with Red Clark. By the same token, Jamie isn't really evil. He's just doing what he feels he must do to survive, and he always feels terrible remorse.

Addiction can cause people to do horrible things that they normally wouldn't do, and this novel demonstrated that with great skill. In addition, the way that Red K is used in the climax is a brilliant bit that I wish would get worked into the show. But at the same time, it sort of muddles the message about using substances.

Also... No Lex Luthor in the novel at all. A shame.

Overall, a solid effort.

2Cover Art - 2: Another promo shot. YAWN. One wishes they'd used Red Clark.

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