Authorised Happiness 3

By Griffo & Van Hamme
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781849184496

In volumes 1 and 2 we were presented with a number of scenarios where the state had taken control of an aspect of our everyday lives, and how that ultimately could play out for the individual. Again and again, what could initially be presented as having the public’s best intentions at heart proved to be the crushing of an everyday freedom we all take for granted. Collectively they are harrowing, but at least they’re separate tales. Until you get to this book, that is.

Here we learn that all the stories are linked. Those individual freedoms that were curtailed? People were actually bearing the brunt of all of them. But to what end?  For Superintendent Carelli, his eyes are opened to a bigger conspiracy when he investigates a girl that shouldn’t exist. One realisation follows another, and, naturally, he ruffles the feathers of those who are unhappy that he’s prodding around. There’s a grand plan behind it all, and, unwittingly, he’s stumbling towards it.

Van Hamme’s gift for storytelling is in full flow here as he ties up all the tales in the previous two books. Remarkably, it was never the creator’s intention – they were to be stand-alone stories. And yet Van Hamme weaves them together to create a tale on a much grander scale. Although not apocalyptic, the story still resonates with its eroded freedoms, not least because of the insurrections and coups, and Government over-reach, that fill up the news. The characters in the book aren’t living in an ideal future but, then again, neither are we. You can’t help but wonder how many steps behind all this we are. 

Griffo excels himself by guiding us through multiple scenarios and a vast cast of characters without ever allowing us to lose our way. That’s no easy task. Together the creators deliver a shocking vision of the future and offer no promises it can be easily avoided. 

And if you liked that: Try Van Hamme’s XIII, also from Cinebook

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