Book Review: Green Lantern – Hero’s Quest

Well. What can I say? I almost don’t want to say something too negative given that its a book written by Dennis O’Neil who is a major player in the history of comicdom. Almost.

Green Lantern: Hero’s Quest is the story of the new Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. That by itself made me not want to rush to read it. I’m old school and Hal Jordan will always be THE Green Lantern to me (and you can throw Alan Scott in there as well). The Johnny-Come-Latelys like Guy Gardner and Kyle were simply not my cup of tea.

But I didn’t want to be unreasonably biased so I sat down and began reading. Now, I’m not a fan of first-person narratives except in maybe spy novels but I’ve read a couple that was pretty good. I know it can be done well and I’m familiar with O’Neil’s writing so I pressed.

The story begins pretty well. O’Neil nails the young, twenty-something age group. On top of that, it’s humorous. He had me chuckling more than a few times.

I was really enjoying the book until about halfway through when I began to hear this whistling noise. At first, I thought something was wrong with my hearing but as I read on I realized where it was coming from: it was the book taking a nosedive.

The second half of the book is filled with scientific theoretical and philosophical nuances one after another. Sometimes the same thing is repeated over and over. There is one weird scene where Hal shows up and Rayer joins him in this Oan paradise (not sure what an Oan is? Read the book). It just really didn’t need to be in the book whatsoever. It was a scene that could have disappeared and the book would have been the better for it.

From there the whine just got louder as the book crash-landed in a stew of nothingness that really didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Oddly enough, before the reading spiraled out of control into a purely onerous work, what saved it was the first person narrative which made it at least readable if not enjoyable.

The ending was pretty, “Eh” and made you come away feeling as if your brain has just finished a smorgasbord of indifference. Rayner’s Hero’s Quest seems to end up as nothing mattering except Kyle Rayner, which isn’t a very heroic conclusion to come to as people are reduced to not really meaningful in the end.

The book has its moments, even in the river of attrition which is the second half of the book. Two stars mean that the book was okay. Overall, that’s a fair assessment in my eyes.

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