A book by Alisa Kwitney
NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.
Not going to lie, I didn’t initially realize this was a prose novel when I requested it, so I wasn’t sure if this was for me. First thing’s first – I’m not a romance novel guy, so I went in with a fear that this was going to alienate me from the outset – good news is, it was actually well done. Rogue was always a character I enjoyed as a kid, I got really annoyed with a lot of 2000’s X-Men writers that seemed to want to destroy every character that had become popular from the Fox Kid’s television show. Gambit was made unlikable and phased out, Cyclops was made unlikable and phased out, and sadly Rogue was made unlikable and phased out. I was excited to read this to see what they did with it.
“Young Rogue’s life is a mess: she’s on her own, working a terrible diner job and hiding from everyone. The powers she has started to develop are terrifying: when your first kiss almost kills the guy, it’s hard to trust anyone – even yourself. Then two people arrive in town who could change her life, and she finally gets a choice: try her luck with the big-haired billionaire who claims to be scouting for gifted interns, or trust the rakish Cajun gambler with the eerie red eyes. But these two aren’t the only ones interested in a mutant just coming into her powers. Rogue will have to master her abilities and decide her own fate – before someone else does.”Publisher’s Description
The comparison I am bout to make is funny considering who played both characters in their respective TV and film appearances, but this reminds me of a Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, or whatever the official term is, novel. Granted paranormal things have been replaced with mutant powers, but the feel is somewhat similar. This isn’t really a book that sits nicely with established “canon” of the Marvel comics, which is honestly a good thing. It gives the character room to breathe and the author the creative outlet to do what she wanted. It’s a cool re-imagining of Rogue’s origin story, with things like a early romance with her long time Beau Gambit/Remy even in the mix. For fans of 90’s X-men, I’m sure this will be right up your alley.
While not my favorite book, by any means, this was a refreshing departure from how continuity-laden and stuffy most X-Men comics are now. If they ever truly decide to reboot these characters (again) something like this is a great idea. I’m not familiar by this range by Aconyte Books, but I may have to look into some of their other novels in the future. The quality is solid and it feels like it’s own things vs a cheap tie in you’d see with other licensed novels.