I’m a huge fan of graphic novels and Aster
of Pan was a fresh indie comic with gorgeous illustrations. Merwan built an interesting post-apocalyptic world where the citizens of Pan struggle to survive with limited resources and radiation poisoning the land. Aster, the title character, is “un-Pan”, born outside the territory and not granted citizenship or rations as dictated by Pan laws. When an armed delegation from the distant territory of Fortuna arrives on Pan’s shores with an ultimatum, the fate of Pan and its citizens rests in a form of ritual combat that basically amounts to dodgeball.
Unfortunately, that’s where the story kind of lost me. In general I’m not a sports fan and it just seemed exceedingly silly for the fate of an entire nation to be decided by a ball game. I was drawn in my the world of Pan and the ways the different territories survived and rebuilt after cataclysmic disaster and I would have preferred to see more of a focus on the survivors and the political/social structures of Pan, Fortuna and Ceres. In addition, Aster being preternaturally skilled at this ball game when she’d never even heard of it or practiced before the initial match was a bit too much of a stretch for me.
Overall, I really liked the art and it was worth the read just for the illustrations.
Thank you NetGalley and Magnetic Press for providing me with an eARC of this book for review.