Nothing up my sleeve, nothing on my mind . . .
This is a book that is a challenge to read, in the best kind of way. Tracking down the final act of a magician killed in his last show, several groups converge on a mystery that binds the world – and what comes after – together.
Andre Sirangelo has created a dense and fantastically intricate world that begs for multiple reads. This is a work that did not come easily to me, and the time I spent with it was as enthralling as it was exhausting. Utilizing a split-timeline narrative (Two starting points about 8 weeks apart, and both seem to flow concurrently until the narrative is knitted together in the final act.) adds another level to the mind bending that’s going on. There’s a subtle setup that’s laid throughout the beginning arc, and when the reveal comes, it floors you while turning in not only content, but aspect of narrative, too. If you’ve ever seen Paranoia Agent, you’ll be right at home.
The tone and mystery are exemplified within Gabriel Iumazark’s visual style. Reminiscent of FLCL (when it stays in one style for more than a minute), there’s sleight of hand throughout every panel, keeping you on your toes and making you draw deeper into each page. It’s the magician’s shift of focus that is keeping you so enthralled with their left hand that all of the tricks stay safely out of view.
This is a fun and epic read for anyone who enjoys a present-day-styled, cyberpunk-esque adventure. Anime and manga fans will feel right at home with the shifts and styling within, and anyone who loves a tight, meta-natural thriller will surely get a kick out of it.
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