Wednesday, May 25, 2016


ApocalyptiGirl has pretty much everything I want in a sci-fi adventure: an interesting and compelling protagonist who is intelligent and resourceful, mech-suits, wasteland mutants, and a friendly/feral cat sidekick to round things out. The tale itself is one that seems familiar, a survivor (named Aria, and she sings opera to keep sane, just so you know) stranded on a devastated and hostile planet, trying to find a way home, but how it is executed here makes this book special.
Reading this book is like riding your favorite roller coaster: There are lots of twists and turns, plotwise, and even though some of them are pretty familiar, the story is still quite enjoyable. As you can see from the excerpt, the narrative quickly transitions from mundane moments to ones of great suspense and intrigue. The action sequences are tautly choreographed and build much tension. The artwork is dynamic, fun, and full of surprises. And although the story is familiar, it is well told and expertly crafted. I think it would be a big hit with adolescent readers especially.

This book is the creation of Andrew MacLean. I knew him from his work on the indie book Head Lopper, a barbarian story of course, and I know that he has been published in a number of comics anthologies. This is his debut graphic novel, and it is a sensational one. I found it instantly engrossing, well paced, and beautifully rendered, and I am looking forward to seeing his future projects.

All of the reviews I have read about this book are good, and many are glowing. Daniel Coleman wrote, "It’s a simple enough story that younger readers will be able to understand it, while still having enough nuance that older readers will get a little more from it." Chris Sims gushed, "I already knew going into this book that MacLean was great, but every page of Apocalyptigirl confirms that in a fantastic new way." Sam Roche echoed, "Every work he produces is brilliant and this spectacular graphic novel may be the best yet."

ApocalyptiGirl was published by Dark Horse, and they have a preview and more about this book here.

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