The Many Missteps of Dynamistress

RedemptionIn Reckoning, geneticist Dinah Geof-Craigs found a way to manipulate her DNA and acquire superpowers. But now in the second book of her expansive memoir, she was suffering from super self-esteem issues.

“I’m going through a bit of a crisis of confidence,” she admitted. “I’m questioning myself. All my past decisions. All my future plans. Everything.”

Dinah’s past was littered with heartbreak, familial drama, and countless missteps. Gaining superpowers was cool. But being a superhero made her mopey and neurotic. “I know it’s not wise to dwell on past mistakes,” she said. “But I just can’t help it.”

The only way to reconcile the past was to step fearlessly into the future. Everybody from Fred Flintstone to Steve Jobs knew that. And if Fred and Steve were still alive, they would undoubtedly counsel Dinah to do the same. You have to trust in something – whether it’s destiny, life, karma, Fruity Pebbles or whatever.

Dynamistress was still feeling the fallout from “the Nevada Incident,” a Fringe-like crisis detailed in the first volume of her autobiography. During this mission, officially classified as Project Echo, Dinah came face-to-face with her proxy from an alternative universe and caught a super virulent strain of cryptococcal meningitis. Worst of all, she killed an adversary in combat. And you know what they say: You never forget your first kill.

These ongoing issues dominate this somewhat disappointing sequel. Despite her therapist’s recommendation to focus on her good qualities and forgive her mistakes, Dinah was an obsessive navel-gazer who couldn’t let anything go. Her disposition was so relentlessly tiresome that her hairdresser finally barked at her: “Just man up, bitch!” Truly, it was time for Dynamistress to stop whining and take control of her life.

Unfortunately, Dinah’s path to inner peace isn’t a smooth ride. Her adventures are presented in an episodic and static manner. And, as a result, the details never quite coalesce into a satisfying reading experience. This could be a format problem. Or it could be an execution problem. Honestly, we don’t know.

The novel features some terrific stand-alone moments, however. The best one comes at the very end when Dinah diffuses a tense hostage situation. So, in a way, the author is ultimately able to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Good on him. But there remain nagging problems throughout the book that undermine Dinah’s journey of self-discovery. Maybe everything will get sorted out in the third and final volume in the series (Renaissance, coming soon). We’ve got our fingers crossed.

[Redemption / By Dinah Geof-Craigs and Vincent M. Wales / First Printing: April 2015 / ISBN: 9780974133768]

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