Wow- this is quite the rollercoaster, isn’t it?! For all those unfamiliar with this series, I’d describe it as Romeo and Juliet in space, with some family drama thrown in and plenty of epic battles… have I missed anything? Like I said, there’s *a lot* going on here- in the best possible way.
Now, I don’t expect this to be for everyone. While the artwork is distinct and striking, it is graphic at times. Sometimes I even found the violence bloodier than was necessary- but this will come down to personal taste- and I can’t argue with its inclusion because it certainly fits with the savage aspect of the story. Reading this is truly like entering another universe.
The design and fact the frame structure alone set up the epicness of the series. There’s certainly a lot of scope here- in time, space and cultures. For me, it’s had its ups and downs. I have personally enjoyed some volumes more than others. But when it’s good- it’s good. Often, I have found myself too absorbed to take notes. I really got into it by volume 3; by volume 4 I was gasping at the wild twists. Vaughan has taken the story in so many unexpected directions- despite the fact there’s plenty of foreshadowing, I truly have no idea where it’s going.
The characters are particularly well done. I adore Marko and Alana- their relationship is so compelling and I’ve been rooting for them the whole time. But it doesn’t just stop at the romance. The way the story is handled allows for so much character development. I found this especially the case in volume 5- which both pushed the characters to their limits and drove the plot on. I will say, there were times, such as in volume 6, I felt the narrative got a little side-tracked with its supporting cast. Yet even if the story sagged in some volumes, it always picked up with a dramatic twist or a new turn.
By volume 7 it had gotten *super emotional*. I mean, *oof* that one hit me in the *feels*. And that’s what this series does best: it delivers in each and every volume with the gut-wrenching finale. I have no idea how my heart has coped with this story so far- and how I’m gonna make it through to the end when it comes! This does not shy away from difficult topics.
Fair warning though, there’s quite a lot of ideological stuff in this series. Now, I personally don’t get too bogged down on that when a story is of such a high quality as this, but I know some people might have a problem with that. Still, there were aspects I really liked and nuggets of wisdom along the way- I particularly liked a lot of what Heist’s perspective in volume 3:
“The advice “kill your darlings” has been attributed to various authors across the galaxies… and Mister Heist hated them all. Why teach young writers to edit out whatever they feel most passionate about? Better to kill everything in their writing they DON’T love as much. Until only their darlings remain”
Ultimately, I’ve found this an engaging and unique series- it’s been well worth the read. My average rating (so far) is:
So, have you read this series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!