Verdict: Author Philip Wilson has taken a tired old genre and breathed new life into it by giving what has been a male superhero fantasy to a female, and a desk-bound one at that.
In THE LIBRARIAN irony abounds. Author Philip Wilson takes the most desk-bound of professions, that of the librarian, and pits it against one of the most horrifying—the bent cop who is not only armed and dangerous, but who can also plant evidence on the victim after pistol-whipping them to the ground. But the playing field is not so un-level, for although Sarah is assaulted, framed and then imprisoned by corrupt cops, she discovers a talent for violence in the Social Darwinist world of the prison system.
This “discovery” is usually exclusive to male characters such as William Goldman’s desk jockey graduate student in MARATHON MAN, who, as the villains close in, displays as much talent for killing as his government assassin brother. And the real life version of such untapped marital skills is predominately male as well. Before the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant was an alcoholic mess who registered last at West Point and failed at several business ventures. However, once upon a horse with guns firing at him, he became a soldier extraordinaire.
Sarah is every bit as tough as the males who, upon being left for dead by the villains, begin knocking them off one by one (usually in increasingly creative ways) and she leaves a bloody trail that would not shame a Bronson. When Sarah triumphs over and then emerges out of prison such is her natural talent for wet-work that when her ex-Navy Seal lover seeks to “train her” he is in effect only honing skill already present.
Wilson has taken a tired old genre, still being beaten about in comics and films (even Zorro has to have a vengeful motive these days), and breathed new life into it by giving what has been a male superhero fantasy to a female, and a desk-bound one at that.
~Ron Capshaw for IndieReader