Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Alabaster Wolves

Alabaster Wolves follows Dancy Flammarion an albino monster killer teenager. With her angel by her side Dancy spends her days killing all sort of monsters that have the bad luck to cross her path.

Her angel guides her action with an invisible hand. However the angel's motivations and objectives are true a mystery. Dancy seems to have mixed feelings about her companion. On one hand she acknowledges that the divine plan is not for her to know, but on the other she doesn't enjoy being a puppet.

In Alabaster Wolves she finds herself without the guidance of her angel. Problem is she is trapped in a small American town with hordes of werewolf on her trail.

How is it?

The only information I had when I started reading this book was the Amazon product description. Turns out that Dancy Flammarion already has a vast history in one other literary medium.Caitlin Kieman already published a couple of novels that star Dancy and establish her background and motivations. That's all fine and dandy but I feel Caitlin should have eased the new reader in more softly.

Dancy, the Angel and the Ghost

The story is not very complicated. Dancy roams into a small, seemingly deserted town and imminently weird stuff start to happen. There's a little and irritating talking bird that will serve as a familiar to Dancy (or something similar). Then there's the creepy deserted town. No soul in sight, no body anywhere, but there's sign of recent civilization everywhere. On top of this there's the werewolves that appeared out of nowhere.

Time's Up
Dancy then has to solve the werewolves mystery. Along the way she makes friends with a ghost former werewolf teenager girl that will be pivotal to her mission. If you've seen any Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode you know everything you need to know about this story.

The cover of this collection and of the individual issues (also reprinted in this hardcover) are absolutely gorgeous. This causes a major shock because as soon as you turn the first page and see the inner art you'll notice that it has nothing to do with the covers. Not as much notice as your eyes will bleed a little. Of course after a while you'll get used to it and realize the art isn't that bad. In fact a couple chapters in I was actually fond of it.

My main complain is that there is so much that happen that I can't understand how it came to be that it takes me out of the story, and lowers my enjoyment of this. Stuff like Dancy's apparent supernatural abilities, everyone knowing her name, the rules of her relationship with the angel, just to name a few. There are to many plot conveniences for my taste. Many times I got the felling that Caitlin wrote herself into a corner and had to add a Deux Ex Machina moment to get things going again. The problem is that it happened more than a few times.


I have mixed felling about this one. In my opinion it has some major flaws, both in writing and in art. Albeit that the flaws of the art mostly come from high expectation. The writer wrote a book for her fan base with little to none concern for new readers. That wouldn't be a problem if this wasn't Dancy Flammarion 's debut on the comics medium.

But, for some reason that I can't explain, I enjoyed it. Maybe it was the similarities to Buffy, maybe it was the mystery, maybe it was the horror, maybe it was the action, maybe it was randomness, maybe it was the craziness  maybe it was nothing of the above. I simply wasn't able to put it down until the last page. Even the bonus story was worth it (I might have forgotten to mention that there is a bonus story about bridge trolls).

I won't recommend it, but I did have some fun reading Alabaster Wolves.

Publisher: Dark Horse
Year: 2013
Pages: 136
Authors: Caitlin R. Kiernan, Rachel Edidin, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg

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  1. A capa está muito boa sim, a história parece-me um bom clichê!

    1. Viva Nuno,

      As capas (todas elas) são fenomenais, mas tens razão a história é um clichê. Permanentemente faz lembrar a Buffy.