Boom! Studios 2019
By Maria Llovet
Lettered by Andworld Design
Translated by Andrea Rosenberg
After a thrilling encounter with Donatien, Eva finds herself becoming more interested in his macabre tastes. As the murderer draws her deeper into his world, what parts of herself is Eva willing to give up to get closer… and will she miss them when she’s done?
Honestly I am not sure how something can be so hauntingly beautiful and completely morbid at the same time. Eva is a young girl who grew up poor alongside her two best friends who were anything but. One discarded her as she got older the other never noticing her unrequited love. Now did she harbour this dark secret desire for the darker things or was it that she saw what Donatien had done and that fuelled her morbid curiosity? As her attention towards him didn't start until she saw her former friend dead in his arms and yet now she pushes Mack away from her knowing that she has the power to ease his pain. This is as dark and twisted a teenage telenovela if there ever was one.
I have the utmost respect for Maria, not only because she's writing and illustrating this but because of the way her mind works. I feel like I am caught up in this teenage girls fantasy and she isn't even aware of what her feelings even are. It is this crazy, mystifying and enthralling tale of Eva trying to find herself. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. I like how we see these events and how each of the characters have their own agenda oblivious to those around them. The character development we see here are is phenomenal and the only one whom we are still left wanting to see more of or about is Donatien. The pacing is great and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way help to create a fabulous ebb & flow.
I am so engaged in this book and in ways I was not expecting. While Mack is looking at an old picture I see siblings alright just not the ones that are. So that Maria manages to really get the reader involved in this book beyond that which we expect just reinforces how well layered and complex that this book really is. That this is more than simply a pretty package and so much depth to it is one of those rare things that captures you mind, body and soul.
The interiors here are absolutely lovely. The fashions that we see are phenomenal and honestly I want that jacket Mack is wearing. The overall imagery of what we see here and the fact that these boys are incredibly androgynous is shockingly appropriate. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights being utilised to bring about the attention to detail that we see so gorgeous. How the backgrounds are utilised and how we see them utilised in the composition within the panels show depth perception, scale and an overall sense of size and scope to the book. I am in love with everything we are seeing here and the library the fashions even the sex scenes of budding adolescents all have this really beautiful, sensual quality to it that's rather quite astonishing. The colour work too adds this air to the story as well that I appreciate. Nothing is bold nor bright but everything here has this whole muted feel that is marvellous.
The way that this story keeps moving forward and keeps the reader involved, invested and engaged raises the bar on storytelling.