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Spill Zone Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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“A little dark, a little twisted, and completely enthralling.” ―Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless
"As frightening as Spill Zone can be, though, its greatest asset is its muscle-tensing suspense. Reading it feels like binge-watching a great cable series, complete with the same feeling of despair you get when you finish the final episode and realize you’ve got a long time to wait for the next season." ―The New York Times
"Westerfeld...establishes several compelling mysteries in this series opener, and Puvilland captures the haunting surreality of the Spill Zonethrough an unearthly pastel/neon palette that oozes a sense of wrongness every moment Addison spends there." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Expect some stunning sci-fi spectacle when Addison ventures into the Spill Zone." ―A.V. Club
"This unnerving, gripping title―Westerfeld’s first original graphic novel―is bound to entice older comics fans, especially those interested in darker sci-fi and nuanced characterization." ―School Library Journal, starred review
"Westerfeld handles the spooky business of the infected town magnificently, spiking the eerie and inexplicable with moments of genuine horror, while always keeping the emotional tensions of his highly accessible teenage protagonist at the center." ―Booklist, starred review
"Full-color illustrations are appropriately wild, jagged, and threatening. Readers will be demanding the next installment as they close this one." ―Kirkus
"It’s clear from the movie-ready visual images that the illustrator is primarily an anima- tor, and the panels are a worthy match for the clever, memorable text."―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This first entry in a creepy, addictively suspenseful graphic novel series makes for compulsive reading." ―Horn Book
About the Author
Scott Westerfeld is the author of the worldwide bestselling Uglies series and the Locus Award–winning Leviathan series, and is co-author of the Zeroes trilogy. His other novels include the New York Times bestseller Afterworlds, The Last Days, Peeps, So Yesterday, and the Midnighters trilogy.
Alex Puvilland was born in France where he grew up reading his father's comic books. He now lives in Los Angeles with his ridiculously talented wife and two extraordinary children, Leo and Adrien. He works for Dreamworks Animation, and does comics whenever he has a moment. Alex co-illustrated Prince of Persia and Templar.
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Addison’s world changed after the Spill. With her parents gone, her sister altered and mute, and her hometown irrevocably twisted, she had to rework her life to carry on. Officially, no one is allowed in the mysterious Spill Zone, and the authorities won’t say what happened there – but Addison explores it, and she has her own rules for survival. The only constant in the Zone is that things will get weird. When the terms change, Addison may be ready – or it might be more than she can handle.
Westerfeld sets up a story with a lot of unknowns (re: how the Spill happened, what it did to people, why some kids survived), family tragedy, a sisterly bond, weird, physics-defying phenomena, and art for survival’s sake. While main character Addison works to unravel some of those unknowns and keep her family together, there are other actors who have their own motivations, knowledge based hearsay, and less-than-ethical tactics. Combine that with a daredevil on a dirt bike, and you have the set-up for a thrilling graphic novel. And of course, Mr. Westerfeld delivers.
There were two bits of the story in particular that sold me on Spill Zone. The first was Addy’s initial trip into the Zone (that we see as readers, anyway), where she does a bit of a mini-tour with her rules for survival. This scene not only gives the reader the set-up they need to grasp the scope of the Spill, it also establishes danger, immediacy, and Addy’s motivations. And to be completely honest, it reminded me of my favorite part of the film Zombieland.
The second genius scene is one where *spoiler* Addy is having a one-sided (she thinks) conversation with her little sister, Lexa. Lexa is having her own telephathic conversation with her creepy and sarcastic doll, Vespertine. I had accepted the weird and threatening nature of the Spill Zone at that point, but I hadn’t gotten the sense of wrong Westerfeld was trying to evoke quite yet. That interaction sealed the deal.*end spoiler*
While the story gets a solid A, the art gets an A++++. No offense, Mr. Westerfeld, but the art is the BEST PART OF THE BOOK. That’s as it should be, since pictures are kind of the point with a graphic novel. Alex Puvilland’s illustrations and Hilary Sycamore’s colors bring the action, the eerie atmosphere, and the characters to life. I can’t imagine what the book would have been like in anyone else’s hands. The weirdness of the Zone seems neon, without actual neon burning the readers’ eyes, and the Zone’s unnatural creatures contrast with those untouched by the Spill (but not so much that you feel like you’ve left Earth).
Add to the art truly gorgeous book production, and you have a coffee-table-beautiful piece. I’m not kidding. The interior pages are black, the cover is blue metallic foil, and even the chapter pages are intricately detailed. For such an unnerving story, it’s quite pretty in places. To lure the unsuspecting reader in, I’m sure. :)
In the end, Spill Zone is beautiful, bizarre, and 100% readable. I can’t wait for book 2 (it’s a duology, did I mention?).
Recommended for: fans of young adult science fiction, adult science fiction, dark spec fic, and horror, and anyone who perks up at the mention of Scott Westerfeld and/or graphic novels.
For whatever reason, I don't read too many graphic novels. I've read the entire Scott Pilgrim series and loved it so much, but I hesitate to pick any others up, because I'm not sure if they're really my thing or not. When I heard about Spill Zone, I was instantly intrigued, and I am super glad I gave this one a chance! Now that I've read this, I'm so looking forward to the next installment (and in the meantime, I plan on picking up more graphic novels because as it turns out, I think I might really love them).
Spill Zone is the first installment in the Spill Zone series, and it introduces us to the main characters, Addison Merrick, and her little sister. Addison makes a living and provides for her little sister by sneaking into the Spill Zone and taking pictures of the aftermath of the Spill. The Spill is something that happened and was never fully explained or understood - for all they know, it could have been some kind of portal from another world opening in the area or a nanotech accident - either way, it left the entire town in a strange state, and no one can go into the area anymore. Addison sneaks in at night on her bike, taking pictures of things that she thinks people will pay money to own. Since sneaking into the Spill Zone is illegal, she has to keep it secret, and she relies on the guy who sells the pictures for her to keep everything confidential.
One time when she sneaks into the Spill Zone to get pictures, she comes across a wolf like creature and gets a picture of it, sparking a real interest in one of her buyers, who tracks her down and offers her one million dollars to retrieve something for her. Of course, since Addison is relying on that money to take care of her little sister, who hasn't spoken since she was actually in the area of the Spill when it occurred, she has to consider the offer.
Even if Addison decides to take the offer, it would mean breaking some of her own rules and venturing into the hospital where her mom and dad worked before the Spill took them away from her.
There is a lot going on in this amazing first installment in what promises to be a spectacular graphic novel series - from creepy ragdolls to zombie people to the weirdness of the Spill itself, this book is such an amazing read. I actually went through and read it twice, taking in the story and the amazing artwork even more the second time around.
I even love the cover, which is incredibly shiny and gorgeous, and the glossy pages that are simply beautiful to look at. The story itself is a fun and fast-paced ride through a destroyed town and a post-apocalyptic world where even a ride down the street is terrifying The entire story is like a dark and twisted Alice in Wonderland, only the wonders are zombies and creepy rats.
The story itself is kind of vague and I found myself left with a ton of questions, but I have a feeling we'll find out what's really going on in later books, so I'm definitely going to be not-so-patiently awaiting the next book!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed Spill Zone written by one of my favorite authors, Scott Westerfeld, who...Read more
SPILL ZONE is creepy. Wonderfully, awesomely creepy.Read more