Taking photos of the dangers in the Spill Zone can be deadly, but it pays the bills.
Three years ago something happened to Poughkeepsie, New York. Nanotech outbreak? Nuclear accident? Alien invasion? Trans-dimensional breach? Anyone who knows isn’t saying. Most of the residents still exist, but they’re “meat puppets,” floating, glowing, and unresponsive. The rats might chase you, and the cats might sound like they’re speaking, but there are also nightmare beasts on the prowl. Addison sneaks past checkpoints on her motorbike to take pictures and sell them on the black market to support herself and her younger sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since the spill. When a collector bypasses the tough-as-nails white teen’s middleman and reveals he’s been cheating her, Addison takes on a mission for the collector that will put her in extreme danger…but may pay enough to get her out of the game for good. Bestselling prose novelist Westerfield kicks off a graphic-novel series of dark sci-fi adventures set in the very near future and sets up an interesting milieu. Another spill in North Korea, Lexa’s talking doll, and the effects of the spill on survivors are hinted at as the action progresses. Animator Puvilland’s full-color illustrations are appropriately wild, jagged, and threatening. Readers will be demanding the next installment as they close this one.
A necessary start, with intriguing hints at action and weirdness to come. (Graphic science fiction. 14-adult)