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Rachel Rising vol 2: Fear No Malus

Rachel Rising vol 2: Fear No Malus back

Terry Moore


Page 45 Review by Stephen

“Ah, I’m sorry to bother you. I’m Detective Corpell, Manson P.D.. Is this a bad time?”
“Yes. But, that’s not your fault.”

Beautiful, haunting and irresistibly alluring, this will confound your expectations time after time. Along with FATALE and SAGA it’s one of my favourite series in many full moons, and I would honestly submit that if you are currently captivated by any one of those three, then you desperately need the others.

Rachel has risen from her grave. She was buried under a dried-up river bed not far from her home in the sleepy town of Manson. Since then she’s been pushed off a roof so high above the pavement that she caved in the car top below her. She died. Again. So did the woman who knocked her off, but they’re both back on their feet and none the worse for wear. Meanwhile another blonde woman has been circling the town purposefully and a ten-year-old called Zoe has turned into a serial killer. Towards the end of RACHEL RISING VOL 1: THE SHADOW OF DEATH Rachel, her best friend Jet and the pragmatic Aunt Johnny picked Zoe up. They probably shouldn’t have done that.

“What’s wrong?”
“When we left the house on Sunday, we were in an accident.”
“Oh dear.”
“Jet was killed. Johnny’s in the hospital.”
“Oh no!”
“The thing is, Jet woke up this morning at the mortuary.”
“She’s alive?”
“No. She’s asking for you.”

This script is faultless, with beat-perfect timing. Terry Moore can wring comedy from the most unlikely scenarios as fans of his STRANGERS IN PARADISE know well. In the mortuary, for example, after Dr. Siemen and technician Earl have stitched and bolted together Jet’s virtually bisected body, Rachel holds the indignant Jet upright, cradling her broken neck both in front and behind like a ventriloquist and her doll while Dr. Siemens gives his divine diagnosis.

“You’re not zombies at all. Zombies are sad, empty shells. You girls are most certainly dead – but you’re also most certainly alive. Don’t you see? You’re angels!”
“>snort< Like I haven’t heard that line in every bar I played.”
“Dr. Siemen, your whole angel thing is just so… I mean… It’s like what you wish was happening but, it doesn’t fit. I’m not an angel, and Jet is the farthest thing from an angel I can imagine.”
“Screw you.”

Jet in particular is a goldmine of deadpan, pithy rejoinders. She and Rachel make for the perfect tag team of intimate friendship born of frank understanding, which makes what follows all the more horrifying.

There is a reason, you see, why Manson’s dead won’t stay buried. It goes back three-hundred years to the last time that river ever saw water course over its muddy bed, and this innocent generation of individuals who care about one another is about to pay the price for another which didn’t. Worse still, there is a reason why ten-year-old Zoe is compelled to take lives, and that goes back further, to an age-old animosity between two parties whose ambitions are far, far broader than one culpable town in the middle of nowhere.

Rachel and Jet are about to find out the hard way exactly what that entails.

And the ground gives up its dead…