REVIEW: Emily Corn: Discovering Darkness – Page Wooller and Ali Vermeeren

Emily Corn: Discovering Darkness - Page Wooller And Ali Vermeeren

Genre: Fantasy, Coming of Age

Reviewer: Cyd

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About The Book

She has no friends. She has no parents. Emily Corn has been brought up in total isolation. But why? She uncovers a secret which forces answers and breaks the shield protecting her identity. And now they hunt her. Writer Page Wooller and artist Ali Vermeeren deliver a complex coming of age tale set against the impending destruction of Earth. Emily must accept who she is, or we all die.

The Review

This graphic novel invites the reader into a world of darkness and light. Set against that background, Emily is maturing. When Emily meets an unexpected stranger and finds a very telling document, the aunts with whom Emily lives must reveal secrets of the past.

And there is a huge problem with this. Considering the circumstances of Emily’s birth, the document that sets Emily to questioning their own history and place in the world shouldn’t even exist. That begs the question of what motive the aunts had for keeping the information from Emily in the first place.

Meanwhile, aliens, angels, war.

Though Emily is intended to be a non-binary person, the aunts don’t seem as committed to that as they appear. In one panel, after the dust has settled and a decision is made that Emily will attend school in the fall instead of continued home-schooling, Emily asks, “do I go as a grl or a boy.” In the next panel, one aunt responds, “you go as you, my darling grl.” Had the last word of that response been left out, it would have been a clearer celebration of Emily as a person. By including that word, Emily as a female is emphasized.

In e-book format, this is not one to read on anything small unless the reader wants to continually zoom in and out. On a smartphone at the default size, the text becomes tiny and unreadable. The black and white graphics, however, suit the eternal battle of good versus evil perfectly.

This is a fast read for anyone who wants some feel-good, mindless escapism.

The Reviewer

Cyd Athens is an enby queer BIPOC speculative fiction author, editor, and reviewer who resides in 45.5231° N, 122.6765° W.

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