Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story (2016)

In a dystopian future on a remote colonized moon, reporter Croger Babb finds the 42-year-old journal of Maia Reveron, the overlooked cousin of the recently deposed rebel leader cum dictator Arthur McBride. When Arthur and Maia were caught living on their own, Arthur killed two soldiers and ordered Maia to finish the third. As Babb learns of Maia’s take on the events that eventually put McBride on top, he starts asking questions about a woman wiped from the records, and someone starts to notice.

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The structure of the two story lines unfold beautifully, with the journalist in the present and the cousins in the past both running away from something. Maia and Arthur both wanted freedom; but Maia was willing to try and make it work with hard work and perseverance, whereas Arthur believed in total revolution, and he would stop at nothing to promote himself politically or spin a tragedy to aid his cause. In other words, I like the characters, how they play off each other, and how they fit within this gritty propaganda-filled colony, including the non-fiction essays that finish off the issue. Together with the muted coloring and scratchy illustrations, the mood is perfect.

The pacing is a little slow in some places while Babb researches and Maia takes up bee-keeping, during which I would prefer some explanation about this world and its history. What was the newly deposed Mallory regime? What’s the structure of the old or new governments? Who were the oppressors Arthur and Maia rebelled against? As the issue is the first in a series I assume these questions will eventually be answered.

Recommended for fans of investigative thrillers with a little scifi thrown into the mix!

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