Illustrated by Matthew Southworth
The premise sounds improbably - a boy who is half human, half goat, a creature called a Cloven - but it somehow works. Tuck is a genetically engineered being whose lab "father", Dr. Langner, bred many failed experiments in a quest for what he thought was ending world hunger. Turns out, the bank-roller of the experiments was looking for a perfect warrior. Aren't they always. Tuck escapes from the lab where he is being experimented on, and finds a park full of others of his kind - ones that Dr. Langner had released from almost certain death years ago. Though alternating the narrative from present day to flash backs, the reader learns that Tuck's life isn't really what he remembers it as.
The copy I reviewed was black and white only, but there will eventually be color in the illustrations. As such, the artwork was haunting and gave a depth to the story that felt like urban fantasy meets horror. The story itself was interesting and had surprising depth for something that sounds so strange on the surface.
There are a few cuss words and one full-frontal nude shot as the Cloven prepare to run free and uninhibited, so it's more of a nature scene than a gratuitous nudity scene. These elements, coupled with the genetic experimentation storyline being treated in such a gritty matter, makes this a title I would hand to mature teens.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability level: Grades 11-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. This graphic novel will be on sale July 28, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Science Fiction
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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