Foreword Reviews

Starred Review:

Celestia

A pair of telepaths fight for their lives, and the future, in the surreal, poetic science fiction world of the graphic novel Celestia.

Celestia is an island that once served as refuge from a great invasion. Now, it’s inhabited by criminals and a group of telepaths, among others. There, Pierrot is a telepath who has distanced himself from the group and his father, who serves as their leader. He connects with Dora, a disillusioned member of the group who declares, “No more telepathy.”

Pursued by Pierrot’s enemies and the telepaths searching for Dora, the two make for the desolate mainland and meet a child with amazing telepathic abilities and intelligence. They deliver the child to a nursery, where a host of nameless children waits, preparing to build a new future.

The impact of memory and intimacy is central to the story. Pierrot and Dora grow closer as she shares in a traumatic memory from his past. But the desire and need for privacy also weighs on the plot, resulting in questions around commitment and compromise. With a prevailing aura of mystery, and unanswered questions about the details of the Great Invasion, the story is rich, satisfying, and complex.

The book features striking, haunting visuals, like a prostitute wearing a Venetian moretta mask, the geometric maze architecture of mainland dwellings, and the symbolism of the drawn-on tear that Pierrot wears on his face. The art shows a practiced breadth of skill that encompasses tender emotions and dynamic action scenes. Celestia is a thoughtful, beautiful graphic novel.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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