Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review: Gray Widow's Web by Dan Jolley

Dan Jolley rockets back into the world of the Gray Widow with a wild and awesome adventure that ups the stakes and delivers a pulse-pounding action adventure. The Gray Widow's greatest challenge yet comes from the vicious new enemy Aphrodite Lupo. Jamie Sinclair is still dealing with the repercussions from the first novel and the fight with Simon Grove. Janey's boyfriend Tim Kapoor recovers from the injuries he received from the fight with Simon though he still tries to play tough. The Gray Widow is occupied by the increased presence of enhanced individuals including one girl who has similar powers to Janey in teleportation but uses them for wicked purposes like responding to a high school bully. 

Nathan Pittman tried to imitate the Gray Widow and nearly lost his life. He becomes obsessed with the Atlanta superhero and acquires as much knowledge as he can treading close to the true identity. He also meets an otherworldly attractive woman who takes a curious interest in him. Janey also finds comfort in her fried Sha'Dae Wilkinson, her neighbor who shares a strange connection with her. The first part of the book does a lot to set up how life has moved on and expands the world as Janey and Tim investigate the appearance of augments. All of those who experienced enhanced abilities saw a strange light in the sky before they were able to do extraordinary things. The children of these people have even more enhanced abilities and this explains how Janey got her amazing powers because her father saw a light once before.  

Aphrodite uses Nathan to learn more about Janey as she suspects that she is the true identity of the Gray Widow. She uses her ability to change appearance to pretend to be Janey and interrogate Sha'dae. The set up pays off when Aphrodite reveals herself and the fight between her and Gray Widow begins. The friends are caught in the middle as Nathan realizes he helped a villain and Tim still wants to help her. Aphrodite gathers a team including a racist man with super strength and another teleporter. Jolley does not hold back on the action once it gets started with Janey using everything in her power to stop Aphrodite though she seems to be unstoppable. The villains attack her friends putting them in danger and leading to tragedy.

All seems lost when Nathan, Janey, Sha'dae, and Tim retreat but find that something is different about them too. Tim has healed from the altercation and his old injuries while Sha'dae can sense everyone's thoughts and see through their eyes, and Nathan has super strength, much to his excitement. There is some humor as the friends learn their abilities but Janey wants to get to the bottom of the mystery. An unidentified flying object has crashed and is being stored in a secret military facility. On the run, the friends hide at a motel as Janey heads to the military based to get to the bottom of this augmentation. She sneaks in and discoversan alien lifeform known as the Plowman in the base. Aphrodite shows up to cause more problems but they manage to escape and get to the bottom of this alien intervention. One more climactic battle wraps up this exciting adventure but adds plenty more setup for the final part of this very cool trilogy. 

Dan Jolley is a fun writer to read from this series of novels and graphic novels to his video game writing. The Gray Widow is an exciting new hero and the sequel grows the world in an epic way. There are some very cool scenes to read as Janey tests her powers to the extreme, transporting high into the sky and creating explosions in the heat that she leaves behind. Aphrodite Lupo was a vicious villain that I thought would never be stopped and it looks like this won't be the end of whatever caused this fight. I am anxiously looking forward to the finale of this series and whatever Dan Jolly puts out in the future.  

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