One of the better series Europe Comics have managed to get my attention with in recent years, this is the third of four parallel Book Ones – for prior discussion of how the series of five books came birthed from a different arrangement of five books, please click on reviews linked below to earlier thoughts. Here once again we're meeting someone who will potentially be key when a computer game master tries to do what he says he can – warp and move through time just as in the game – to go back a few years to before a deadly virus killed everyone except French people in their later teens.
The person concerned is Stephane, and we seem to meet up with her in Lyon too recently after the pandemic for the main problems to have started – the gangs besieging blocks like hers, the army control, and so on. She's still occupying her father's apartment, even if it seems obvious that he's been taken away to do his virology work for the new people in charge, and hopefully taken his ex-wife and Stephane's sibling to safety with him. What Stephane's story involves is action-packed, and quite dark, at times, as befitting the teen reads of the prose originals, but at the same time tending towards the slushy and 'which boy is the one?' kind of ideas.
That said the whole world of this series is opened out even further – Brittany gets a mention after being heavily involved last time; we learn more of the military presence and their thinking; and we begin to get the feel there will be a heck of a lot more than just the titular foursome at the meeting with the time traveller. And when we still have no idea how cockamamie the presence of the game will ultimately be in the final book, this third step towards it is still rather relishable.
Jules - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4687225621
Koridwen - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4760034939#
U4 - Stephane by Pierre-Paul Renders and Denis Lapiere, art by Adrian Huelva
Publication date: April 27, 2022 (French)
Date read: December 26, 2022
Before the virus, Stéphane led the quiet life of a bourgeois student in Lyon with her father, an eminent epidemiologist. The U4 pandemic wiped out the entire population, with the exception of teenagers, in ten days. But Stéphane has one conviction: his father survived, protected by the army, and he is looking for a solution to the pandemic. Rather than join the R-Point where the majority of the young people are organized, under the supervision of the few surviving soldiers, she prefers to stay alone in the apartment to wait for her father's return... It is a risky choice: creeping anarchy progresses and gradually plunges Lyon into chaos... Stéphane does not believe in this strange appointment in Paris for the expert players of Warriors of Time, but the circumstances may make her change her mind...
There are four volumes of this comic - Jules, Koridwen, Stephane, and Yannis - that can be read in any order. The conclusion - supposedly called Khronos - should be read only after reading the first four. *I say “supposedly”, because it looks like it was called Contagion in the French release…
I’m really enjoying this series, and can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the end. I like how each story loosely goes together, seeing the main characters from the other volumes pop up briefly in other issues; fun to see scenes played out from two different points of view.
I rated this book a little lower than the previous two that I’ve read - Jules and Koridwen - because I just wasn’t quite as invested in her storyline, but it was still interesting and well-written and illustrated. Stephane just was a little more isolated and less connected to the main pandemic storyline through a lot of this volume, and I was anxious to get back to the action.
Overall, this was still a fun addition to the series, and I think anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic comics will really enjoy this series.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Content warnings: nudity, pandemic, attempted sexual assault, murder, killing of animals, police brutality
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book.
I like this book overall, but I feel like it wasn’t really unique. Didn’t have a specific spin on things and the characters didn’t really pull off the page for me so I’m writing this a three because I would read more of the series, but I think I need to get more into the characters and the story and the plot to be able to fill like this as a higher star rating for me
A fresh take on a pandemic where teens are the only survivors. Somehow, a handful of adults are immune. Daughter of a famous virologist needs to seperate fact from fiction to know who she can actually trust and to stay alive. On line gamers may have the answer. They just need to meet at the rendezvous which the army desperately wants to discover. There are still classic takes: army might be evil, tyranny on the streets, round up survivors with pretense of being for their own good.
Looking forward to reading parallel stories.
*Opening page has unnecessary nudity that may prevent from being added to a school library.
A dystopian comic series about a virus epidemic. This is a five-part comic series; the first 4 comics are parallel stories that can be read in any order. This is the third I’ve read of the series. (TW mentions of rape)
This instalment of the story focuses on Stéphane but Yannis is also quite involved in this. This one shows us a lot more of the politics and the army’s operation as Stéphane’s father is a researcher. This is quite violent and graphic with a lot of animal death and a scene where a gang of boys chase her in attempts to rape her.
Stéphane experiences a lot of loss and grief in this instalment and she also becomes temporarily paralysed as a psychosomatic symptom of her grief. Although I enjoyed learning more about the politics and the military operation, this was my least favourite so far.
Representation - Black (Yannis); Fat (Ahmed); Refugees
TWs/CWs - Abandonment; Alcohol; Animal amputation; Animal Death; Animal excrement; Animal testing; Attempted rape; Blood; Cheating; Corpse; Cussing; Death; Drowning; Fire/Fire injury; Gangs; Gang violence; Guns; Gun violence; Murder; Neglect; Nudity; Police brutality; Sex (off page); Sexual attack; Sexual Harrassment; Smoking; Violence; Vomit