Book Reviews

Book Review: The Frame-Up (The Golden Arrow #1) by Meghan Scott Molin

Book Blurb:

By day she writes comic books. By night, she lives them.

MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.

But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?

When the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.

Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…

Published Dec. 2018 by 47North

Book Review:

I’m probably going into this review a teensy-weensy bit biased. Superheroes? Vigilantes? Murder?? Yeah, this is so right up my alley, it might as well have a giant flashing neon sign declaring this to be Eliza’s Alley.

It ticks off everything I love about nerd culture. The inclusion, the passion, the sense of self. All while not sugar-coating the bad (I am a girl, after all, and sad to say, I’ve been on the receiving end of some prejudice based on my gender). Using that culture as a backdrop to a mystery that left me turning pages long into the early morning hours, plus a sizzling romance that left me grinning and fist-pumping for MG? Frak yeah.

I loved how the culture itself became a sort of character that our cast interacted with. You’ve read books where the scene plays a part in the narrative? Like the Stanley Hotel in The Shinning or even the Enterprise in Star Trek? The fandom culture itself takes on a similar role here, affecting character interactions and advancing the plot. Which, I have to say, is beautifully done. Meghan Scott Molin does a brilliant job in exposing the nerd culture: the good, the bad, and the ugly, but in a way that leaves the reader wondering about their own personal fandoms and passions. Which, essentially, is what nerd culture is all about–following your dreams. It’s a wonderful homage to a culture I consider my own.

Not to mention the cast. MG, Lawrence, Matteo, Ryan–they all seem so real and wonderfully developed. There are flaws, strengths, quirks, and flavor to each person. So much so that I seriously considered trading up my friend group (sorry, guys!) in search of a similar troupe to adopt. Even the villain, when revealed, has motives that move beyond the black/white scope mysteries so often employ.

There are plenty of wonderful components to this novel (the humor, the voice, the plot) but I have to pick Molin’s familiar and obvious love of nerd culture and her characters as my top two favorite parts. And, pleasantly, I didn’t find anything seriously wanting in the story. Sure, some parts seemed a bit soap opera-y (everyone knew everyone, which seemed farfetched) but that only added to its unique charm. But given how utterly entranced I was in the narrative, I’m giving it a solid five out of five. There’s not a single thing I would change about this story. I love it in the very center of my nerd bones and you better believe I’ve already downloaded the second in the series!

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