Where Black Stars Rise

Tor Nightfire. Oct. 2022. 128p. ISBN 9781250750174. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Amal, a newly minted therapist, is very affected by her patient Yasmin’s story. Amal is also navigating her new life in America while trying to stay anchored to her family back in Lebanon. When Yasmin disappears, Amal’s search for her patient leads to an alternative theater company, the backstage of which is a portal into a strange subworld, one that is eerily similar to that portrayed in the cosmic horror classic The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers. While familiarity with that story could enhance the reading experience, it is not necessary as this book stands firmly and confidently on its own two, weird fiction, feet. Told in a visceral visual style with liberal uses of black, yellow, and sharp angles that heighten the unease of the story line on every page.
VERDICT This is an impressive graphic novel from Shammas (Squire) and Enger (Regression) that features life in the diaspora, an inclusive retelling, and a strong, cosmic horror tale. A great option for fans of T. Kingfisher’s modern updates of horror classics and the recent anthology Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign.
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