Imagining that Juliet came from Star Wars and Romeo from Grimm's Fairy Tales might get close to nailing the genre mashup delight of this interplanetary romance. The high-tech Landfall Coalition runs an endless war with the magic-making folks from Wreath, a moon of Landfall. When dark-skinned Landfallian soldier Alana (who has wings) is assigned to guard Wreathean prisoner Marko (who has horns), they swap the chains of captivity for chains of love and escape together to birth their daughter. So now everyone wants them dead: the Landfallians, the Wreathian High Command, and more, including the Robot Kingdom's Prince Robot IV, the humanoid spidery creature known as The Stalk, and a morally flexible human known as The Will. The far-fetched world building paired with marvelous characterization and an underlying theme of parenthood under fire elevate this above your average space opera. Vaughan's plotting and dialog are top notch, and so is Staples's inventive painted art. VERDICT This addictive adult read will be gobbled up by fans of cosmic sci-fi and fantasy dramas. Plenty of adult language plus frank sexual content take this out of the teen area.--M.C.[Page 79]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Eisner-winner Vaughan (Y the Last Man) teams up with veteran illustrator Staples (North 40) in the epic, galaxy-spanning war story of a star-crossed couple protecting their infant daughter. The story opens with the narrator's birth, in the middle of a machine shop on a war-torn planet. Her parents, Alana, a winged soldier from the planet Landfall, and Marko, a horned former prisoner of war from Landfall's moon, have been on the run from both of their militaries. Betrayed, the family is almost murdered just as it forms; sheer luck gives Marko, Alana, and their daughter a chance to brave the wilds and make their way into the galaxy. Vaughan's witty dialogue is laced with universal commonalities--the sharp fingernails of babies, burping techniques, love--that ground the alien nature of the characters and heighten the sense that the war between planet and moon and the hatred between enemies is tragically pointless. Staples's character designs are fantastic--even the weirdest aliens reveal human emotion--and her two-page spreads, whether of battle or of tree-grown rocket ships, are glorious. This is a completely addictive, human story that will leave readers desperately awaiting the next volume. For mature readers. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC