Sunday, July 22, 2018

James Review -- Gotham: City of Monsters

This week I decided to review Gotham: City of Monsters by Jason Starr. 

First, a short recap of where things stand in the beginning. Hugo Strange was working on creating a number of superhuman monsters, and many of them managed to escape when Strange’s nuclear last resort was disarmed, and the city has put dead-or-alive bounties on the heads of the escaped monsters. James Gorden killed the murdering mayor of Gotham but has been released from prison and become an anti-monster bounty hunter. Also, Alferd Pennyworth has taken Bruce Wayne to Switzerland because of the monsters running loose in Gotham City.

The story begins with a bank robbery, with Selina Kyle as part of the robber team, that turns bloody with the two monsters on the team lose control and an off-duty cop tries to intervene. James Gorden starts hunting a monster named Nip but soon discovers Nip has a lover named Tuck. He narrowly manages to defeat the couple. Eventually, the story reveals that bank manager Clarissa Morgan was forced to help in the robbery to save her life, and that of her boyfriend Eddy who owes fifty thousand dollars to loan sharks. Morgan meets Gorden, who begins to develop feelings for her, but she soon finds herself on the run when the mastermind controlling the monsters from the robbery unleashes them on their human accomplices, killing Eddy. And soon, Gorden finds himself in a desperate battle as an enemy believed to be dead returns and takes Morgan hostage…

There is also a subplot showing part of Pennyworth and Wayne’s trip to Switzerland. Pennyworth wants to keep his young charge there for safety, but the two soon find themselves fighting for their live when a man with a grudge against Pennyworth from before Pennyworth began working for the Wayne family finds them…

I give this book 8 out of 10. I liked the characterizations a lot but I feel there were places that could left have room for interesting stories in future novels if the author hadn’t ended these threads, and I don’t feel all of these threads ending benefitted the story. Also, the Switzerland plot was far too short for my taste. If it had been longer I think I would have enjoyed it much more, but as it is, the subplot just feels like padding. In my opinion, it had little or no connection to the Gotham City plot, and I don’t think we really needed to see what Pennyworth and Wayne were up to and that their activities could have been left to the mention of them having departed that was in the main story with no harm.

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