The Luna Brothers’ new series is a dark adventure tale. Dara Brighton is a wheelchair-bound college student living a very normal life. One day, three strangers show up at her parents’ house while the family is sitting at dinner. These strangers are seeking a mysterious sword, which the father strenuously denies owning. Filled with intense anger, the strangers slaughter Dara’s family right before her eyes.
However, Dara’s father did indeed have a sword in the house. With the help of that sword (which her father had hidden), Dara escapes and undergoes an amazing journey to discover the truth and defeat the three attackers.
It’s all a little bit trite, but that also figures into the scheme of this book. There are echoes in the book of long-running battles, of angers and hatreds that have spanned thousands of years, and of long delayed revenge coming to fulfillment. Once again, the Luna Brothers deliver and intriguing hook for a story, and interestingly flawed main characters.
I found myself really liking Dara. She always seems to find herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she also seems remarkably human in her perceptions of everything that happens to her. Dara’s confusion, fear, and occasional euphoria are logical reactions to the bizarre incidents in which she finds herself enmeshed. If she did not react that way, she’d seem unrealistic.
I also enjoyed the way the Lunas present the news media as quick to assume that they have resolved the crime and quick to come to judgment of Dara. That depiction of the media also seems very realistic as it’s very easy to see echoes of Dara’s experiences in nearly any sensational crime that happens to cross the all-seeing eye of the cable news networks.
We also get a set of despicable evil-doers. The zeal to do evil is deep in the blood of these characters as they perform the slaughter of Dara’s family and feel no guilt, no remorse. They feel their actions are correct and justified, acts of retribution that allow them to gain honor and respect for their family.
The Luna Brothers’ customary flat art is well-used in this story. As they were in Girls, the Lunas are great at conveying emotions through facial expressions, and they are wonderful at having the story have the feel of everyday life. It’s easy to feel that story in this book could happen outside your window, in Anytown, USA–and that makes its events even scarier
The Luna Brothers have delivered the first chapter of yet another very intriguing series.