Sunday, 28 June 2015

Alex + Ada, Volume 3 Review (Sarah Vaughn, Jonathan Luna)

It’s the near future. Alex is a lonely human man. Ada is a human-like robot bought to keep Alex company. Ada becomes sentient after Alex gets some hackers to “unlock” her - but this is against the law. Alex + Ada must keep their taboo relationship a secret or Alex will go to jail and Ada will be… deleted. 

In this third and final volume, events conspire against our star-crossed lovers and they must flee the authorities. Is this the end for the couple - or will love prevail? 

I did like the conclusion to this sweet and involving series but I felt a lot of it was both predictable and repetitive. For example, the events of the second book where Ada’s accosted by the authorities plays out again here, as does the stiffness of Alex’s human friends being around the couple. There’s more anti-robot stuff in the news, mirroring the recent battles for gay marriage and older civil rights cases, and you can pretty much guess how it all ends (particularly with that opening dream scene), though I’m glad that’s how it finished. 

It’s a bit like Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna did such a great job setting up the story, that you could see how it would play out without them having to tell you because of course that’s how it’d go. There aren’t many surprises though it’s pleasant to see everything unfolding, and I really loved reading about these two characters’ burgeoning relationship. 

I’ve always viewed Alex + Ada as a romance story more than sci-fi though it asks some interesting questions on what is life, sentience, and reality. When does a creation like Ada start being treated as equally as a human and who are we to say whether or not her rights are less than ours? I know I liked Alex’s housebot, Otto, far more than most of the human characters and he wasn’t even sentient! 

Luna’s art is wonderfully high quality as it has been throughout the series with crisp, clear lines and convincingly futuristic designs. But he doesn’t draw many new things that readers haven’t already seen from earlier books. Still great though and that action sequence is awesome! 

After the second book I thought I could read many more in the series and was disappointed to see it ending at 15 issues; having read this final volume, I’d say Vaughn and Luna got the length just right. Volume 3 ends the series in a satisfying way and that’s the best you can expect from a final volume. 

I’m not a romance guy but this title totally won me over - check it out if you haven’t already, it’s definitely one of Image’s best titles of the last couple years. Farewell, Alex + Ada - all you need is (robot) love!

Alex + Ada, Volume 3

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