As technology progresses, increasingly science fiction is now becoming science reality. I remember watching Back to The Future II back in the day, and hearing on the news that director was saying in an interview, that hoverboards were real. To any 13-year-old who had watched the movie, the fact that this existed, was a delight to hear. Unfortunately, as I have found a weeks later and a myth is still being debunked, Robert Zemeckis, was playing the media outlets as a cross promotion for the movies.
Also, as we know now, we are closer to that technology now more than ever, as a number of hoverboard prototypes have popped all over the world. This brings me to artificial intelligence, which has been portrayed in several books/comics/tv shows and movies, as something to be feared. The truth is, that the technology exists but not to the hyperreality that has been shown, but at a macro level. The most sinister example, is in Ex-Machina, where the AI realizes the exactly what type of demoralized acts has been enacted upon the its physical body, and exacts revenge. This brings me to Ru Xu’s Newsprints, which is the total opposite of this last example and the general attitude towards artificial intelligence, in a steampunk setting.
In the opening pages, we meet Blue, an orphan who works as Newsie, and is secretly a girl, living a small town, Nautilene, which is heavily affected by the war. This way of living would crush lesser characters, but Blue strives, in it, as she loves her life and loves working for the newspaper, which gives the reader the unfiltered truth. Her whole life changes, when she meets Crow, a recluse who also lives on the streets, but who is hiding a secret, that the war barons who run the city would love to get their hands on. By books end, not everyone gets a happy ending, much like life, but as with all things, one of the characters gets to live life on their own terms.
Overall, an excellent debut by a creator that the world will soon celebrate as her genius is brimming all throughout this book. The story by Ru Xu is balanced with heart, humor, and melodrama. The art by Ru Xu feels like a matte painting, just beautiful. Altogether, a book that will take you on a whirlwind adventure in a city that feels so familiar yet new.
Story: Ru Xu Art: Ru Xu
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy