The Last Adventure of Constance Verity (英語) ハードカバー – 2016/7/5
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Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to reset her destiny and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary.
Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become the world’s great adventurer. She is a master of martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts. Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she’s figured a way out. The only problem is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.
Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.
Constance Verity—blessed (or cursed) three hours after her birth by a fairy godmother who granted her a life of adventure and wonder—has been saving the world since her seventh birthday. It’s been 20 years, and it’s time for a vacation. She dreams of being normal, and she wants to be bored. To this end, she resolves to go kill her fairy godmother. Tia, who has been Constance’s best friend since before that fateful birthday, accompanies her—after all, a good sidekick is important. After a dramatic fight in, well, fairyland, where they track the fairy godmother down, and a showdown with the disgraced fairy herself in a rundown Florida rental, Constance finds what seems to be the solution. Finally ordinary, she’s having the time of her life: dating a nice, normal young man (whom she met at a poetry slam, but nobody’s perfect); spending time with her parents; doing everything that she never had time for before. But, of course, the cogs of fate and ancient cultish conspiracy are moving, and they drag her back into adventure—and the true meat of the story, in which she saves the world yet again and finally finds that most elusive of prizes: work-life balance. An ethnically diverse heroine, great adventure pacing, a witty sense of humor, and some quality banter make this a delightful subversion of superhero tropes. — Regina Schroeder (Booklist (STARRED) July 1, 2016)
“Reading this novel is probably the most fun I’ve had with a book so far this year. I think anybody will enjoy it because it’s fast-paced, inventive, and completely irreverent. Highly recommended.” (- Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
“An ethnically diverse heroine, great adventure pacing, a witty sense of humor, and some quality banter make this a delightful subversion of superhero tropes.” (- Booklist (STARRED))
“Martinez delivers another witty, fast-paced fantasy. The deadpan snark is nonstop and sure to keep readers giggling.” (– Library Journal)
“Fast-paced and funny, the story never flags.” (- Shelf Awareness)
“Brilliant gags shine through.” (- Publishers Weekly)
“Across 10 previous novels, A. Lee Martinez has made his name with outlandish stories packed with rollicking fantasy concepts...the mastermind of this multi-leveled fantasy caper.” (― Barnes & Noble Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog)
“Strong character development — which is what I like to see in a book.” (-- The News-Gazette)
“Martinez is obviously very passionate about his work and characters. I, for one, am quite excited to find out that his Constance Verity character is to be featured in two more books! If you haven’t taken the plunge into the amazing novels of this author, then I urge you to do so. Everything I’ve read by him has been a blast!” (– Geeks of Doom)
“The Last Adventure of Constance Verity is sure to give you plenty of good laughs and some deeper themes to chew on. It’s unexpectedly charismatic and offbeat.” (– The BiblioSanctum)
What I have always admired about Martinez is that he has avoided writing a series, or even writing books in the same ballpark. This is brave for a fantasy writer from a business standpoint, but from a creative angle, it has allowed him to write some fascinating stand alone novels.
" The Last Adventure of Constance Verity" is his first novel with a new publisher, and, according to his website, his first attempt at a series. As always, Martinez hooks the reader with a quirky and fun premise. This time, we find our heroine Constance, who has been blessed/cursed with a life of adventure, wanting to settle down and lead a dull, normal life. This sets her off on perhaps one of her greatest adventures yet, to find her fairy godmother, reverse the spell, and get out of the world-saving business forever. There is only one big problem: Constance is prophesized to die a glorious death. Could this attempt to end her life of adventure be her very last adventure of all?
While Constance is strong, smart, and, at times, quite funny, she is not the strongest protagonist in the Martinez canon. For someone trying to get back her free will, she often seems a bit complacent in riding fortune's coattails. Perhaps subsequent books will flesh out her character some, let the reader get to know the Constance behind the confidence and snark.
Mr. Martinez, though known for being a comic writer (he has been called the American Terry Pratchett), he insists that he is not a comic writer, that his novels would still hold up without the humor. Perhaps he trying to prove this assertion with "The Last Adventure of Constance Verity", which, in my opinion, is the least comic of his novels (and I have read them all). Unfortunately, he doesn't quite prove this point. This is not to say the novel is without humor---- some parts are quite funny--- but Mr. Martinez seems to be trying to let the story rely more on the adventure sequences than the humor, which, ultimately, may be a mistake. He is more adept at comedy in this reader's opinion, and many of the action sequences feel lackluster and without suspense. Perhaps finding a weakness in our heroine might help this problem, too.
This is a fun read, and I hope it will find a large audience that will then go back and read some of A. Lee Martinez's earlier work, and even encourage them to visit his website where he posts some excellent short fiction and reviews of movies and discussions about writing. He is an author worth knowing.
3 1/2 Stars.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review.
Martinez seems to have a ball playing with the tropes of the pulp stories and adventure films. Unfortunately, the plot seems a little thin upon inspection. Constance and her "scrappy sidekick" spend more time discussing other adventures than moving the plot forward. I get the joke. I do. I just feel that, in his previous stories, I really got to know the main character. To me Constance was less a character and more a macguffin in the plot. In Martinez's defense, Constance actually voices this complaint, so I believe that this is an actual character decision in order to explore and deconstruct the pulp hero.
I hope Constance Verity does return. She's a fun character with a great deal of potential.
Constance Verity's fairy godmother "blessed" her with an interesting life, starting at age 7. What this means in practice is that she has to save the world/universe/whatever on a daily basis; sometimes twice a day if it goes quickly. And after many years of this, she is tired of it and wants nothing more than to retire to a boring/normal life. But...
There are wheels within wheels, schemes withing schemes, and conspiracies within conspiracies. Connie is bored with all that, though. Is there any way she can get some downtime to just spend hanging out and enjoying her BFF and her very normal boyfriend?
As usual with Martinez, there are a number of laugh-out-loud passages that I wanted to read to anyone within earshot.
It is very silly. It is very fun. It resembles superhero comics.
And it looks like this is not, actually, her last adventure...