Contains some spoilers.
I first came across Willow’s writing when she had a blog several years ago. Then some time after that, I read Cairo, her first graphic novel, with same illustrator as Air.
I read Cairo in one sitting (as I love to do). The plot was brilliant, the illustrations evocative…but the dialogue, ugh! Word that serviced the plot, rather then sounding like something anyone would actually say.
So I approached Air with mixed feelings (yucky cliche, there’s a reason why I’m no paid writer).
The good news is that the dialogue is much more naturalistic. The plot even better then Cairo, with the ingenuity and the concepts being enthralling and intriguing.
There was a bit too much Lead Character Is The Marvel Saviour of Mankind. Also, I didn’t quite 100% buy the love story, but that is because I’m a cynic who would love female characters to be motivated/have plot catalysts other then The Love Of A Dude. (There’s a reason why Goodbye Lenin! is my favourite film, and it’s not just Daniel Bruhl).
But the big miss-step is the part featuring Islam/Islamic extremists.
Look, I don’t care who’s writing it. I am tired beyond narcolepsy of reading about Islam in the guise of extremism.
Making matters considerably crappier is the insertion of a Taqwacore-esque “righteous jihadi” group. As Destiny’s Child said back in the day No, No, No. I wish the editor had drawn a big X through that part. It’s something ill judged that could have been easily replaced by something more inventive.
Air was cancelled rather then coming to a natural end and the ending does seem a tad rushed. I would have liked to have seen some more of Blythe’s adventures and there seems to have been much further to go with the character and that world. Maybe there will be a return trip someday…
Just googled and there is a Volume 4! What sort of library has the first 3 volumes and not the 4th?! Right, I will endeavour to track that down at some point and update this review when I do so.