“Since the days of having a Novelization of a movie seem to be forgotten (which is a shame really- much of my summer reading, as a tween and Teen was books based on movie. Karate Kid; License to Drive; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Gremlins; Back to the Future; Raiders of the Lost Ark – yeah, all of them helped to entertainment longer than the 2 hrs that it took for a movie to do so), I am doing my own “reading books that have the same theme as movies” thing. And for the upcoming Spider-man movie, I chose this book. This is one of the books published in the past 5-10 years, which builds on the ongoing Spider-man story lines. (Well, up to the point of publication. Now, you read it and ask “wait- Peter and MJ aren’t married.” DAMN YOU BRAND NEW DAY!!!). The story line is one that takes a cue from the X-men stories- the use of an illegal substance that gives the abuser powers. The plot involves the selling of gamma infused ecstasy to people, who end up having out of control powers, before they eventually are injuried by the deadly effects or come down off the ULTIMATE high. Meanwhile, Peter is forced to team up with a less than helpful police task force, and still try to juggle his job as a teacher and life as Mr. Mary Jane Watson-Parker.
Two excellent things I loved about the book was the author’s familiarity to his surroundings, and the familiarity with the hero’s complex nature. Keith, a native Yankee… sorry, Keith…. New Yorker, makes you feel that you are actually IN the Big Apple, following the Webslinger as he crosses from borough to borough, attempting to save the day as much as possible. Furthermore, given Keith’s past experience in the genre of Books Based On Comic Books, he knows just the right pacing needed to move the story along. (On a personal note, I REALLY got a kick out of some of the easter eggs in the novel- one had me laughing so much, that my dogs started barking at me). My one issue I had with the book was the preaching manner it had about the use of drugs. Don’t get me wrong- this isn’t Nancy Reagan saying “Just Say No” (well, maybe just once…) but still. However, the past few weeks, I have been going back and reading some old PPTSSM comics (I will award a No Prize to the person who recognizes that abbreviation) and back in the day, the comics did have a certain preachy feet them- racial equality, Aunt May being part of the Grey Panther Pride movement; Peter getting his Jungle Fever On. So really, this isn’t any different than what was being written about back in the 1970’s & 1980’s.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Spiderman- as well as newly emerging fans, who are looking to build on their Funny Pages experience.”
Ross V wrote this review Sunday, July 1, 2012.