Bond's Lois Lane is a teen aged military brat, the daughter of an Army General. The family has moved around a lot and Lois may not have time to make friends and settle into a school routine, but she has excellent powers of detection and deduction, ideal for solving the mysteries that keep coming her way. Lois does have one "best friend" though, a boy she only knows as SmallvilleGuy, whom she met in a secure online chatroom.
In the first teaser short story, "A Real Work of Art," Lois is once again starting a new school and discovers that she has third period ART, but art is something she is really not good at. As she walks into the studio art room, she notices five students, but more importantly, the unframed museum quality paintings hanging on the wall. The teacher is a pretentious little man called Professor Jacques, and his teaching technique - imitate the painting masters because "originality is highly overrated."
But something about Professor Jacques and his imitated paintings doesn't sit right with Lois. She had just read an article about an art forger in one of her mother's magazines and her suspicions begin to climb, especially when she notices the same particular signature on the paintings in the school studio as the infamous art forger in the article used.
Downloading a cleverly designed phone app that does brushstroke analysis, Lois sneaks back into her classroom after school and activates the app. Waiting for the analysis, she follows Professor Jacques to the post office and discovers more evidence that he is exactly who Lois thinks he is. Is she right? Has Lois uncovered the whereabouts of a famous art forger? Or has she made a terrible mistake?
Trying her best to mind her own business, Lois can't help but try to make Mike understand that Sophie in no longer interested in him. Finally, Mike vows to help Sophie with their experiment the next day, but the smug look on his face when he says that makes Lois wonder what he is up to.
The next morning on the bus, Mike is carrying a bag containing a mysterious device and with the logo of the Atomic Heights National Laboratory on it. He's nervous and sweaty, but won't let Lois see what's in the bag, just claims that it's a big surprise for Sophie.
Suspicious, Lois sends a text message to SmallvilleGuy telling him about Mike's mysterious device. Trouble is, however, that the device is a mystery to Mike, too. All he knows is that is will cause a reaction, one that people have been trying to do for a long time. So when Mike enters the code to start the device, Lois notices some hazard signals light up on it.
Questioning Mike, she learns his father is a nuclear scientist. Suspecting she needs to evacuate the class, and maybe the whole school, Lois decides to make an explosion of her own. But will it work in time?
Most of us know Lois Lane as the female reporter for The Daily Planet. But Bond has imagined a younger Lois, and a smarter, more independent person than the character we are accustomed to from comic books, TV, and movies. But trouble still manages to find her, just like her adult counterpart, so there's always excitement in Lois's life. I really like this Lois Lane and I think that these two short stories are nice introductions to her. Both stories take place before Lois and the Lane family move to Metropolis, a move that they are hoping will be permanent.
The best part is that you can download, read and enjoy both of these short stories for free right HERE on Gwenda Bond's website.
Up next: my review of Lois Lane: Fallout, Gwenda Bond's first LL novel (and if you like it, you will be happy to know that the next book, Lois Lane: Double Down, will be out in May 2016.
These short stories are recommended for readers age 14+ though I think some savvy middle grade readers will enjoy them as well.
Both short stories were downloaded and are available to anyone who wants to read them.