A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King
A Novel

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Synopsis

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war, and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice— PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.

A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counterterrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of supermen stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.
 

About Tom King

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Tom King worked for the counterterrorism unit at the Central Intelligence Agency, following the events of 9/11. Before the CIA, he worked for DC Comics and Marvel. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published July 10, 2012 by Touchstone. 338 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Once Crowded Sky

Kirkus Reviews

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Literary exposition—“The glimmering particle in the glimmering fountain becomes a glimmering picture, becomes the sketch of a man frozen against the sky”—alternates with streetwise dialogue—“What job, yo?...It’d help, help jack this thing, beat it?” King’s work is beyond postmodern, complex in...

Jul 01 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

AV Club

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Tom King’s debut novel turns a world of powerless heroes into a War On Terror metaphor. 

Jul 23 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

AV Club

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Tom King’s debut novel turns a world of powerless heroes into a War On Terror metaphor. 

Jul 23 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

Post and Courier

Despite its potential to be distracting, King’s story fits this format beautifully and could not be told in any other way.

Sep 09 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

SF Signal

In Tom’s world, superheroes are required to play by the rules of The Game, which makes the story feel like comic book characters came to life, spandex and all, both to fight crime and make their wives pancakes.

Dec 13 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

Chamber Four

Superhero fiction, as a genre, has flourished in nearly every storytelling medium except prose novels.

Sep 12 2012 | Read Full Review of A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel

Reader Rating for A Once Crowded Sky
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 73 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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