GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Sacrifice of Darkness

Archaia: Boom!. Oct. 2020. 128p. ISBN 9781684156245. $24.99. Rated: Teen+. new adult/sf/fantasy
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This tender coming-of-age tale begins as Hiram Hightower, a miner from a long line of miners in a city dependent upon a rare mineral called Flareon, pilots his air machine into the sun, seemingly extinguishing it completely. As the darkness lingers for days, weeks, and eventually years, the people Hiram left behind must cope with their new reality—perhaps none more so than his wife, Mara, and their son Joshua, who becomes a pariah known as “Son of the Sun Stealer.” Joshua’s friendship with a girl named Claire is his only source of comfort and joy, and eventually blossoms into a romance. As they seek to build a family of their own, the town’s ruling elite becomes increasingly desperate; when it’s suggested that a blood sacrifice from a member of the Hightower family might rekindle the sun, Joshua and Claire find themselves needing to discover an alternate solution.
VERDICT Based on Gay’s (The Banks) short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness,” and adapted into the graphic form by Gay and writer Oliver, this deeply romantic sf/fairy tale hybrid exploring class issues, identity, and survivor’s guilt is brought to life through Kirby’s (Now: The New Anthology of Comics) graceful illustrations.

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