I was a little shocked when searching through my archives for my review on book one of A.D., and found that I had read it back in November last year. It felt fresh in my head, and I knew exactly what had occurred in the little book, despite not reading it for over seven months. I knew when book 2 was released earlier this year that I wanted to hold out on continuing until I had the third and final volume in my possession. The conclusion finally reached my greedy little a couple weekends ago, and the two books have been eyeing me down as I caught up on some other reading- and a long overdue reread of The Dark Knight Returns. And here we are, before we get into the finale of this story, and the overall impressions, we should discuss the brilliant, mind-opening second act.
Book 2 of A.D.: After Death was released in the final week of ‘016, December 28, leaving us with months before the story would conclude in May ‘017. Written by acclaimed writer of Batman, American Vampire, and Swamp Thing, Scott Snyder; and painted by Jeff Lemire, Canadian writer/artist of Essex County, Roughneck, and Sweet Tooth. The established creators have combined eye catching watercolours with intriguing prose to create this unique book that has recently been picked up by Sony for the big screen.
Book 2 picks up in this strange future where death has seemingly been cured, but, most of the planet is now inhabitable. One community has thrived high in the mountains for centuries with the exact same group of people operating the community all this time. A side effect of living this long is the limited space in their memory, with only enough room for memories of one life time, each ‘cycle’ the people rotate positions and lifestyles. One man, determined to travel down the mountain and discover what has been lost bellow, is haunted by his memories of a time before people lived forever. Through his eyes we slowly watch how this world came to be.
This is a unique, and powerful story that is unlike anything you have read before. The big existential questions will be nagging at you as you read through this deep web. Would living forever, in perfect health, truly be worth it? And, at that point, what is the meaning of life, if it never ends? Being trapped in the same community, gaining and losing love, starting and ending careers, forgetting people you cared about and living alone for all of time. The gift of living forever, is met with a prisonlike life.
Scott Snyder does an amazing job of creating such wonderful prose that you fall into the journey he takes you on, and want to push into big pages full of text. While of course, Lemire’s art is spectacular. Some love his style, some dislike it, some just don’t understand it, but, when you are deep into a world painted by Lemire, you can feel the emotions of each scene.
It’s difficult to review this second installment, as it is very much a bridge to the conclusion, getting deeper into character and history. The big thing being, all those questions that you were left with in book one, are still there, book 2 just adds to the mystery. How does this all get solved in one big final act? Well, we’ll have to find out next time. And trust me, by the time you are this far, you will need answers.
I will hold off on ranking this book, and wait till we have a full picture. Although, I highly recommend reading these books, with all three installments currently being collected into one hardcover, you will not have to hunt these down and wait as I did.
Thanks booknerds, see you for book 3 soon.