Orphan Black Helsinki by by Graeme Manson, John Fawcett, Heli Kennedy, Denton J. Tipton

Fans of the series will likely enjoy this tale of the Helsinki clones. For me, the lack of attention to detail, rather incoherent story and lack of a really strong story arc left a very flat experience. Orphan Black Helsinki isn’t terrible but it struck too many disenfranchising wrong notes to be a really good title.

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Story: A clone in Tapiola, Finland becomes aware and tracks down her ‘sisters’. As Veera travels to find the other clones, she makes a good friend in one but not all will come on board that there is a very real and present danger. Until one of them dies.

It likely won’t matter to those who aren’t Finnish, but clearly the artist either visited very quickly or was using post cards to draw the Helsinki city and suburbs. Ironically, I have lived in the City (Tapiola) in which this story takes places and it nor the people bear ANY resemblance to the Finnish City. Stupid things like non Finnish storm drains in the streets, cars having the wrong license number sequences, houses and schools looking like someone stuck North America into Finland, etc. all bothered greatly. Imagine someone from Finland drawing an Orphan Black New York and putting a Chrysler Building in there for flavor and then showing a suburb in queens populated with WWII era log houses (rintamamiestalo) so prevalent in Finland. It’d look stupid to you, right? But it is more than that – from a school with the wrong naming conventions to very unFinnish mores; clearly, this was written/illustrated by individuals who grew up in North America, not Finland. Heck, even the character Veera’s dossier listed her in Helsinki – when she was actually in Espoo – a completely different City.

Similarly, the characters were so North American as to be ridiculous. From the wild parties to the almost California-like party atmosphere. The way they handled situations and each other were very North American and not Finnish. So sure, it’s not going to bother anyone outside of North America but it is just so sloppy and unprofessional not to research the story/art better.

The story doesn’t resolve and ends rather abruptly. Although not listed, this likely was meant to continue/will continue further since were get very little in the way of point or resolution. The writing is admittedly somewhat shallow and the art is serviceable, details aside. So those invested in the series will likely enjoy Orphan Black Helsinki. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, graphic novel, urban fantasy, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

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