Trees Volume 1

By Ellis & HowardTrees_1
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 97816321527017

This is a tale of an alien invasion with a twist. Ten years ago they arrived and stand like gargantuan trees dominating the horizon for miles and miles around. They don’t interact with us, don’t move, and appear to treat us as insignificant specks unworthy of their attention. They have an impact on the environment around them, have disrupted and displaced millions, and yet seem to have no interest in us at all.

The story is broken down into multiple threads from around the world, seeing how individuals, groups and countries are coping with this new world order, from Italy to China, from Manhattan to Svalbard. The human dramas play out beneath the humungous shadows of the trees, but only one of the groups we get to follow is doing anything approaching understanding what the alien visitors are doing, and what one particular individual discovers suggests that the humanity shouldn’t be as complacent as it has become.

Warren Ellis is brilliant at these sort of tales, taking a concept and pushing it forward several steps, so as a reader you’re never really sure where he’s going to take you next. An alien invasion that doesn’t involve little green men and ray guns seems a far more likely scenario when they’re advanced enough to travel between stars, but most such stories are told from our perspective and expectations so we get simulacrums of countries going to war rather than out-of-the-box thinking. In Trees we get good science-fiction, exploring a concept, unravelling the unexpected, and seeing how humanity copes.

I’m not familiar with Jason Howard’s work, but I liked it a lot in this book where he’s shaped believable characters operating in very different environments – the China segment is particularly good. He copes well with the scale of the characters’ personal moments right up to the mighty monolithic scale of the trees, with an equal fair for composition and expression.

Overall it’s a book that feels unique, refreshing and utterly interesting, and I look forward to exploring it through future volumes.

And if you liked that: Loads of great Warren Ellis books out there, but Planetary is certainly a good place to start

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply