By Pellé & Runberg
This isn’t the only sci-fi book that Cinebook produces, and it’s certainly not the only one with male and female protagonists who happen to be agents of an intergalactic body. However, it is the newer kid on the block and it doesn’t have the added bonus of a multi-milion pound movie and all the attention that brings, so what this book needs to do is carve its own niche if it’s going to get noticed. And seven volumes in, it’s doing a pretty good job of it.
Caleb and Mezoke have been joined by Caleb’s wilful and arguably dangerous sister, Kristina, but they’re in a tight corner and have been persuaded by her to attempt a raid on a Nakruid’s nest to steal the placental cocoons of their offspring. Living in giant colonies, these massive social insects are as protective of their young and their homes as any terrestrial hive species, but their size and numbers make them an oppressive and highly dangerous foe that nobody to date has managed to best, despite the rumours that the placental cocoons offer huge longevity to life. Kristina thinks she has a way around this and foolishly the rest of the crew go along with it. However, Kristina hasn’t been as honest as she could have been about the raid, and things don’t go well.
Meanwhile, Nueronomes have settled across inhabited planets across the system, drawing ammonia into themselves but remaining otherwise inert. The people of many worlds are worried and fearful, but there’s little that can be done against such power, as proved when one becomes active. And then there’s Angus, the youngest of the Nueronomes and he’s now behaving oddly too. Is this organised aggression, or something else?
Caleb, Myzoke and Kristina make their way to Tetsuam, an interstellar space station of enormous size catering to the galaxy’s underbelly, and somewhere they can offload their placental cocoons for a huge profit, but unfortunately that invokes other problems. And it hasn’t been forgotten that Caleb only recently had a direct connection to a Nueromone, so he’s suddenly of great interest as a potential answer to the problem facing so many lives.
Serge Pellé’s cityscapes, spacecraft and alien designs are excellent, often using a limited or carefully considered colour palette to create the mood or atmosphere that helps underscore what’s happening in the script. A double page spread featuring the second-deadly Nueronome death is a fine example of this – a brutal and horrific act of death and destruction on a massive scale handled in widescreen panels to great effect. And I really do like his alien creatures.
Come on, it’s not too late to jump on board, and previous volumes are all available from cinebook.com.
And if you liked that: Volume 8 coming soon