G Willow Wilson, writer
Christian Ward, artist
Sal Cipriano, Letters
The author, G Willow Wilson, shared that she always wanted to write a story about nuns in space. What story about nuns doesn’t also include indiscretion? This story involves a potential of corporate crime and a whodunit connection to a space-based monastery. The story begins with a cargo ship making an emergency landing on a moon outside the planet Qari. Later, the crew discovers that someone from The Lux Corporation disguised a financial deposit in the billing manifest as a physical delivery, which included an empty container. Elsewhere, on the planet Duni, a new initiate named Vess, walks blindfolded to a monastery where she pledges her pursuit to knowledge of The Invisible Kingdom. The story connects these two events through a discovery Vess makes as the newly assigned bookkeeper for the monastery.
The author builds intrigue by providing details that ground the characters to the plot-beets. We are not sure which details are really important and when they will be revealed which also builds interest and tension. For example, on her way to the monastery Vess is helped by a stranger who says she knows a nun at the Monastery named Lissa. When Vess meets Lissa the encounter goes differently then she thought. This encounter seems to represent a larger problem that is still unknown to the reader.
The art matches the cryptic nature of the story. The most impressive panel occurs toward the middle of the book and shows Vess walking up a long set of steps, which lead toward the air-born monastery with the small town packaged around her. The image cries “all streets lead to Rome” or “all paths lead to a higher power”. And, the nuns wear veils that cover their eyes and ironically provides contrast to the quotes from The Book of Renunciation which prompt insight through clarity. This book has interesting characters, an interesting premise, and with a strong writer and great art is why I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good space mystery. Overall 9.5/10