There is a sensitivity and maturity that Ellis has chosen not to reveal until now. Maybe his novel writing experience has changed his creative direction. There is no gross-out humour, in your face politics, or shock and awe of titles such as The Authority or Nextwave. This new string to Ellis’s bow is both unexpected and well received.
Visually this is also an incredibly mature work. Eschewing the digital and the neon this book feels hand drawn and very old school European in texture. You can see the pencil lines and this organic method of creation makes the characters feel much more real and human. The palette is pastel throughout and large blocks of limited tones give a very twilight feel as if the whole work takes place in the golden hour of daylight.
This is the rightful successor to Freakangels, Ellis’s other masterpiece in glacial storytelling. There is a large and global cast that is handled with aplomb and we cut between them expertly. You can feel the weight of research that has gone into this book and the slow worldbuilding creates a proper foundation for what promises to come. The world is ours but one step removed. Not near future, more a jump to the left – with more robots.
You wouldn’t think this was an Ellis book if you didn’t see his name on the title, but the occult references and political astuteness give it away.
Double Thumbs Up!