One of the things I look forward to about vacations is it gives me a chance to get caught up on my reading. I try to read books that people have loaned me first so that i can return them before they end up as a permanent part of my collection.
Recently a good buddy of mine dropped off a stack of books for me. The fact that I, a) trust this guy’s opinions, and b) had been dying to read these books didn’t hurt. I must say, however, that the first tow I read completely blew me away!
If you are looking for a present for a fan of science fiction or politics, I cannot recommend Ex Machina highly enough. Written by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Tony Harris, Ex Machina tells the tale of an accidental super hero who hangs up his cape (or jet pack in this case) to do even greater good. What is the greater good you ask? Why, politics of course!
The books jump around in time quite a bit, telling us the story of Mitchell Hundred (the protagonist) as he gains his powers, saves the world, becomes Mayor of New York City, and tiptoes through the land mines of political office. All the while elements of his past come back to haunt him.
Ex Machina borrows from The X-Files in both function and form. There are individual stories which are easily accessible, featuring well-written characters and witty dialogue. There is realistic science as well as well-researched fiction that is very believable. You find yourself believing that this could all be true.
Then there is the over-arching story. Like The X-Files there is a greater story at work here. There is the mystery of the device that gave Hundred his power, where it came from, and what the strange glowing symbol means. It is very engaging and adds the slightly supernatural feel that permeated the best episodes of The X-Files.
In short, a smartly written, amazingly drawn, and highly enjoyable read.