Monday, December 15, 2008

Ben's Indy Odyssey: The Mourning Star

Firstly, I was not aware that this was only part one of whatever, and thus was expecting shit to be resolved by the time I got to the end and was greatly disappointed when it was not. As Rickey was drunk when he gave me this, I lay the blame 100% on the shoulders of David Paggi for misling me.

Secondly, I read about two thirds of this in one sitting and then finished a few days later; this was a mistake as I see now it would have read better all at once.

Those points aside, I did have fun with this, though I wouldn't place it in the pantheon of the best indy stuff I've read. At times, I felt like I was on a really cool roadtrip where there was a lot of neat stuff to see, but I didn't have a map and thus was a bit too preoccupied with getting lost to fully enjoy what I was taking in. I guess that's a metaphoricaly way for me to say that the splintered narrative through me a bit, especially in the beginning. Once I got a hang of things, I actually appreciated the shifting focus between the two main stories, but at first, it was too rickety as I still couldn't keep track of the first set of characters and then had a second dumped on me.

The stuff I really enjoyed was the world-building parts. I like all the thought and backstory that Strzepek put into the landscape and the mythology of it all. I liked learning bits of culture like how the different races regarded each other and also dug the half-explained stuff like the Mr. Hanky thing eating people's dreams by going in their mouths when they were asleep. Bits like that were just fun. I also got an inexplicable amount of glee about there being some caste of feared warrior called a "Snipper Sniper" and it's some guy who fights with a pair of scissors as his weapons. I enjoyed this stuff, the fights and the banter far more than the love story, which, for whatever reason; I get that it's kinda a must for this genre of storytelling to have a quest revolving around a lost lover, but it was my least favorite part.

The art was perfectly servicable in some places and really cool in others. The battle scenes and just the designs of the different species were pretty dope.

Overall, didn't rock my world, but made me fer sure want to read the next part and find out what happens (particularly to that father and son in the beginning who I was waiting for them to circle back around to the entire time).

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