How do people do this positive review thing? It's so hard for me to think of anything coherent beyond "I LOVED THIS" while still avoiding spoilers. I'm trying, though. Really.
First off, this may be the best book Carrie Vaughn has written so far. (I have to say "may" because there are still three I haven't read. And seriously, me, how the hell don't I already own [b:the one with pirates and time travel|8220745|Steel|Carrie Vaughn|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1339112487s/8220745.jpg|13067963]?) Everything about this book worked for me. Everything.
Especially how she occasionally ends paragraphs with one word sentences. Ha!
Okay, I'll stop doing that. Maybe.
If this one had taken place directly after the events of the first book I might not have picked it up. It's not that [b:After the Golden Age|8665134|After the Golden Age (Golden Age, #1)|Carrie Vaughn|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1316636024s/8665134.jpg|13536680] bad book; I just didn't really find young, conflicted Celia to be that compelling a character. This skips ahead quite a few years and splits POV between powerful businesswoman Celia and her super-powered teenage daughter. Those two? They are both so freaking awesome. Vaughn has hit both the rose tinted remembrances of my youth and the power fantasies of jaded, bitter current me.
And part of this, I am sure, is just good timing. A week before I picked this up, I was feeling so nostalgic about Excalibur that I hunted down and order all the omnibus editions. Because teenage me loved that there was a nerdy teenage girl who's super power was always being able to leave. Anna has a different power, and is an entirely different young lady, but she's hitting all the right notes for me.
Celia, goodness, she has become such a badass. I cannot express how delightful it is to read about a powerful, confident woman who isn't the villain. I can't even. Wow.
While I don't think I can go into how much win this contains, thematically, without major spoilers, again, this book worked on every level.
I am delighted this exists. Delighted.