Page 45 Review by Stephen
All around John, the clicks and ticks of new creatures.
Earth has changed since he last knew it. The old land is harsher, now. Unforgiving. Even the animals hes known have changed.
On the first evening he fights a domoeode wolfpack made more deadly by the cunning parasites that have bonded to them.
Other animals, new unknowns. His second morning awake: a hiber xull screams like a kitten as he pulls it out of a river, proving to be inedible once hes killed it. So he kills what he knows he can eat.
John Prophet has awoken after millions of years buried deep beneath the Earths surface. It is a world now entirely alien to him, and his physical resources are few. But he has his instincts, he has his wits and he has his skills along with dreams which tell him where he must go and when. The Jell City is a smell-based caste society, each with its own regions and roles. Most of what they gorge on is inedible to John his stomach, however enhanced, simply cant handle it but they also eat meet from the oonaka farm he surveyed days earlier, and that will have to do. So for weeks John Prophet bides his time, hiding in an organic pod within the city, venturing out when he can to reconnoitre and forage until he can meet his preordained contact and learn of his mission. Then finally, one day, his contact arrives with a somewhat insalubrious demand
Quietly riveting science fiction from Brandon Graham (KING CITY) and drawn by Simon Roy in a way that demands you linger over every detail just as John Prophet must too. And the details do reward: Id take a close inspection of that oonaka farm, if I were you! The creatures themselves are deliriously alien mutations which avoid all visual clichés, as does the language. Sci-fi nomenclature often makes me wince, but not here. Theres a keen sense of survivalism in the sparse tools at Johns disposal, and the second batch in Jell City proves highly imaginative. Far from overwritten in the third person singular, present tense, one forms an immediate bond with the dispassionate, observational author which is absolutely entrancing.
Johns mission, by the way, is a pretty tall order. Youll see what I mean when you get there. I wonder if John ever will.