Happy Sunday, guys!
First Second sent us Spill Zone a while back, and we've been dying to share it with you. Now that release week is finally here, we can!
Read on to learn just why this should be on your TBR list, and learn more about this creepy, eerie mysterious world that Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvillard have created.
Published May 2nd 2017 by First Second
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death—or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits—and it seems to be calling Addison's name.
Thus, when Scott Westerfeld's Spill Zone appeared in an unexpected package sent by First One, I immediately devoured it in one admiring, creepy fell swoop. Westerfeld has created an eerie, X-Files style world, where an unnamed catastrophe has destroyed Poughkeepsie, leaving the area haunted by bizarre, reality-bending manifestations and physical dangers.
But teenaged Addison risks arrest and death to go into the Spill Zone, in order to get pictures that she can sell to wealthy collectors to help keep her family afloat. She challenges everything from the laws to her own fears of what she might find in a place that holds the last known location of her parents, all for the sake of protecting what little family she has left. However, when the North Korean government asks Addison to go into the zone for a high-risk project, she takes the challenge...
What's fascinating about Spill Zone, is its ability to fearlessly mesh science fiction, with the realities of our current climate. While much of what Addison encounters in the Zone borders on the fantastic, Westerfeld has a knack of playing on a lot of our current concerns and fears - e.g. government control of Poughkeepsie - and using that to drive the narrative the story forward. The subplot involving the North Korean government is not only incredibly astute, but will also leave many readers looking toward our real world international relations, and comparing the two.
While Addison's overall evolution as a character is somewhat expected given the format and nature of the story, the creepiness of what she has to face - including skewed realities and floating bodies - helps give profundity to the overall story.
All in all, Westerfeld concludes with a bit of a cliffhanger, which will have readers demanding the second volume, as soon as possible.
About the author:
Alex Puvilland was born in France where he grew up reading his father's comic books. He now lives in Los Angeles with his ridiculously talented wife and two extraordinary children, Leo and Adrien. He works for Dreamworks Animation, and does comics whenever he has a moment. Alex co-illustrated Prince of Persia and Templar.