The Last Adventure Of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez (book review).

Connie is an action hero thanks to being gifted this by her fairy godmother at birth. She’s had enough now, thank you. Recruiting her friend, Tia, she sets out to kill her godmother and cancel the spell. Tia’s own skills are more distraction than ninja but she is happy to be Connie’s sidekick. Hoping to make a better life than constantly tripping over adventures in the street, Connie gets a bit of a surprise. What she finds is not just that the world, nay the universe, needs her but that just possibly she needs to be the last, best hope for humanity.


Dialogue and wisecrack heavy, there is a great cast of characters with Connie striving and failing to make an ordinary life as she struggles past her overstuffed room full of dangerous artefacts, always arriving in the mail, and meets a man who might actually be normal. Her friend Tia struggles with the whole concept of normality when she rather enjoys her adventures, albeit as wannabee hanger-on. The super-villains are cartoonishly drawn but also have a subtle part to play in the narrative. It’s very clever and very funny. The action moves around all the clichéd places but it gleefully acknowledges this and plays with us constantly.

This almost feels like a screenplay, as there is so much dialogue and that makes it really pacey, making us work harder in our heads with the to and fro of the words. It’s snappy and snarky and the addition of a spirit in a pen (the advantage that you can click it shut) and a ninja with commitment issues adds even more to the mix. The narrative does drive clearly through this detail and it’s a fun read throughout. This turned out to become an unexpected pleasure and I’ll be looking out for more from A Lee Martinez.

Sue Davies

(pub: Saga Press/Simon&Schuster. 384 page hardback. Price: $24.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-48144-351-7)

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