Ythaq: No Escape

April 2, 2012 at 8:20 am (Reads) ()

Ythaq: No Escape by Christophe Arleston & Adrien Floch

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I picked this up from a discount table at a local comics shop, mostly because it was on sale, but also because the premise sounded pretty interesting, too.  Plus, this was apparently a big thing in France, where it was originally published, so I figured it was worth a shot.  But as I was reading the story, I remembered an important caveat that I tend to forget when retailers start a big discount sale: They’re not selling them at a loss because they’re selling so well to begin with.

To be fair, the premise is pretty interesting.  A spaceship crash-lands on a planet, whereupon the folks on it are forced to face the natives, who are by turns friendly, aggressive, and mysterious.  As the hostile natives force them out of the ship and into the terrain, the main, core characters — an odd mix of ship staff, military personnel, royal passengers, and an elemental —  find themselves drawn to a camp that begins to answer a lot of the questions as to why they and several other ships have crash-landed on the planet over the past several years.

This volume is the first in a larger series, but it’s also not the first in an even larger series using this same mix of characters.  I felt a  bit at a loss as it started, because I had a hard time following who the characters were and what their backgrounds signified, and it wasn’t until they were forced from the ship (about halfway through the novel) that I started to get a handle on them all.  There may have been too many characters on the page at a time for me to really follow them properly, because the final core was about six or seven characters, narrowed down from a lot of principle characters from a shipful of people.  But it seemed to take a while for the story to get going and keep me interested.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I felt disappointed at the big reveal at the end of the story.  The questions were all answered by then, and nothing felt forced, but I just didn’t really feel like it was all that satisfying.  Maybe as the story continues, it would seem more interesting, but it didn’t justify all that the characters had been through up to that moment.  But at the same time, I’m fairly curious to see where the story will go from there, so it’s hard to complain too much.  I’m just not sure if I’m curious enough to track down any other volumes in the series, even on clearance.

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