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Dark Horse

Dragon Age (Vol. 2): Those Who Speak

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Gaider, David, Alexander Freed, and Chad Hardin. Dragon Age (Vol. 2): Those Who Speak. 2013.

The adventures of Alistair, Isabela, and Varric continue in this volume. They have traveled to Tevinter in search of Magister Aurelian Titus, who they’ve learned has kidnapped Alistair’s father. They confront him at a ball, but he escapes. They do manage to discover the location of his hideout, and set out at once. Isabela’s ship is chased and run aboard by Qunari forces, who capture them and take them to their island home. It is there that Alistair meets an old friend he never expected to see again, and asks for help in rescuing King Maric. It is here also, in a deep, dark dungeon, that Isabela – the mysterious, fierce pirate – must confront her past if she is to escape.

I really liked the art in this one. There were a lot of flashback sequences and the color palette changed accordingly to each one; very nicely done. It was also really nice to learn more about Isabela, though some of the decisions she made gave me chills. Everyone was kept wonderfully in character. I can’t wait to get to the next part!

– Kathleen

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ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times

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MacLean, Andrew. ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times. 2015.

The tagline “A sci-fi epic about a postapocalyptic life…and cat ownership” guaranteed I was going to like this book! Wrong.

I picked up this slim graphic novel on a whim, for I liked the front cover, and I’m a sucker for cute cats. Aria is a young woman alone in a post apocalypse world, traveling with her cat Jelly Beans and singing opera while trying to reanimate a giant mechanical man, all while trying to evade two warring primitive tribes. While originally she seemed peace loving, the tribes get their butts kicked when they dare mess with her picking apples. Her mission becomes more clear later on, as she searches for a power source that will restart the photon grid that will return her to the mother ship and fulfill her duty. If only those pesky tribes would stop trying to attack her and her cat! Unfortunately, the story did not seem fully realized due to it’s thin plot. While at first it seems as if Aria is on Earth, the tribes look alien like, and while that is explained at the end, it is off putting.

There is a bit of double meaning in the story for aria means “self-contained piece for one voice”, and the character of Aria is alone; plus the author wrote, illustrated and inked this graphic novel all by himself. The coloring throughout is minimalistic and the art is cleanly drawn, with a good eye to detail. I will check out more work of MacLean’s in the future, for I liked the look of his artwork. Plus Jelly Beans. I loved me some Jelly Beans.

-Nancy

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