Despite the simple narrative and unpolished art, this is entertaining stuff from an ambitious, energetic author/illustrator.



In Clark’s graphic-novel debut, superpowered teens protect the world and battle villains.

A vaccination saves humanity from an enigmatic virus—but at a cost. It also sparks supernatural abilities in people, like 19-year-old Enmanuel Summers and his younger sister, Autumn. While Enmanuel is capable of gravity manipulation, Autumn can manipulate molecules, allowing her to morph anything, including herself. The siblings use their powers for good, like stopping would-be robbers. Offering the occasional helping hand (and sword) is Lynnwood Flores, Enmanuel’s chum and Autumn’s boyfriend. Lynn has the “natural” ability—not derived from the vaccination—of chi manipulation. In the course of the story, the group encounters Montrell Smith, an eventual ally, who manipulates electricity, and Enmanuel becomes smitten with nonsuperpowered Hitomi Takahashi. The chapters unfold as individual adventures, which include minor woes, like going without turkey on Thanksgiving. But the young superheroes’ troubles are usually bigger; they are often the target of any number of villains, from Dr. Technus, a villain in a robot suit, to Fraydel, a fearsome witch. Before long, they’re up against their most formidable foe: a mysterious organization that abducts two of the teens, prompting the others to attempt a perilous rescue. This story’s light, breezy style (consisting predominantly of action scenes) doesn’t come at the cost of character development. Enmanuel, for example, taps into a surprising new ability when someone threatens Hitomi, and Autumn’s morphing into less stable components, like gas, puts her in danger of an accompanying mental instability. Clark’s illustrations resemble sketches more than a finished, refined product, with freehanded panels and a visible lined-paper background (though the lined paper inexplicably disappears in later chapters). While this method appears amateurish, Clark astutely fills his pages with vibrant images and showcases a diverting anime/manga influence with exaggerated eyes and spiky hair. It’s clear by this novel’s end that another volume or two will likely follow. 

Despite the simple narrative and unpolished art, this is entertaining stuff from an ambitious, energetic author/illustrator.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5320-5486-0

Page Count: 114

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.


Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.


Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?