Monday, 1 January 2018

#CBR10 Book 1: "Saga, vol 8" by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Page count: 152 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Every new volume of Saga that comes out is a little event in my life, and it feels like the wait between each one is interminable. Since we'd already had one volume out in 2017, Saga, Vol. 7, I was not expecting another one, certainly not just before New Year's. Going back and checking, the last volume came out in April. I knew it had to be fairly early in the year, as I was heartbroken enough by the end of that volume, I'm not sure I could have handled it considering my current physical state (I'm trying to be super non-spoilery here, people, I hope you appreciate it).

Anyways, post-Christmas surprise Saga. When I saw it being reviewed by some of my friends in my Goodreads feed, at first I thought they'd somehow been lucky enough to score an ARC or something. Are there ARCs to be had? Who do I plead with/cajole/threaten to get my hands on them? But no, I checked the release date and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was actually officially out! I immediately rushed to my local fantasy/sci-fi/everything nerd-related-shop in the centre of Oslo, only to be told by a sympathetic sales clerk that sadly, all their volumes of the new trade were boxed up in the store room, and the guy in charge of comics was currently off sick. She was just as eager to get her hands on it as I was. Somewhat taken aback, I made her reserve me a copy (not that I really thought they'd sell out, but you can never be too careful) and had to leave the store empty-handed.

So I only actually got my hands on this trade the day before yesterday, and didn't have time to read it until today, the last day of 2017. Saga will famously wreak havoc with my emotions. If one volume makes me happy, the next one will break my heart. Since volume 7 was pretty damn heart-breaking, I was hoping that this would be a more uplifting installment and I felt a lot more happy and hopeful after finishing it.

I really don't want to go into very specific details about the plot, as the book has been out for less than a week, and there are a lot of people who could be spoiled if I do. Suffice to say, this volume deals with the aftermath of the very sad events at the end of volume 7. Alana, Marko and their little family are at a planet that looks like the sci-fi version of Red Dead Redemption. As Hazel is older now and has a greater understanding of the losses she's suffered throughout her short life. She has a lot of questions, and like all children, doesn't always understand what it is polite to ask about or when to pose these questions. Petrichor, one of their new travel companions, continues to be a delightful addition to the little group and I hope she sticks around for a long time.

As well as catching us up on our main gang, there's an issue where we see more of what the Will is up to (sadly, I think Lying Cat is in only three panels - a travesty!) and we also check in on Ghüs, the little seal creature. The ending of this volume suggests a pretty big change in the narrative going forward, and I, for one, am very eager to see where the journey takes us next. If we could maybe get a volume or two now where I don't cry bitter tears at the end, that would be awesome.

Judging a book by its cover: I said the book is set in an Old West style planet, but it has a distinctly sci-fi twist. As you can see, the horses are more like colourful zebras, but Alana makes a pretty awesome cow-girl. The previous volume had our protagonists clearly involved in battle, you can tell that the environment is calmer and somewhat less directly dangerous from the more gentle feel of this cover. Huge shout-out once again to Fiona Staples for her amazing art.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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