These days, it is hard to find a ‘generation ship’ story that doesn’t end the same way. And while this has the expected ‘twist’ we have seen so often, there are also some other surprises that make the end worth it. What sets this title apart is that it is about the people, not the situation: each person in the story is given time to develop and grow, be nuanced and have their own agendas. It can make for a slower read for those looking for a straight up adventure story; but those looking for an organic and well-thought out piece will be rewarded.
Story: At Outpost Zero, colonists have long been stranded in a biodome on a planet of ice. They have made the best of the situation – over generations some of the technology has been lost and they hope to eventually find evidence of life on the planet. 14 year old Alea is inquisitive and eager to follow in her explorer parents’ footsteps. Her friend Steven wonders about life in general. Other friend Mitchell is preparing to be a fighter for the games. Lyssa wants to be a healer/doctor and then there’s Sam – the weird kid and adopted son of the head of security. As a major destructive storm approaches and threatens to breach the dome, one of Alea’s friends suddenly commits suicide. In tracking down the reasons for what seems like a senseless act, she will uncover startling truths about the colony.
Thsi is a story you are in for the long haul – it is less about solving mysteries and more about each characters learning about themselves and their place in the world. And while we could have all predicted many of the aspects of the ending there were at least some interesting concepts along the way. While following 14 year olds may sound tedious, it makes sense for the story that they are that young. Fortunately, the adults aren’t really the enemies and behave in manners that make sense – protecting their children and also protecting the colony.
The illustration work is fine – I did have problems following the action/story at times but in all the characters were distinct enough that I could tell them apart. It is what I would expect from a sci fi story with decent paneling and emotive reactions. The coloring is clean and bright.
The story did run a bit long but it also had a lot to say. This felt more like a novel than a graphic novel in that regard: you get a full and nuanced story rather than something that flows too quickly and ends too soon. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by our publisher.