Thursday, 19 June 2014

Rachel Rising 2: Fear No Malus Review (Terry Moore)

Set in the small American town of Manson, Rachel has risen from the dead after mysteriously being killed. But there’s more – her best friend, Jet, recently “killed” is also back, and still more of the town’s residents who died violently in the first book have returned as well. Plus there’s a creepy pale woman stalking an 11 year old girl called Zoe who’s murdering people for some reason. What the hell is going on!?! Well, the second volume unexpectedly tells you everything!

I can’t remember another series that set up mysteries in the first volume and then uncovered ALL of them by the second! It’s surprising as most multi-volume titles like to tease out answers over time but with Rachel Rising, Terry Moore provides instant gratification - and yet I’m not sure that that was the best move.

The pacing is a little off here because of so many info dumps from the characters as they make lengthy speeches explaining who they really are and what they’re after. And while it is nice to know what’s going on, the mystery added extra spice to the mix – without it, the story loses a dimension and feels less exciting.

With the pretty supernatural female leads, Rachel, Lilith and Jet, the series is starting to feel a bit like Buffy, especially as the town, following the revelations of celestial doom and magic, is starting to resemble the Hellmouth, Sunnydale. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but the story seems less original as a result.

The strong character work, superb art and layouts still make the series worth reading but by showing too much of what’s happening, Moore’s nailed down readers’ expectations rather than allowing them to soar. But I did love that scene where the graves vomit out corpses into the sky to form a giant pentagram – never seen that before in a comic!

Rachel Rising is still a good series even if Moore may have tipped his hand a bit too early, though with all the exposition out of the way, hopefully the series will regain its more streamlined style of storytelling.

Rachel Rising 2: Fear No Malus

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