Outsiders in literature usually are some of the best characters for a reader to follow. As they usually feel like voyeurs to the story, assuming certain perceptions while experiencing others. This is something all teenagers deal with at some point, where no one understands them. This is even more prevalent in young adult fiction, where teen angst dances in the pale moonlight of the apocalypse.
This is what makes the Mortal Instruments books so fascinating to both teenagers and adults, as the story is written with such clarity that the believability is easy for most readers. Another good example is Warm Bodies which the film doesn’t do justice to the writer’s inner monologue of the main character. Growing up in a dystopian future, is never easy one that would break most adults but makes teenage lives thrive. In Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro’s fascinating story Decelerate Blue , we get to see the Armageddon through the eyes of one such teenager.
We meet Angela a teenager who notices how certain things are not normal, such as everyone being implanted with a chip to track their every move, an unhealthy obsession with the use of language and real food has been replaced by cement like material which has yielded some fatal incidents. As she struggles her awareness of the shadowy organization known as the Guarantee Committee, it is only spurred by a book written by a famous theorist who predicted the reality Angela lives in. Through a series of mishaps, she finds an underground movement where mostly teenagers live, and they can eat real food and even take in oxygen from a can. This is also where she meets kindred soul in Gladys, someone who finally sees Angela for who she is, at the same time, she envelopes herself in what the world was before Guarantee Committee took over the world. Eventually she meets the author of the book, who her favorite teacher, just so happens to take care of, as everything comes full circle for our heroine. By book’s end, the underground falls apart, and Angela becomes part of GC society once again until she finds liberation in all its glory.
Overall, an excellent graphic novel that is a mirror portrait of society’s obsession with technology and order. The story by Rapp is bleak, engaging,and commanding. The art by Cavallaro is luminous and vivacious. Altogether, a story that will have readers assessing their own obsession with “staying connected”.
Story: Adam Rapp Art: Mike Cavallaro
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy