Squirrel Girl: Universe by Tristan Palmgren

Y’all know I’m all in for any Marvel superheroine named Doreen (even if I don’t like squirrels. Shocking, I know, but my brother and I have stories.)

Animal-animosity regardless, the best part of the Squirrel Girl titles has always been, for me, how Doreen Green’s positive attitude ensures that she truly is unbeatable. This novel does an amazing job of illustrating that despite being entirely prose, and I loved it so much.

We open in New York City, home to Squirrel Girl as well as her superpowered friends (and college classmates) Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boy, as strange things start happening to the city. Every supe is on high alert, but it’s SG and co (and their closest companions, including the adorable squirrel Tippy Toes, SG’s roommate Nancy and CH’s trigger-happy girlfriend Mary. Oh, and another superhero collegemate of theirs, Brain Drain) who figure out whodunnit and where first, and go to confront the bad guy. Trouble is, stopping him involves accidentally transporting themselves to an unknown alien planet.

After hitching a ride on a cosmic whale, they find themselves held captive aboard an abandoned spaceport turned holding facility, where their captors are working the prisoners for… poetry? Turns out that an impending war has increased the demand for heroic verse, and SG and friends are trapped in the middle. But you know SG! Despite being (rightfully) accused of being a meddlesome Earther, she decides that she needs to free the prisoners, stop the war and get her roommate home in time for the finals Nancy will not stop stressing about. All in a day’s work for the Unbeatable SG! Trouble is, will saving the universe mean sacrificing far more than she ever bargained for?

I did not expect this book to be as sci-fi as it was, but wow, did I enjoy the whip smart treatment Tristan Palmgren gave to both the science and arts discussions that permeated the novel. Whether it’s discussing orbital mechanics or the power of narrative, the book presents its arguments and theories rationally and clearly, with no attempts at grandeur or obfuscation. Better still, these concepts and their philosophical underpinnings are presented as a natural part of the unfolding story. As a polymath, I was greatly impressed by this.

And overall, it’s such a warm, witty story. While I personally don’t think SG should feel guilty about her choice in the end, I can see how someone as empathetic as she is would feel badly about it. This is an excellent SG novelization that fans of hers shouldn’t miss, and that anyone with an appreciation for quality sci-fi that isn’t afraid to grapple with bigger multidisciplinary ideas should check out, too.

Squirrel Girl: Universe by Tristan Palmgren was published August 16 2022 by Aconyte and is available from all good booksellers, including

Obligatory legalese: #Marvel #MarvelEnt #Aconytebooks #review. This book was given to me for an honest review.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL

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