Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Thoughts on Grayson's Inheritance

Devin Grayson clearly understands Roy better than she does Dick. I don't think she's got Roy nailed, exactly, but she's close in her portrayal of him. But Dick? Not since his teens has he been so easily intimidated by authority figures, including Batman. He's also a natural leader, not a follower, which isn't coming through at all in this book. He hasn't "hungered" for praise, from Bats or anyone, ever. He once was eager for it, but even that is in the past. Dick's a fairly self-assured, well-adjusted young man, given his odd background and life.

In fact, Roy and Dick seem to be written as teenagers rather than young men in their early '20s. It's disconcerting. Aquaman seems completely out of character, especially in his dialogue. And dialogue isn't all that's at fault. Too often, Devin's sentence structure seems wooden or reads as if it's a manual for a book. Too often, she's seems obsessed in describing the guys in ways to reveal facts about them not germaine to the scene or in a jarring way. That's where a lot of the Hardy Boy syndrome comes in.

Twice within 20 pages or so, we're told Lian is Roy's 5-year-old daughter. Granted, not every reader will be familiar with him and his background, but the memory of the average reader could probably retain that fact for a couple of hundred pages. And most readers of the book will have passing knowledge of the DCU. I doubt anyone else would want to read this. (Go ahead, someone; prove me wrong.)

An example of her awkward descriptions has Dick being described as a former acrobat jumped out at me. Granted, it's Roy's thoughts as he's comparing himself to Dick (p.57) and soon enough, there's a fight scene, so there is some context, but it struck me as being there solely to feed readers a bit of background on Dick not needed there. Plus, it's inaccurate. He's still an acrobat; he's just not getting paid for it. But he sure is acrobatic as Nightwing.

Her overuse of the word "even" as a modifier has me ready to pull out a red pen and strike them out of the book. And I think the book is written in the omniscient point of view, albeit a sloppy form of it.

*sigh* I'm on page 79 of 336. Maybe someday, someone will write a good novel about Roy, Dick, Ollie, and Bruce. This isn't it.


  1. Anonymous6:40 PM EDT

    It seemed to me that Devin skipped some of the 'grown-up' parts of Dick Grayson.

    Aquaman has been retconned a lot, so his history is kind of murky.

    The big problem for me? Green Arrow. Her portrayal of him seems sort of, how shall I put this, blinded by hate. He's a total fool, which is not the sense I get from the comics.

  2. Yes, Anon. Good points, I agree. Devin really seems to have it in for Ollie, even while showing that Roy loves him while knowing all his mentor's warts. I think a shrink would have a field day with this book, trying to pick out all the personal issues Devin likely tried to work through in this story.

    And yes, she seems to have forgotten the last 6-7 years of Dick's growth and experiences.