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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I'm Reading: Chew Volume 2

Back to catching up on my reviews of the books I finished, going on 2 months ago...

Last year I discovered the wonderful world of Chew.  I am not going to rehash the awesome back story to this series, just click through to see.  But know I liked this series enough to include it as the final entry in my PLA presentation.

As with most comics series, I wait until the hardbound compilations come out to read them.  So what I am reviewing here is the second 6 issues of the series gathered into The Omnivore Edition, Vol 2.

There is not much different to say from the last volume in terms of appeal (so go read that post if you need to), although I will say that the novelty of the dark fantasy world Layman and Guillory have created has worn off, but I still enjoyed being immersed in it.  That says a lot because I was worried that without the novelty, this series might lose steam.

Like most second books in a series, while the first is mostly set-up, world building, and character development, this second compendium is all about moving the plot forward.  Readers of this blog know I prefer character development to plot advancement, but as a veteran reader, I know I have to get a more plot heavy second volume before I can get more character development in the third installment, so I am willing to wait.

The big change here in Volume 2 is that we meet quite a bit more of Tony' family, in a hilarious Thanksgiving dinner scene.  Especially interesting, we meet his daughter, who as the compendium closes seems to become the key to the advancement of the story.

Tony's twin sister was also a nice addition, especially since she is offered as a contrast to Tony.  Her work with NASA is utilized with the introduction of an alien story line [a turn which I am currently taking a wait and see approach on].

Finally, as you can tell from the cover, we also have the return of Tony's mentor and fellow cibopath Mason Savoy, who went rogue and AWOL in Volume 1.  Savoy's story is told from his pov.  So we have a regular double pov for the first time in this series.  This is also a story arc I am anxious to follow in the 3rd compendium.

I should say that the dark humor and thought provoking near future dystopian setting are still key here.  And the series is still not for the weak stomached.  The quirky characters are original, fun, and definitely add to the story.  And the art is still gorgeous.

This is a series to keep following.  It is perfect for an audience 13 and up, with adults getting a bit more out of the political and social observations than teens.

Three Words That Describe This Book: near future dystopia, eccentric characters, dark humor

Readalikes:  Again, click here for my past suggestions; I had quite a few options.

If you liked the near future dystopian angle, I would also suggest Flashback by Dan Simmons (which I am listening too right now and is also "not quite horror").  In fact, Dan Simmons in general would be a good readalike option.

Other novelists I would suggest for fans of Chew are Cory Doctorow or China Mieville.

In graphic novelists I didn't mention before, I would also suggest Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Brian K. Vaughan.

1 comment:

Emilyn said...

Such a great series. Can't wait for vol. 5 to come out.