Alone Vol 12: The Rebels Of Neosalem

By Gazzotti & Vehlmann 
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781800440234

The series has changed considerably since the early books. Presented initially as a post-apocalyptic world lacking in adults, what we actually got was something very different. It would even be fair to say that in the last few books the story has begun to groan under the weight of its world-building, with various new and existing characters to keep track of, strange forces to understand, and a wider mechanism behind it all to make sense of. 

Fortunately, the storytelling is character-driven. The writing respects the motivation and development of each character, never forgetting that, at heart, they are children. But, equally important is the clean, clear artwork of Gazzotti. It’s always obvious who everyone is and what they’re doing – something that some visual storytellers lose track of in the desire to produce flashier splash panels. There are some vehicle illustrations here that I’m just plain envious of – brilliantly done.

This book feels like a gradual change in the fortunes for our heroes. Up until now they’ve all been split up, captured, manipulated, and hurt in one way or another, but, individually they are taking matters into their own hands. The unfair and brutal class system is being challenged, resolves are hardening, and the balance of power is shifting. 

Alone entertains two generations in our house. Although my children were the target audience when the series began, they’re university age now and still enjoying it. That’s credit to Vehlmann’s writing, the pace of the storytelling, and the characters that live within it.

And if you liked that: Volume 13 is coming soon

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