Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti.
Special thanks to Random House Graphic for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
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Goodreads: Across a Field of Starlight
Publisher: Random House Graphic
Publication Date: 08 February 2022
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Graphic Novel
An epic sci-fi graphic novel romance between two non-binary characters as they find one another through time, distance, and war. An amazing story that explores the complexity of human nature and what brings us together.
When they were kids, Fassen’s fighter spaceship crash-landed on a planet that Lu’s survey force was exploring. It was a forbidden meeting between a kid from a war-focused resistance movement and a kid whose community and planet are dedicated to peace and secrecy.
Lu and Fassen are from different worlds and separate solar systems. But their friendship keeps them in each other’s orbit as they grow up. They stay in contact in secret as their communities are increasingly threatened by the omnipresent, ever-expanding empire.
As the empire begins a new attack against Fassen’s people–and discovers Lu’s in the process–the two of them have the chance to reunite at last. They finally are able to be together…but at what cost?
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is an epic science fiction romance between two non-binary characters as they find one another through time, distance, and war.
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Blue Delliquanti (they/them) is a comic artist and writer based in Minneapolis, MN. From 2012 to 2020 Blue drew and serialized the Prism Award-winning science fiction comic O Human Star at ohumanstar.com. Blue is also the co-creator of the graphic novel Meal (with Soleil Ho), published through Iron Circus Comics, and The ‘Stan (with David Axe and Kevin Knodell), published through Dead Reckoning. They teach comics courses at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Blue is represented by Jen Linnan of Linnan Literary Management LLC.
TL;DR: There’s a surprising amount to unpack in this graphic novel that I didn’t expect when I first picked it up. This is a story about the impact of a decades-long war on individuals and societies, it’s about appropriation and colonisation, freedom of choice to be who you are, and it’s about how small people and small decisions can create a big impact in the long term. As it is, I’m still trying to sort through my jumble of thoughts about this but it’s a story that I think you can take something new from with each re-read! If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed and wonderfully diverse sci-fi graphic novel to read, I would most definitely encourage you to give this a try.
The artwork was so visually appealing and really brings this story to life! I especially loved the contrast in colour palettes between the planets Lu and Fassen were from, which only served to further emphasise the stark differences of their lives. The planet that the resistance has taken over is highlighted by bright oranges, reds, and yellows, while Lu’s home planet is highlighted by calmer tones of blues, purples and greens. Delliquanti’s art also does a fantastic job of capturing the spectrum of emotions that the characters experience through their facial expressions and body language!
This is the most diverse graphic novel that I’ve had the pleasure to read and while it was great to see the wide range of representation—from non-binary, trans, and plus-sized characters in the story, I loved that it wasn’t a story about their gender identity. I found Lu and Fassen to be interesting and complex characters and I enjoyed learning about both of them as they learn more about themselves and each other. Though I was more invested in Fassen’s arc because it was more dynamic as they experience more growth throughout the story. Delliquanti really captured the emotional and mental upheaval Fassen experiences having come from a planet that’s caught in an endless war cycle with the Empire. I was anticipating a bit more of a romance (across space and time etc.) and while there is one, it’s very slight!
That being said, there were times that I struggled to follow what exactly was going on in certain panels, especially those involving the more technical “sciencey” discussions. While I wouldn’t say this is ‘high sci-fi’, as someone who doesn’t read much SF, it took longer for me to understand what they were talking about (and involved a good few back-and-forths between panels to process)! I can definitely see how those who don’t read much of this genre could be put off by or get confused enough to be bogged down by the story. However, it was well worth pushing on and figuring out (for me!) because this was an intriguing and complex story that has many more layers to it than meets the eye!
Have you read Across A Field of Starlight or is it on your TBR?